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Welcome to the 'History Page' of the Heavy Cruiser
USS Newport News (CA-148)
'call sign' THUNDER

The Heavy Cruiser USS Newport News (CA-148) went through many important phases of service in her short but decorated career. By opening the History Page you can navigate to the specific topic listed.
From this contents page you will be able to navigate to each of the general topic areas listed. At the start of each key topic you will be able to further navigate to a specific year of service.
By following the links you should be able to steer a course all the way from construction to decommissioning.
**Most of the Material contained in this history section was gathered from the archives at the: Naval Historical Center, Navy Yard, Washington, DC.

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"A Proud 26 Years of Service"

The purpose of this page is to help you navigate through our ship's extensive history . Click on the text links below to have a peek into the history of the 'Worlds Largest Heavy Gun Cruiser'

USS Newport News CA-148

'call sign' THUNDER
USS Newport News (CA-148)


Sixth Fleet - Second Fleet -Vietnam

The Heavy Cruiser USS Newport News (CA-148) served as Flag Ship for the 2nd & 6th fleets Clicking on the years below you'll step back in time and relive the history of this warship.

T1 and T2 in action 1972 Vietnam
Awards / Ribbons

USS Newport News (CA-148) Awards / Ribbons

USS Newport News (CA-148)

The Worlds Largest Heavy Gun Cruiser
1949-1975

"Departments"

Click on the text links below to visit the different Departments assigned to the USS Newport News (CA-148)

NN

USS Newport News (CA-148)

Photo's through the years (photos will be changed often)

USS Newport News (CA-148)

1940's photo
USS Newport News (CA-148). Starboard bow view while at anchor in the Caribbean, June 1949.

USS Newport News (CA-148). Starboard bow view while at anchor in the Caribbean, June 1949.

USS Newport News CA-148

1950's photo
USS NewportNews CA-148 operating in the Mediterranean Sea in 1957

Med 1957

USS Newport News CA-148

1960's photo
USS Newport News CA-148, 1966 return to norfolk pier 7

USS Newport News CA-148, 1966 return to norfolk pier 7

USS Newport News CA-148

1970's photo
USS Newport News shelling the coast of Vietnam in June 1972 during her 3rd tour in Vietnam

USS Newport News shelling the coast of Vietnam June 1972

'Refueling DD-710 In The Med'

USS Newport News (CA-148), February 1951. Combined US-British Exercises in the Mediterranean. USS Gearing (DD 710) fueling from Sixth Fleet Flagship USS Newport News (CA-148) during combined U.S. and British Naval Exercises February 12-13, 1952, in the Mediterranean. Also at National Archives as USN 708112. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. (2015/06/30)

NN and Gearing in the Med 1952

Nov. 2019
Bob Freeman, myself, and Herb Bernard are representing the USS Newport News at the dedication of the new plaque describing the anchor that is featured in the middle of the rotary just in front of the old entrance to the USS Salem in Quincy, Mass.
The event was attended by crew members from all three Des Moines class Cruisers including Newport News, Des Moines,, and the Salem.
We also had some foreign dignitaries from Villefranche Sur Mer, the Mediterranean Home Port of all three of these vessels when they operated in the med in the 50s and 60s as Com 6th Fleet. The folks from the town of Villefranche are creating a museum to honor the vessels that were stationed there as their home port, and this international meeting opens up a new channel of communications with those in the med who are interested in preserving both the ship and the history of the world's largest and greatest heavy gun cruisers.
The mayor of Quincy was in attendance, along with several state politicians, and 4 motorcycle cops donated their time to handle traffic around the Rotary while 50 or 60 people were inside the circle having the ceremony.
The anchor itself came from the USS Des Moines before it was scrapped, and the $3,000 cost of the 60 lb. bronze plaques was borne by a Des Moines sailor. After the anchor ceremony, we all went to the Salem and dedicated a plaque on the side of the superstructure.

Jim Peden

Colorguard

Colorguard

Bob Freeman

Bob Freeman

Dignitaries / Attendees

Dignitaries / Attendees

USS Newport News CA-148




The following is mail sent to all hands regarding the scrapping of the USS Newport News CA-148

From: "The Peden Office" (10-22-1999)

She was born from the mines of the Midwest, raw ore smelted in the fires of the mills of Pennsylvania. Forged in the yards of Newport News, down the ways into the Atlantic. Before men stepped aboard her, she was nothing but a giant steel tub awaiting a mission. Then we joined her, and she became a mighty vessel of war. We scrubbed her decks, polished her brightwork, cleaned her sides, stoked her boilers, manned her guns, plowed her through the oceans of the world. Without men aboard, she was lifeless, frozen at a pier. With us aboard, she was a living creature, serving her country with pride, dignity and honor. Then time passed, and the men left, one by one. When the last man left, she again became a lifeless object, serving nothing but our memory. In time, other men came, and transformed her. Today she still serves our nation as, perhaps, mighty bridge trusses or delicate surgical instruments. She's still out there, perhaps remembering us as we remember her. Together, and only together were we a mighty ship. 
So snivel not, shipmates. Old Thunder is not dead. Like us, she's doing different things now. In fact, I'm guessing she's a lot more valuable to this nation in her present role than this old sailor.......

Jim Peden


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