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Photo # NH 98149-KN:  USS Dale steaming off shore, during the 1980s or early 1990s

Online Library of Selected Images:
U.S. NAVY SHIPS -- Listed by Hull Number

CAG, CLG and CG -- Guided Missile Cruisers.

In early 1952, as the U.S. Navy was beginning to convert the heavy cruisers Boston (CA-69) and Canberra (CA-70) to carry anti-aircraft guided missiles, it also began a new cruiser hull number series for this new type of warship. Since both retained some of their original eight-inch guns, they were redesignated guided missile heavy cruisers (CAG-1 and CAG-2). In 1957, six light cruisers were similarly redesignated as CLG-3 through CLG-8, though the first of these briefly retained her original number (as CLG-93). Similarly, the new construction nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser Long Beach was initially designated CLGN-160, then CGN-160, before receiving her definitive designation (CGN-9) in mid-1957. The next three heavy cruiser conversions, which retained none of their original guns, became CG-10 through CG-12. Two more such conversions, CG-13 and CG-14, were cancelled.

In 1975, the Navy's guided missile frigates (DLG) were all reclassified as either guided missile destroyers (DDG) or guided missile cruisers (CG). The latter, some of which were still under construction, retained their original DLG series numbers, becoming CG-16 through CGN-41. In the process, the hull number CG-15 was skipped. A short time later, construction of additional nuclear-powered guided missile cruisers was stopped, resulting in cancellation of the planned CGN-42.

In 1980 the new DDG-47 class guided missile destroyers were upgraded to guided missile cruisers, but retained their original numbers to become the CG-47 class. This reclassification also required skipping the intervening CG series numbers (CG-43 through CG-46). Subsequently, more than two dozen new CGs have been built and most are still in service.

This page provides the hull numbers of all U.S. Navy guided missile cruisers (CAG, CLG and CG), with links to those ships with photos available in the Online Library.

See the list below to locate photographs of individual guided missile cruisers numbered in the CAG, CLG and CG series.

Left Column --
cruisers numbered
CAG-1 through CG-29:

Right Column --
Guided Missile Cruisers numbered
CG-30 through CG-73:


  • To the best of our knowledge, the Online Library's pictures are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.

  • Some images linked from this page may bear obsolete credit lines citing the organization name: "Naval Historical Center". Effective 1 December 2008 the name should be cited as: "Naval History and Heritage Command".

    If you want higher resolution reproductions than the Online Library's digital images, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

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    Page made 23 August 2002
    Links added 29 January 2010