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Deeds of Glory
USS Salt Lake Wins Country's Thanks

Newspaper Article - Date written on paper Jan. 26th, 1946 - Location Unknown
Article written by: Unknown

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There is now a Salt Lake City in Japan!

That is, there is the heavy cruiser USS Salt Lake City in the harbor of Japan. After 45 months of warfare, which included 31 engagements against Jap sea, air and land forces, the ship, nicknamed "the One Ship Fleet", has reached her goal.

One of eight constructed under the Washington naval arms limitations treaty, she was built at Camden, N.J., and launched Jan. 23, 1929

gem Pearl Harbor gem

December 7, 1941, found the Salt Lake City with a task group heading toward Hawaii after delivering 12 Marine Corps fighter planes to Wake Island. When word of the attack was received, the group launched planes 200 miles west of Pearl Harbor to cut down straggling sneak attackers.

Feb. 1, 1942, a task force including the Salt Lake City struck at Wotje. The Salt Lake City is believed to have fired the first missiles that fell on Jap-held land.

April 8, the Salt Lake City set out as an escort in one of the boldest strokes of the war, the Doolittle raid on Tokyo.

She participated Aug. 7-8 in the first American land counteroffensive, helping cover landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi. On Sept. 15, the carrier WASP --- a thousand yards from the Salt Lake City -- was torpedoed and sunk by a Jap submarine. The SLC helped rescue the survivors.

In action revolving around the USS BOISE, Oct. 11-12, 1942, the SLC sustained three major caliber hits and lost 5 men killed, 21 wounded. From Nov. 1 to March 11, 1943, she was at Pearl Harbor navy yard undergoing complete battle repairs.

March 26, a force including the ship, intercepted a group of Jap men of war, convoying two large merchantmen. In that battle, the SLC lost two men killed, 13 wounded. She was repaired at Mare Island navy yard. She returned to the Aleutians May 14.

gem Action gem

She covered the Attu occupation, bombarded Kiska, convoyed and patrolled. She left Adak Sept. 23 and reached Pearl Harbor Sept. 28. She then became a special transport until Nov. 13, when she bombarded Betio Island during assault and capture of Tarawa.

After Tarawa she took part in convoying the occupation of Abemama, and shot down a Jap Betty plane. Two days later she brought down three more and assisted in knocking out another.

Next came the Marshall Islands operations on Nov. 26 in which she took part in the capture and occupation of Kwajalein and Eniwotok, Majuro and Jaluit.

Taroa next fell to the wrath of the "One Ship Fleet." She assisted in raids on Palau, Yap, Ulithi and Woleai in March and April of the next year.

By April 25, 1944, the SLC was on her way to Pearl Harbor without escort with the cruiser division arriving on April 30.

From May 7 until Jan. 22 she was at Mare Island navy yard. Adak, her next destination, was reached July 8, when she joined a task force under Rear Adm. Small. April 1, the force sorted from massacre Bay to proceed to Paramushiro for bombardment.

gem Attack gem

On Aug. 29, the "Swayback Maru," as she was affectionately called, took part in the attack on Wake Island. The force proceeded to Eniwetok, arriving Sept. 6.

Until Sept. 24, the SLC remained in Eniwetok, then went to Saipan and began patrolling as part of a task group under command of Rear Adm. Smith.

Oct. 6 saw the group proceeding to Marcus Island to create a diversion in connection with an American carrier raid on Formosa. Enemy counter battery fire was both heavy and accurate, though it did not score a hit on the Salt Lake City.

Oct. 13 to 29 marked the second battle of the Philippine Sea. Operations carried the SLC to within 100 miles of Luzon and numerous strikes were made by the carrier planes of the group on Jap bases in the Philippines and against Jap surface craft.

From Nov. 8 to Jan. 11, 1945, the SLC operated offensively against the Volcano Island to protect B-29 fields on Saipan, Tinian and Guam. The ship based at Saipan and Ulithi.

gem Iwo gem

Iwo Jima was bombarded by the SLC on Nov. 12 with 471 rounds of 8-inch and 54 rounds of 5-inch shells. In Dec. it was hit with 499 rounds of 8-inch and 355 rounds of 5-inch. Christmas Eve the SLC sent 439 rounds of 8 and 699 rounds of 5. On the 27th, 460 rounds of 8 and 645 rounds of 5. In one triple play, Jan. 5, Chichi and Haha Jima were hit to the extent of 801 rounds of 8 and 675 rounds of 5. The SLC shot down one Betty plane.

In support of the landing operations at Lingayen Gulf in Luzon while the Third fleet was in the China sea, the task group operated as a northern patrol force covering the flank of the forces approaching the empire.

A week later, on the 24th, Iwo again was bombarded, the SLC hurling 432 8-inch, 35 5-inch and 100 40mm shells. She also assisted in shooting down one Jap Jill.

Delivering day and night bombardments, the "Swayback" remained at her objective from Feb. 16 to Mar. 13. During this engagement the ship lost a scout observation plane and two officers to enemy gun-fire.

gem Okinawa gem

Bombardments were begun for the occupation of Okinawa Hima, Ryukus, during March, April and May. The veteran cruiser engaged in day and night bombardment of Okinawa provided illumination for ground troops and engaged in call fire support duties. L-day at Okinawa was Easter Sunday, April 1.

May 31 found the SLC at Leyte in the Philippines for repairs.

July 6 the ship returned to Okinawa for duty covering mine-sweeping and patrolling the East China sea. After a month in that area she was once again on her way to the Aleutians, first making a stop at Saipan, Aug. 8

After the SLC had left Saipan for Adak, word was received of the Jap surrender. The ship went on to Attu and got under way again on Aug. 31 to cover the occupation of Ominato naval base, northern Honshu, Japan.

She has been in this area since Sept. 8, culminating a persistent and deadly fight against the enemy in that enemy's home waters.

To those who carried her proudly forward to her tasks have been awarded, 4 Navy Crosses, 11 letters of Commendation, 8 Silver Stars, 1 Distinguished Flying Cross, 33 Purple Hearts and 1 Air Medal.

Killed in Action on her broad decks were 9 men. Wounded in action, 34. Missing in action, 1.

And so there is a Salt Lake City in Japan today. A ship with a record that her namesake, and all American can be proud of!


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