HISTORY

 


USS LITTLE ROCK was the first ship of the fleet to bear the name of the city of Little Rock,Arkansas. Her keel was laid down at the Cramp Shipbuilding yards on 6 March 1943. She was designated CL-92, a "Cleveland" class light cruiser. She was launched on 27 August 1944 and after commissioning on 17 June 1945she joined the fleet and maintained normal deployment until she was decommissioned 24 June 1949. (See more below table.)

 

Vitals
Displacement-tons
10,670 standard, 14,600 full load
Length-feet (meters)
600(182.9) waterline, 610(185.9)overall
Beam-feet (meters)
66.3(20.2)
Draft-feet (meters)
25(7.6)
Main Engines
4 geared steam turbines (General Electric),
100,000 shp,4 shafts
Boilers
4 (Babcock & Wilcox)
Speed
31.6 knots
Armament
12-6in (152mm) 47 cal Mark 16,in 4 triple turrets, 2 forward and 2 aft
12-5in (127mm) 38 cal Mark 12,in 6 mounts, 1 forward,1 aft, 4
amidships
as well as 24-40mm and 19-20mm anti-aircraft guns
Catapults
Two
Aircraft
Three - Curtis SeaHawks
Cost
$31,000,000




On 30 January 1957 LITTLE ROCK entered the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for conversion. Re-designated CLG 4 on 23 May 1957. The conversion work was done at New York Shipbuilding Corp. (Camden, New Jersey). She became one of a small number of ships that bridged the gap between the all gun Navy to the highly sophisticated missile ships of the new millennium. All but one 6in turret (No 1) and one 5in mount forward were removed. She was fitted with added communications, office and living spaces to accommodate a Fleet Commander and staff. Her complement was 1,680 officers and men (including fleet staff).

After conversion the main battery was the TALOS missile system with one twin launcher aft. The superstructure was enlarged to support new larger radar antenna as well as missile fire control equipment. She carried 46 Talos missiles. (Click on 'TALOS' above for more info) The conversion was completed in June 1960 and she was re-commissioned 3 June 1960.

LITTLE ROCK had served as Flagship for Commander Cruiser Division Four, Commander Second Fleet, and <http://www.c6f.navy.mil/index.html">Commander Sixth Fleetup to the time this writer joined the crew in 1965. She was at that time CommSecFleet Flag and soon thereafter was relieved by the USS NEWPORT-NEWS. After an extended ship-yard stay during 1965-66, in Portsmouth Va. at the famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) Norfolk Naval Shipyard the LITTLE ROCK began her second deployment as Sixth Fleet Flagship when she relieved the USS SPRINGFIELD on 25 January 1967 and changed her home port to Gaeta, Italy.

Her keel was laid with the world in a devastating "HOT" war, during her watch the "COLD" war came about and she was one of the agents of peace and of her country winning that great war. She goes into history with a big 'WELL DONE' knowing she had a part to play in the fall of the USSR and its brand of communism.

She was re-designated to CG-4 in June 1975, de-commissioned and stricken 22 November 1976. She was transferred to Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park!

The Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park opened to the public on 30 June 1979. It is the largest inland naval park of its kind in the United States. Not only is it home to the USS Little Rock (CLG-4) ,but also the destroyer USS The Sullivans (DD-537) , and a Submarine USS Croaker (SSK-246) . The USS LITTLE ROCK ASSOCIATION was formed in 1991 and is an association of servicemen and their spouses and or children and grandchildren who support with dues and contributions, repairs and upkeep on the ship, publish a newsletter, and organizes an annual reunion .(Click above to go to their web site and get more information.)