USS Columbia CL-56

USS Columbia CL-56 (HMTOU)

Location: Columbia, SC 29201 Richland County
Country: United States of America

N 34° 0.111', W 81° 2.55'

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( Light Cruiser )

U.S.S. Columbia CL-56
Commissioned 29 July 1942
Decommissioned 30 November 1946
Upper Plaque
The Secretary of the Navy takes pleasure in commending the
United States Ship Columbia
For service as follows:
" For outstanding heroism in action as a unitof Task Group 77, 2 operating in support ofthe initial landings at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon,Philippines from January 5 to 9, 1945. Engagedin bombardment of hostile shore defenses andin coverage of mine sweeping operations asa Japanese suicide dive bomber plunged toattack, the U.S.S. Columbia promtly openedfire, blasting the target upward and forcingit between foremast and mainmast to crash 50 feet from the side abreast of the bridge andspray the entire forward part of the ship withgasoline. Although saved from serious firesby the quick action of the repair crews.The Columbia suffered severe personnelcasualties later the same day when a hostile suicide dive bomber crashed her maindeck, put two turrets out of action andcaused progressive electrical failures fromextensive flooding. Despite her crippled condition and the increased damage resulting from a third suicide crash into theforward battery director. The Columbiastoutly continued her heavy bombardmentschedule after each fanatical attack, sendingher salvos into enemy gun positions andfacilities with punishing effect in gallantsupport of our assault forces until her vitalmission was fulfilled. A resolute andsturdy veteran, complemented by skilled andaggressive officers and men, the Columbia hasrendered distinctive service, sustaining andenhancing the finest tradition of the UnitedStates Naval Service."

All personnel attached to and servingon board the U.S.S. Columbia during theabove mentioned period are herebyauthorized to wear the Navy UnitCommendation Ribbon.
James Forrestal
Secretary of the Navy.

(Lower Plaque)
The Secretary of the Navy takes pleasure in commending the
Cruiser Division Twelve
For service as follows:
"For outstanding heroism in action against enemyJapanese combatatant ships off Empress Augusta Bay,the night of November 1-2, and the hostile air attack of the morning of November 2, 1943. Promptly uponinterception of a formation of twelve hostile surfacevessels on cours set for Empress Augusta Bay andthreatening our newly established beachhead, CruiserDivision Twelve opened fire. Operating at high speedand maneuvering violently under constant fire andsporadic shellfire illumination, these gallantfighting ships confused and disorganized the enemy,throwing off his fire control calculations and, bythe fierce and relentless blasts from their ownbatteries, destroyed one Japanese cruiser and onedestroyer and inflicted severe damage on twoadditional cruisers and two destroyers with onlyminor damage to our own units. Without fightercover when attacked during withdrawal by an overwhelming aerial force of high-level and divebombers with fighter escort, the cruisers sent upan umbrella of five inch- bursts, accurately findingtheir targets through the shrapnel-filled air andforcing the Japanese to retire with heavy losses.An aggressive daring group, coordinating as onepowerful weapon of destruction, Cruiser DivisionTwelve achieved a notable combat record, madepossible only by the courage, seamanship and daringdetermination of each ship's company, and servedwith distinction in driving the enemy from his southernstrongholds, thereby upholding the finest traditionsof the United States Naval Service."

All personnel attached to and serving on board theCleveland, Columbia, Montpelier or the Denver,November 1 -2, 1943, are hereby authorized to wearthe Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon.
/S/ James Forrestal
James Forrestal
Secretary of the Navy

(Left Plaque)
U.S.S. Columbia
Dec. 1942 ??? Aug. 1945
Actions and Operations
The U.S.S. Columbia participated in thefollowing actions and operationsagainst the Japanese duringWorld War II.

Capture and defense of Guadalcanal
Battle of Rennell Island
Consolidation of Solomon Islands
New Georgia Group Operation
Treasury-Bougainville Operation
Battle of Empress Augusta Bay
Bismark Archipelago Operation
Western Caroline Islands Operation
Leyte Operation
Battle of Surigao Straits
Luzon Operation
Lingayen Gulf Landing
Balikpapan - Borneo Operation
Anti - shipping sweep, East China and Yellow Seas

(Right Plaque)
U.S.S. Columbia
Dec. 1942 ??? Aug. 1945
In Memory
Of those officers and men killed and missing inWorld War II.
The following officers and men while servingon board were killed in action.
[List of 44 names]
The following officers and men while servingon board were reported missing in action.
(List of 16 names)

(Rear Left Panel)
Dedicated to perpetuate
the memory of the valiant
shipmates who served
aboard the Gallant ship.
U.S.S. Columbia CL-56.
Especially those killed in action
during World War II

Presented by:
USS Columbia CL-56 Association
April 20, 1991
(List of Contributers)

(Rear Center Panel)
U.S.S. Columbia CL - 56
The "Gem" of the Ocean
Beam ????? ????? ????? ???????? ???? 65'-71/2"
Length ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? 610'
Displacement ????? ????? ????? 10,000 Tons
Draft ????? ????? ????? ????? ???24'-5"
Rated Speed????? ????? ?????? 33 Knots
Horsepower????? ????? ????? ? 100,000
Main Battery ????? ????? ??12-6" 47 Caliber
Secondary Battery ????? ?? 12-5" 38 Caliber
Antiaircraft Batteries?????40 MM
Antiaircraft Batteries???? 20 MM
Steamed Mileage ????? ???? 178, 023

Commissioned ????? ????????29 July 1942
Decommissioned ????? ????? 30 Nov 1946

(Rear Right Panel)
29 July 1942 ????? ????? ?????2 Sept. 1945
The Columbia is officially credited with the following:
Destruction of 27 planes
Assisting in the sinking of
1 Cruiser and 1 Destroyer
at the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay
2 Battleships, 1 Cruiser and 1 Destroyer
at the Battle of Surigao Straits

10 Battlestars
2 Navy Unit Citations
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 27th, 2014 at 11:25am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 496075 N 3762361
Decimal Degrees34.00185000, -81.04250000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 0.111', W 81° 2.55'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 0' 6.66" N, 81° 2' 33.00" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)704, 803
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 745 Washington St, Columbia SC 29201, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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