class, in fact only a single ship, was the connection between the pre-war
cruisers, and those build during the war. It was also the connection between
the Light and Heavy pre-war cruisers.
She had been concepted as another Brooklyn class ship, but her design was, as that of the later Brooklyns altered. She also received 127mm L/38 dual-purpose guns, however in single enclosed mounts, and only four of eight of the 127mm guns had them.
Wichita received another new model 203mm turret, meaning once again a new design after the New Orleans turret, and had her airplane facilities mounted aft, as all later cruiser classes would.
Wichita spent most of her time in the Atlantic Ocean, beginning with her commisioning in February of 1939. She participated in the Neutrality Patrol, and several "Showing-the-Flag" missions to South America. She was also with the US vessels patrolling the Denmark Strait from Iceland before the war, and later, with the European Task Forces. She was then again patrolling the Denmark Strait against German raiders, and escorting convoys.
assignment was the support of the North Africa landings, were she was damaged
by a French coastal gun.
Her first assingnment in the Pacific made her participate in the Battle of Rennell, and later, she was transfered to the Aleutians. After bombarding island positions there, she became part of the carrier fleet, and at Leyte, more precisely Cape Engaño, she was one of the two cruisers of Rear Admiral Dubose's Cruiser Force, sinking the carrier Chiyoda and the destroyer Hatsuzuki.
She continued to serve off Okinawa, helped in the occupation of Japan, and was finally decommisioned in 1947.
Ship in class:
9 x 203mm L/55 in three triple turrets, two superfiring forward, one aft.
8 x 127mm L/38, in four enclosed mounts, one each firing fore and aft, one on each side, and four open mounts, two on each side.
24 x 40mm L/56
18 x 20mm
Standard: 10600 tons
Full: 13000 tons
Length: 185.4 meters
Beam: 18.8 meters
Draught: 7.2 meters
Height (Mast): 34.5 meters
Crew: 929 men
Speed: 33 knots