USS Chester (CA-27)

Chester in May, 1944, after her latest overhaul. Camouflage pattern is Measure 32, design 9d. Photo in the collection of the US Navy History & Heritage Command.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down

Laid down 6 March, 1928, USS Chester was a Northampton-class light cruiser. Commissioned 24 June, 1930, Chester was reclassified the following year as a heavy cruiser, in accordance with the London Naval Treaty. Catapults and floatplanes were added to her inventory in 1932, after which she joined the Pacific Fleet. Chester was involved in several high-profile missions during the 1930s, including escorting FDR on a South American goodwill tour. She was at sea on 7 December, 1941, escorting the carrier Enterprise, and missed the attack on Pearl Harbor. Chester continued supporting the carriers in the early War, and was damaged by a bomb hit, 1 February, 1942, while retiring from the Marshall Islands Raid. Following repairs, Chester was sent down to the Coral Sea with Yorktown and stuck with her through the Battle, but missed Midway, having been sent to the West Coast for an overhaul. Chester was only back in action for a month, before she was torpedoed on 20 October, 1942, by the submarine I-176, putting her out of action for eleven months. After a brief period escorting convoys, Chester was sent to bombard the Gilberts in preparation for the invasion of Tarawa in November, 1943. Chester spent most of 1944 on odd patrol work, and missed seeing action in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, being attached to the main carrier force, and seeing no action herself. She was detached for fire support during the invasion of Iwo Jima, which was followed by yet another overhaul on the West Coast, and then patrol duty off Okinawa until the end of July. She was then assigned to minesweeping operations off the Yangtze River, and then covering the occupation of Northern Japan. Chester participated in Operation Magic Carpet during the end of the year, and decommissioned 10 June, 1946. She remained in the reserve fleet until 1959, and was sold for scrap 11 August.