A Chronological History
of the U.S. Navy Cruiser
U.S.S. LITTLE ROCK
CL 92 / CLG 4 / CG 4


Page last updated: 24 August, 2018


1940 - 1945
1940 - 1942     1943 - 1944     1945



1940 - 1942

29 Oct 40
-
Contract for construction of USS Little Rock CL 92 is awarded to William Cramp & Sons Shipbuilding Co., Philadelphia, PA. (See Note 5. below)


1943 - 1944

06 Mar 43
-
USS Little Rock (CL 92) keel laid down by Wm. Cramp & Sons Shipbuilding Co., Phila. PA.
1943 - 1944
-
Ship under construction at Wm. Cramp & Sons Shipbuilding.
14 Aug 44
-
Earl Glen Philbeck enlists in the United States Navy and is sworn in at Spartenburg, SC.
(See Note 4 below.)
27 Aug 44
-
USS Little Rock is launched, sponsored by Mrs. Samuel Wassell.


-
Arkansas Congressman Brooks Hays provided remarks, and was accompanied by Arkansas Senator John L. McClellan and Junior Congressman J. William Fulbright.  (Click to see news article.)


1945

30 Apr
-
Adolph Hitler commits suicide.
01 - 07 May
-
Various German operations surrender, essentially ending the war in Europe.
08 May
-
Surrender is ratified. VE Day ("Victory in Europe") is celebrated in Europe.
15 Jun
-
LITTLE ROCK delivered to U.S. Navy by Cramp Shipbuilding. Crew reports on board.
17 Jun
0530
Reveille


1400
USS Little Rock, CL 92 is commissioned, with Capt. William E. Miller in command.


-
Fitting out at NSY Philadelphia, PA.  (Program)
18-30 Jun
-
Continued fitting out at NSY Philadelphia, PA.
01-07 Jul
-
Continued fitting out at NSY Philadelphia, PA.
03 Jul

-
Commenced fueling ship. Took on approx. 450,000 galloms.
08 Jul
0530
Reveille


0700
Departed NSY Philadelphia. Made river run to point 5 miles south of Overfalls Light Vessel. Some problems with battle phone circuits. Speed attained 26 knots.


2230
Returned to NSY Philadelphia, PA.
09 Jul
-
Continued fitting out.
10 Jul
-
Loaded projectiles at Navy Yard, Philadelphia.
11 Jul
-
Continued fitting out.
12 Jul
-
Continued fitting out. Commenced readiness for sea.
13 Jul
0700
Moved downriver about 1 mile, to Fort Mifflin, to load Ammo... 5" and 6" shells,  powder cans, aerial depth charges (for seaplanes), and catapult charges. No ammo for 20 mm or 40 mm yet.


-
Anchored off Cape May, NJ in Delaware Bay.
14 Jul
0950
Underway for compass compensating lower Delaware Bay.
Anchored at SE end of Brown Shoals in Delaware Bay.


1530
Hanger Bay sprinkler activated. Hanger and Elevator pit sprayed with salt water.
15 Jul
-
Sunday. Anchored. Equipment testing and checks. Rain.
16 Jul
0700
Underway. GQ. Launch and retrieve planes.  At anchor SE end of  Brown Shoals in Delaware Bay.
17 Jul
0600
Underway. GQ. Fired 6" and 5" guns for structural test.


-
Refueled by USS Elokomin AO 55.
18 Jul
1230
Moored stbd side to at deperming (degaussing) station, Lambert Pt., Norfolk, VA.
19 Jul
0600
Underway for Pier #7 NOB, Norfolk, VA.


0739
Moored to Pier #7. Received fuel, provisions and (3) SOC-1 airplanes. (This information was derived from a crew member diary. There is no record of LITTLE ROCK ever having SOC-1 seaplanes.  This is most likely an error, and should read "SC-1 seaplanes.)


-
Capt. William E. Miller CO was commissioned an "Arkansas Traveler" on board by Mayor Dan T. Sprick of Little Rock, Arkansas .
20 Jul
0000
Reported for duty to Commander-in-Chief, US Fleet; Commander-in-Chief, US Atlantic Fleet, and Commander Fleet Operational Training Command.


0755
Underway for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba


-
First launch of a Curtiss SC-1 "Seahawk". Aircraft pilot was Lt. Frank.
21 Jul
-
Underway for Guantanamo Bay. Exercised at ship and gunnery drills.


-
Personnel Inspection. (According to Philip Taaffe, all non-regulation clothes discovered during Inspection "were thrown over the side then and there."


-
General Quarters Drill held during the afternoon.


-
General Quarters Drill.
22 Jul
-
Sunday. Underway for Guantanamo Bay. Exercised at ship and gunnery drills.


-
Payday for the crew.


-
Launched aircraft.
23 Jul
0800
Reported to Commander Training Group Guantanamo Bay for shakedown.


0812
Arrived at entrance buoy 2GBE. Guantanamo Bay.


0842
Moored portside of fuel dock BB-1.


1511
Anchored - Berth 17.
24 Jul
0655
Underway for training.


-
Conducted Man-Overboard Drill.
25 Jul
-
At sea. Training


-
1330-1500 General Quarters


-
Water rationing imposed - 20 gallons per man per day. (Was 23 gal./man/day.)
26 Jul
0630
Entered Guantanamo Bay.


