The Worcester class was a class of light cruisers used by the United States Navy, laid down in 1945 and commissioned in 1948-49. They and their contemporaries, the Des Moines-class heavy cruisers, were the last all-gun cruisers built for the U.S. Navy. Ten ships were planned for this class, but only two (USS Worcester (CL-144) and USS Roanoke (CL-145)) were completed.
The main battery layout was distinctive, with twin rather than triple turrets, unlike the previous Cleveland-class, St. Louis-class, and Brooklyn-class light cruisers. Aside from the Worcesters main battery consisting of 6 in (152 mm) rather than 5 in (127 mm) guns, the layout was identical to the much smaller Juneau-class light cruisers, carrying 12 guns in six turrets, three forward and three aft, with only turrets 3 and 4 superfiring. The 6"/47 Mk 16 gun was an autoloading, high-angle dual purpose gun with a high rate of fire, and the Worcesters were thus designed to serve as AA cruisers like the Juneaus but with much more potent guns, as well as conventional light cruisers.
Both ships were decommissioned in 1958, the last conventional light cruisers to serve in the fleet, and scrapped in the early 1970s.
USS Worcester (CL-144)
|Builders:||New York Shipbuilding Corporation|
|Operators:||United States Navy|
|Preceded by:||Fargo class|
|Length:||679 ft .5 in (207.0 m)|
|Beam:||70 ft .5 in (21.3 m)|
|Draft:||25 ft (7.6 m)|
|Complement:||1,560 officers and enlisted|
|Ship Name||Hull No.||Builder||Laid Down||Launched||Commissioned||Decommissioned||Fate|
|Worcester||CL-144||New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey||29 January 1945||4 February 1947||26 June 1948||19 December 1958||Struck 1 December 1970; Sold to Zidell Explorations, Inc., of Portland, OR on 5 July 1972|
|Roanoke||CL-145||15 May 1945||16 June 1947||4 April 1949||31 October 1958||Struck 1 December 1970; Sold to Levin Metals Corporation of San Jose, Calif. on 22 February 1972|
|Vallejo||CL-146||16 July 1945||N/A||Construction cancelled 8 December 1945; hull was subsequently scrapped|
|Gary||CL-147||N/A||Cancelled 12 August 1945 prior to the start of construction|