USS Augusta (CA-31)

Augusta off the coast of Maine, c.March, 1945. Photo in the collection of the US Navy History & Heritage Command.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down

Laid down as the sixth and final Northampton-class heavy cruiser on 2 July, 1928, USS Augusta (CA-31) commissioned 30 January, 1931. Augusta carried nine 8" (204mm) guns in three triple turrets, and had a top speed of 32.7 knots. Augusta operated as flagship of the Scouting Force in the Atlantic until February, 1932, when they went to the eastern Pacific for the annual Fleet Problem exercise. Augusta remained in California with the Scouting Force in hopes to deter Japanese aggression in China (it didn't) until relieved as flagship in October, 1933. She was subsequently deployed to China, and relieved her sister Houston as flagship, Asiatic Fleet. She attended funeral ceremonies for Admiral Togo in June, 1934, and continued to show the flag and conduct exercises around the western Pacific for the next seven years. She returned to the US in December, 1940, and underwent a refit until April, 1941. She rejoined the Atlantic Fleet as the flagship of Admiral King, and was used to transport President Roosevelt to the Atlantic Charter conference with Prime Minister Churchill from 9-12 August. Augusta was relieved as flagship 17 January, 1942, and then conducted escort and patrol missions in the Atlantic until October, when she was detailed to provide cover for the invasion of North Africa. Augusta returned to Norfolk for yard work on 30 November, and rejoined the Atlantic front the following February. She conducted further escort and training missions until June, 1944, when she supported the Normandy Invasion. Detached to the Mediterranean in July, Augusta covered the invasion of southern France in August, before heading to Philadelphia in late September, for an extensive overhaul that lasted into January, 1945. Augusta continued her usual routine, interrupting it to take President Truman to the Potsdam Conference. Augusta was opened to the public from 25-30 October, 1945, before conducting Magic Carpet repatriation runs to Europe. She decommissioned on 16 July, 1946, and remained in the mothball fleet until 1 March, 1959. She was sold for scrap that November, and the work was done the following year.

Bonus Information

Fun Fact: Augusta hosted King George VI twice during World War II.