No other ship in the United States Navy did as much shooting in the war as the heavy cruiser
SALT LAKE CITY, tied up at Terminal No. 1 where she will remain until Thursday. The ship
goes to Astoria then for Navy Day.
High up in her bridge the "Scoreboard" shows a record of four Jap cruiser sunk, 11
auxiliaries sunk, 12 aircraft shot down and 41 enemy possessions bombarded.
The SALT LAKE CITY started shooting right after Pearl Harbor and stopped when the Japs gave
up. At one time she was known in the South Pacific as a "One-ship fleet" as she roamed about
the ocean, making life miserable for Japs, while the nation was bending every effort to get
support for her.
Commander Richard G. Ganahl, executive officer the SLC---she was in Portland in 1938---just pours out information about the ship. He has been on her only a short time but can tell about her travels as if he had been aboard at all times.
Portland is the first "civilized" port the ship has seen in 16 months. She has been roaming the Pacific in that time, dropping anchor here and there in some remote islands, but when the gangplank went ashore at Terminal No. 1 the crew, or at least those permitted to go ashore, were on Uncle Sam's own land for the first time in more than a year.
Most of those leaving the ship on leave or for discharge carried a Jap rife. One officer explained the matter by saying the rifles were piled in a Jap warehouse and the Japs didn't need them any more, and besides, they make good souvenirs.
But all was not beer and skittles with the SLC. Early in the war she was sent to the Aleutians with the cruiser RICHMOND and three destroyers to stop a Jap attempt to re-enforce Attu. In the Jap force were four cruisers, 12 destroyers, two light cruisers, and some transports.
Off the Komandorski Islands the battle raged three hours. At one point the SLC lay dead in the water, a perfect target for the Japs sitting there like a sitting duck. But the Japs did what they do at times like that---the unexpected. They turned about and went back home, never again to try to re-enforce Attu.
So, the SLC lived to fight another day. At the start of the Central Pacific drive, she did the "heavy work" in the Gilberts, the Marshalls, and on across the Pacific. She was in the group that took the Doolittle fliers to Japan for their historic attack on Tokyo.
She was at Tinian, Saipan, Leyte, Lingayen, Mindoro and Manila Bay. For 63 days she bombarded the Japs at Okinawa with a nightmare of kamikazes overhead. She was at Iwo Jima and Palau. Just mention any action in the Pacific and the SLC was around.
She fired 14,506 rounds on her 5-inch guns and 9,008 on her 8-inch guns at Okinawa. She is a heavy cruiser, the term heavy referring to her 8-inch main battery.