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610' 3" x 66' 1" x 17' 1"
9 x 8" main guns
8 x 5" guns
2 x 3 pounder saluting guns
8 x .50 caliber MG
4 x floatplanes
2 x catapults
Built by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation's Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts as the the lead ship of the Portland-class of Heavy Cruisers. Ordered February 13, 1929 during fiscal year 1930. Laid down February 17, 1930. Launched May 21, 1932. Completed August 15, 1932. Commissioned February 23, 1933 as USS Portland (CA-33) named after the city of Portland in the state of Maine Sponsored by the daughter of Mayor Ralph D. Brooks of Portland. Captain Herbert F. Leary was her first commander. Nicknamed "Sweet Pea" by her crew.
After the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, escorted USS Enterprise CV-6 back to Pearl Harbor then embarks Rear Admiral Mahlon S. Tisdale and become part of Task Unit 16.9.1 with USS San Juan on a secret mission to bombard Tarawa and Japanese shipping in the vicinity.
On October 15, 1942 Portland's two SOC Seagulls floatplanes to spot targets and conduct dive bombing attacks on the ships. One Seagull scores a near miss that causes light damage to Hitati Maru. During the attack, one Seagulls is damage by anti-aircraft fire. Between 2:10pm until 2:51pm Portland attacked Japanese vessels off Tarawa claiming damage to one transport and a destroyer before withdrawing southward. Afterwards both floatplanes were recovered and Portland withdraws southward and join the Enterprise Task Group near the Solomon Islands.
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