USS Phoenix (CL-46)

Phoenix passing battleships Arizona and West Virginia on 7 December, shortly after the Japanese attack. Photo in the collection of the US Navy History & Heritage Command.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down

Arguably better known as the ARA General Belgrano, USS Phoenix (CL-46) was a Brooklyn-class light cruiser, laid down in 1935. Commissioned in 1938, Phoenix conducted her shakedown cruise in the Caribbean and off South America, before transferring to the Pacific. Phoenix was undamaged during the attack on Pearl Harbor, and served in the Indian and Pacific Oceans during World War II. She participated in the Battle of Surigao Strait, and spen the rest of the war supporting operations in the Philippines. Phoenix decommissioned in 1946, and was sold to Argentina in 1951, recommissioning as ARA 17 de Octubre. Renamed to her more well-known name in 1955, she served in the Argentine Navy until 1982, when she was deployed to support the Argentine naval effort in the Falklands War. On 2 May, 1982, General Belgrano was hit by two torpedoes from the submarine HMS Conqueror, and sank with 323 of her crew.

Bonus Photos

Phoenix in Argentine service as General Belgrano, probably during the 1970s. Argentine photo, believed to be in the public domain.

Bonus Information

Fun Fact: Phoenix, as General Belgrano, was the only ship to be sunk in combat by a nuclear powered submarine, and only the second ship to be sunk in combat by submarine since the end of World War II.