USS Reno CL-96


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USS Reno CL-96

Reno II

(CL-96: dp. 8,600 (f.); 1. 541'0"; b. 53'2"; dr. 26'6"; s. 31 k. cpl. 688; a. 12 5", 16 40mm., 16 20mm., 8 21" tt., 2 dct.; cl. Atlanta)

The second Reno (CL-96) was laid down by Bethlehem Steel Co., San Francisco, Calif., 1 August 1941; launched 23 December 1942; sponsored by Mrs. August C. Frohlich; and commissioned 28 December 1943, Capt. Ralph C. Alexander in command.

Following shakedown off San Diego, Reno departed San Francisco, 14 April 1944, to join the 5th Fleet. As an active unit in Viee Adm. Mare A. Mitseher's Task Foree 58, she first eame in contact with the enemy by supporting air strikes against Mareus Island on 19-20 May. Three days later she al.so supported strikes on Wake Island.

During the months of June and July, Reno joined the fast carriers in surprise attacks against Saipan, 11 June, Pagan Island, 12-13 June, and against the Voleano and Bonin Islands—Iwo Jima, Haha Jima, and Chiehi Jima—on 15-16 June. Three days later she asisted in repelling a large-scale Japanese carrier force attempt to defeat the Allied invasion of Saipan in the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

From 20 June to 8 July Reno joined in the operations covering the capture of Saipan, then covered landings on Guam from 17-24 July and 2 days later took part in the strikes against the Palau Islands from the 26th to the 29th. Swinging north again, a final strike was made on the Bonin Islands 4-5 August and on 7 September the task group returned to the Palaus.

Continuing west, Reno participated in raids against Mindanao and adjacent Philippine Islands 9-13 September, supported the Palatl Invasion 15-20 September, and on the 21st and 22d supported strikes against Manila and vicinity. Striking Nansei Shoto on 8 October, Reno, with TF 38 eame nearer to the home islands of Japan than any other major unit of the U.S. Fleet had been.

During the 3-day strike on Formosa 12-14 October, Reno shot down six enemy planes. At the height of the battle, one torpedo plane crashed and exploded on the Reno's main deek aft. Though Turret Six was partially ineapaeitated by the explosion, the turret captain sueeeeded in maintaining his fire against the attacking planes and ships.

On 24 October, 4 days after the initial Leyte invasion while supporting air strikes against the Luzon area, TF 38 was subjected to a large-scale air attack bv land planes from Clark Field. The light carrier Princeton was struck and forced to withdraw from the task group. Reno, assigned to help fight her fires and rescue personnel, came alongside five times but could not remain because of the intense heat and smoke. While Reno evacuated wounded men and tried to bring the

fires under control, the listing flight deek of Prineeton erushed one of Reno's 40mm. mounts. Efforts to save the carrier continued; but, after Princeton's torpedo warhead stowage area exploded, Reno was ordered to sink her. On 25 October, having rejoined the task force, Reno proceeded north to engage the northern Japanese task force closing for the Battle of Cape Engano—the last engagement in the Battle for Leyte Gulf.

On the night of 3 November, well off San Bernardino Strait, Reno was torvedoed in the port side by Japanese submarine I-41. Towed 1,500 miles to Ulithi for temporary repairs, she then steamed under her own power to Charleston where she entered the Navy Yard 22 March for repairs. Emerging 7 months later, she steamed to Texas, then back to Charleston for the addition of bunk spaces. She reported for "Magic Carpet" duty and made two runs to Le Havre France, and back with Army troops.

In early 1946 Reno steamed for Port Angeles, Wash., where she decommissioned, 4 November 1946 and entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet, berthed at Bremerton. Reclassified CLAA96, 18 March 1949, she remained at Bremerton until her name was struck from the Navy list 1 March 1959 and her hulk was sold, 22 March 1962, to Coal Export Co., New York.

Reno earned three battle stars for World War II service.