Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

Office of the Chief of Naval Operations
Naval History Division • Washington

USS Brooklyn III (CL-40)

Brooklyn is a borough of New York City.

(CL-40: dp. 9700; 1. 608'4"; b. 61'9"; dr. 24'; s. 33.6 k.; cpl. 868; a. 16 6", 8 5"; cl. Brooklyn)

The third Brooklyn (CL 40) was launched 30 November 1936 by New York Navy Yard; Brooklyn joined the fleet in the Panama Canal Zone during the latter part of 1938 She was assigned to' Cruiser Division 8 and attended to routine duties with the fleet until April 1939. In mid-April she returned to the United States where she participated in the opening of the New York World's Fair (30 April 1939). On 23 May Brooklyn was ordered to the scene of the Squalus (SS-192) disaster, six miles south of the Isles of Shoals, N.H. Until 3 June she acted as a base ship during the salvage and rescue operations. Brooklyn then steamed to the west coast where she joined the Pacific Fleet and participated in the opening of the Golden Gate Exposition (18 February 1940). She served on the west coast until March 1941, when she departed on a good-will and training tour of the South Pacific In May she left Pearl Harbor for the east coast where she joined the Atlantic Squadron. During 1-7 July 1941 she escorted the convoy carrying marines to Reykjavik, Iceland. During the remainder of 1941 Brooklyn engaged in convoy escort and Neutrality patrol.

With the entry of the United States into World War II Brooklyn got underway from Bermuda to patrol the Caribbean Sea. In April 1942 she was assigned convoy escort duty between the United States and the United Kingdom. On 3 September during one of the trans-Atlantic crossings, Wakefield (AP-211), a member of the convoy, caught fire and was abandoned. Brooklyn rescued 1173 troops which had been embarked on board Wakefield. Although severely damaged by the fire Wakefield was towed to safety and repaired.

On 24 October 1942 Brooklyn departed Norfolk for North Africa. On 8 November she bombarded shore installations to cover the Fedhala landing. While thus engaged she was hit by a dud projectile from a coastal defense gun which damaged two of the cruiser's guns and wounded five of her crew. She departed Casablanca for the east coast 17 November 1942. Between January and July 1943 she made three convoy escort voyages between the east coast and Casablanca and then steamed to the Mediterranean where she carried out screening and fire support duties during the invasion of Sicily (10-14 July).

Remaining in the Mediterranean, Brooklyn next covered the Anzio-Nettuno landings (22 January-9 February 1944). Between 13 and 23 May 1944 she participated in the bombardment of the Formia-Anzio area and then carried out exercises in preparation for the invasion of southern France. On 15 August 1944 Brooklyn furnished part of the heavy naval gunfire which preceded the landing of Allied troops on the coast of southern France. She remained on duty in the Mediterranean until 21 November 1944 when she departed Sicily for New York, arriving 30 November.

Between December 1944 and May 1945 Brooklyn underwent extensive overhaul and alteration at New York Navy Yard. From May through September 1945 she exercised along the eastern seaboard and then reported to Philadelphia Navy Yard for her pre-inactivation overhaul. She went in commission in reserve 30 January 1946 and out of commission in reserve 3 January 1947. On 9 January 1951 Brooklyn was transferred under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program to Chile [where she served as O'Higgins.]

Brooklyn received four battle stars for her World War II service.

Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey (patrick@akamail.com)