DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Photo # NH 64633:  USS Marblehead in port, circa the early 1930s

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-- U.S. NAVY SHIPS --

USS Marblehead (CL-12), 1924-1946

USS Marblehead, a 7050-ton Omaha class light cruiser built at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was commissioned in September 1924. She made her shakedown cruise to Europe and in 1925 steamed through the South Pacific on a voyage to and from Australia. During 1927-28, Marblehead served off troubled Nicaragua, crossed the Pacific to war-torn China and returned to Nicaragua during that nation's elections. The cruiser served with the U.S. Fleet in the Atlantic and Pacific during the remainder of the 1920s and most of the 1930s.

Marblehead was assigned to the Asiatic Fleet from early 1938 until early 1942. During most of that time, as tensions rose over Japan's aggression in China, she cruised through Far Eastern waters in support of U.S. interests. After the Pacific War began in December 1941, Marblehead operated in the Netherlands East Indies as part of a greatly outnumbered Allied naval force. On 24 January 1942 she covered the Battle of Balikpapan, in which U.S. destroyers made a daring and successful attack on Japanese invasion shipping off Borneo. While steaming in the Java Sea on 4 February, en route to again attack the Japanese, Marblehead was hit and near-missed by several enemy bombs. With great difficulty the severely damaged ship was able to make port at Tjilatjap, Java, for immediate repairs, then went back to the U.S. by way of Ceylon and South Africa.

Following several months of shipyard work at New York, in the autumn of 1942 Marblehead went to the South Atlantic, where she patrolled between Brazil and Africa until February 1944. Convoy service in the North Atlantic followed. In July and August 1944 she was in the Mediterranean Sea to participate in the invasion of Southern France, during which her six-inch guns bombarded German defensive positions ashore. Marblehead's final active service, in mid-1945, was as a training ship for Naval Academy midshipmen. She was decommissioned at the beginning of November 1945 and scrapped in 1946.


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USS Marblehead (CL-12) Gallery


Photo #: NH 69021
USS Marblehead (CL-12)

Preparing for launch at William Cramp & Son shipyard, Philadelphia, PA, 9 October 1923.
Courtesy of the San Francisco Maritime Museum, San Francisco, California, 1969.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph

Photo #: NH 46638
USS Marblehead (CL-12)


Steaming at top speed during trials,
15 August 1924.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph

h64638t.jpg
Photo #: NH 64633
USS Marblehead (CL-12)


In harbor, circa the early 1930s. The location may be San Diego, California. Donation of Franklin Moran, 1967.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph

Photo #: NH 64611
USS Marblehead (CL-12)

Underway in San Diego harbor, California, 10 January 1935. Photographed from USS Dobbin (AD-3). Donation of Franklin Moran, 1967.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph

Photo #: NH 105793
USS Marblehead (CL-12)

In a Far Eastern harbor, circa the later 1930s.

Donation of Charles R. Haberlein Jr., 2008.

Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives

Photo #: NH 19-N-36901
USS Marblehead (CL-12)

Off New York City, 11 October 1942.

Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives

Photo #: 19-N-34910
USS Marblehead (CL-12)

Off New York City, 14 October 1942.

Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives

Photo #: 19-N-34914
USS Marblehead (CL-12)

Off New York City, 14 October 1942.

Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives

Photo #: 19-N-69394
USS Marblehead (CL-12)

Off New York City, 6 May 1944.

Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives

Photo #: NH 98035
USS Marblehead (CL-12)


Underway at sea, 10 May 1944.



Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center

Photo #: 80-G-K-4777 (color)
USS Marblehead (CL-12)

USS Franklin (CV-13) Steams past USS Marblehead (CL-12), in New York Harbor, circa 28 April 1945, after her arrival from the Pacific for battle damage repairs.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives

Photo #: 80-G-237439
USS Marblehead (CL-12)

Tjilatjap, Java, after damage by Japanese bombing in Java Sea on 2/4/42. Shows effect of enemy bomb which struck her stern. Her 6"/53 gun turret at left. Note the blanked off portholes on her hull side.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives

Photo #: 80-G-254938
USS Marblehead (CL-12)

Under repair at New York Navy Yard, circa June 1942, after damaged by Japanese high-level bombing in the Java sea on 2/4/42. Shows new deck plating on the cruiser's stern. 6"/53 gun turret in center.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives

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