Sweet Pea at War: A History of USS Portland

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University Press of Kentucky, Jun 1, 2005 - History - 290 pages
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"Few ships in American history have had as illustrious a history as the heavy cruiser USS Portland (CA-33), affectionately known by her crew as 'Sweet Pea.' With the destructionof most of the U.S. battleship fleet at Pearl Harbor, cruisers such as Sweet Pea carried the biggest guns the Navy possessed for nearly a year after the start of World War II. Sweet Pea at War describes in harrowing detail how Portland and her sisters protected the precious carriers and held the line against overwhelming Japanese naval strength. Portland was instrumental in the dramatic American victories at the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Battle of Midway, and the naval battle of Guadalcanal--conflicts that historians regard as turning points in the Pacific war. She rescued nearly three thousand sailors from sunken ships, some of them while she herself was badly damaged. Only a colossal hurricane ended her career, but she sailed home from that, too. Based on extensive research in official documents and interviews with members of the ship's crew, Sweet Pea at War recounts from launching to scrapping the history of USS Portland, demonstrating that she deserves to be remembered as one of the most important ships in U.S. naval history.

 

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Contents

The Ship
1
Before the War
12
Pearl Harbor
24
Early Days
35
Turning Points
44
Guadalcanal
58
Night Cruiser Action
72
Repairs
95
Life on Board
153
Leyte Gulf
169
1945
184
Wars End
198
The Final Mission
208
Legacies
226
Notes
237
Bibliography
273

Central Pacific
119
Mid1944
139

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About the author (2005)

William Thomas Generous, Jr. is adjunct associate professor of Peace, War, and Defense at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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