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  USS Chicago (CA-29, CL-29)
Heavy Cruiser

9,300 Tons
600.3' x 66.1' x 16.5'
9 × 8" guns
4 × 5" guns
6 × 21 in torpedo tubes

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USN August 9, 1942

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USN September 13, 1942

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USN December 20, 1942
Ship History
Built at Mare Island Navy Yard on Mare Island. Laid down September 10, 1928 as Northampton-class cruiser (CL). Launched April 10, 1930 as USS Chicago (CL-29). On July 1, 1931 reclassified as a heavy cruiser USS Chicago (CA-29) in accordance with the provisions of the London Naval Treaty of 1930. Commissioned March 9, 1931 with Captain Manley H. Simons in command.

Afterwards, undertook a shakedown cruise to Hawaii, Tahiti and American Samoa then returned to Mare Island. On July 27, 1931 departs Mare Island via the Panama Canal to Fort Pond Bay, NY and became the flagship of Commander, Cruisers, Scouting Force. During the remainder of the 1930s, participated in fleet exercises in the Atlantic Ocean off the east coast. On May 31, 1934 she was part of the Naval review at New York City for U.S. President F. D. Roosevelt. Later, transited the Panama Canal to San Pedro. In September 1940 transferred to Pearl Harbor.

Wartime History
On December 7, 1941 at the start of the Pacific War, Chicago was at sea. Afterwards, she participated in patrol and search missions during the first weeks of the conflict, and in early February was sent to the south Pacific to protect Allied positions.

On May 4, 1942 supported the USS Yorktown CV-5 carrier aircraft attacking Tulagi then participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea. On May 7, 1942 Chicago was lightly damaged in an enemy air attack, suffering suffered several casualties from strafing.

On May 31, 1942 Chicago was anchored in Sydney Harbor. On June 1, 1942 during the early morning hours, targeted by HA-24 Type A Midget Submarine (M24), that fired two torpedoes. Both missed and passed under Hr. Ms. K IX then detonated against the breakwater with the explosion damaging the submarine and the blast lifted out of the water and sank HMAS Kuttabul killing 21 sailors aboard. Afterwards, Chicago opened fired on the midget submarine without result.

On August 7, 1942 Chicago supported the U.S. landings at Tulagi and Guadalcanal.

Battle of Savo Island
On August 8-9, 1942 during the Battle of Savo Island, Chicago was patrolling with HMAS Canberra and two destroyers in Iron Bottom Sound between Guadalcanal and Savo. Intercepted by Japanese cruisers, Chicago was hit by a torpedo fired by a cruiser, resulting in minor damage to the bow and prevented the cruiser from participating further in the battle.

Withdrawn from the area the next day, Chicago proceeded to Nouméa where temporary repairs were performed before proceeding to Sydney Harbor for further repairs, arriving at San Francisco on October 13, 1942. Two days later, arrived at Mare Island Navy Yard where permanent repairs and an overhaul were completed by early January 1943.

Afterwards, Chicago returned to the South Pacific arriving at Nouméa. On January 27, 1943 departed with a convoy bound for Guadalcanal.

Battle of Rennell Island
On January 29, 1943 during the Battle of Rennell Island the convoy was attacked by Japanese twin engined bombers including G4M1 Bettys from 705 Kokutai followed by G3M Nells from 701 Kokutai. At the start of the attack, G4M1 Betty piloted by Bunzaburo Imamura was shot down astern of USS Chicago. The impact and flames on the surface provided illumination for other bombers to make torpedo attacks. Soon afterwards, Chicago was hit by two aerial torpedoes on the starboard side. The damage caused severe flooding and loss of power, forcing the cruiser to be taken under tow.

Sinking History
On January 30, 1943 in the evening, eleven G4M1 Betty bombers from 751 Kōkūtai (751 Air Group) locate Chicago being towed are ntercepted by F4F Wildcats from VF-10. The Bettys make another torpedo attack and at 4:24pm hit Chicago with four more torpedoes causing further damaging the starboard side. Seventeen minutes later, sinks stern first.

Chicago earned three battle stars for her World War II service.

Former Captain Howard D. Bode performance during the Battle of Savo Island was questioned in the Hepburn Investigation led by Admiral Hepburn. The report recommended official censure for only one officer: Captain Howard D. Bode Although the report was not intended to be made public, on April 19, 1943 Bode learned of its implications and shot himself and died the next day.

Naval History and Heritage Command - Chicago II (CL-29) 1931–1943
NavSource - USS Chicago (CL/CA 29) (photos)
FindAGrave - Capt Howard Douglas “Count, Boad, Ping” Bode (photos)

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Last Updated
January 4, 2023


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