-
General Quarters drill 1030-1230, and 1330-1830. (6+ hours long)


-
Weather very hot. Crew sleeping topside.


-
A valve was accidentally left on filling Fireroom #1 firebox with water. (Heads rolled!)
27 Jul
-
Underway for exercises.


-
Anchored Guantanamo Bay in company with USS Lake Champlain.


-
Evening movie "Here Come the Co-eds" with Bud Abbott & Lou Costello.


-
Weather continues very hot. Crew sleeping topside.
28 Jul
-
At anchor Guantanamo Bay.  Personnel Inspection (Saturday)
29 Jul
0730
Underway. Practice shore bombardment Culebra Island. 


-
Mount #3 fired a pair of 5" HE with one shell bursting about 20' out of the barrel. Fragments struck ship starting small fires.
30 Jul
-
At sea off south coast of Cuba.


-
General Quarters Drill


-
Training and night cruising.
31 Jul
-
Reveille. At sea.


-
General Quarters Drill. Secured at 0830.


-
Steaming singly south of Cuba. Training in ship handling, night illumination. Heavy seas.


-
Cigarettes in Ship's Store cost 55¢ per carton!


-
General Quarters Drill. Secured at 2215.
01 Aug
-
At Sea. Full power run.


-
Entered Guantanamo Bay, anchored berth #17.


-
Zone Inspection. Secured at 1600.


-
Liberty for Section 4.
02 Aug
0700
Underway. Casualty, Gunnery and Damage Control Drills.


-
Anchored berth #17. In company with USS Portsmouth.
03 Aug
0700
Underway. Launch and recover aircraft. Drills. 5" guns shot down two (2) sleeves.
04 Aug
-
At sea. Drills and exercises.


-
One of the SC-1 float planes nosed over during landing. Pilot was okay, but lost his wallet ($55). When the rescuing motor whaleboat was alongside it nearly capsized when caught in the ship's back-down wake. The SC-1 was lost.


-
Ship is secured for heavy weather. Hurricane over Santo Domingo.
05 Aug
-
At sea. Bad weather.


-
WT3 Philip Taaffe records in his notebook diary that today was the hottest he could remember the Fireroom (#1) ever being. He also records that steamed at 22 knots on a single boiler (#1).


-
Night cruising.
06 Aug
-
At sea. Exercise 5", 20mm, 40mm. Battle practice.
(Note: On this date U.S. drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.)


1320
General Quarters Drill until 1410.


1700
Man-Overboard Drill


2000
General Quarters Drill and Night-Firing Exercises until 2230.
07 Aug
0530
At sea. General Quarters Drill until 0930. Crew ate morning meal at their battle stations.


-
Shore bombardment exercise. Launch at recover SC-1 aircraft. Night tactics and cruising.


-
Crew hears about US atomic bomb.
08 Aug
-
At sea.
Note: On this date the Soviet Union declares war on Japan.


0630
Entered Guantanamo Bay. Moored to fueling cay BB-1. Shift to #17.


-
Captain inspects lower-decks.


-
SC-1 Aircraft #35555 was lost off CubaThe following info was derived from a Navy accident report:  Accident Date:  8/4/1945 (See Note A. below),  Aircraft Type: SC-1,  Aircraft Number: 35555,  Ship Number: CL 92, Ship Name: USS LITTLE ROCK,  Location: OFF CUBA,  Area: CENLANT,  Pilot: Name not shown (See Note B. below).

Note A. It is unlikely that the accident occurred on 04 Aug, as the ship was secured for heavy weather.
Note B. John Breslin's Oral History reports that the pilot was Ensign Merriman.



-
Evening's movie "Leave it to Blondie" with Penny Sigleton, Arthur Lake and Larry Simms.
09 Aug
-
At anchor for upkeep and inspections.
(Note: On this date U.S. drops atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan.)
10 Aug
0630
Underway from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.


-
Exercised towing with USS Portsmouth. Towing wire fouled Portsmouth rudder or propellers.


-
Fired at drones ("Moderate success").


-
Abandon Ship drills.
11 Aug
-
Exercised fueling, passing stores and personnel with DD864 USS Ellison.
12 Aug
-
Full power run. Reach ahead from 31 kts to dead-in-water 947 yds.


-
Towing practice with USS Providence.


-
Crew practices firing against remote-controlled (from the ship) drones,


-
Roast Turkey for dinner
13 Aug
-
Bombardment rehearsal with USS Portsmouth, Ellison and Turner.


-
Ham for dinner.
14 Aug
-
Japan surrenders. LITTLE ROCK crew received news that the war was over.
Done firings, Day Battle practice. Night AA practice.
(Note: On this date Japan surrenders.)
15 Aug
0705
Entered Guantanamo Bay for upkeep and inspection.


-
Movie for the evening was "Practically Your's" with Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray.


-
Emperor Hirohito of Japan announces the surrender of Japan.
16 Aug
-
At anchor for upkeep and inspection.


-
Payday for the crew.
17 Aug
0700
Underway. AA practice. Refuel 200,000 gallons, then tow tanker. Counter-measure practice.


-
Movies on the fantail.
18 Aug
0430
Reveille.


0505
General Quarters Drill


-
Shore bombardment. Day Battle and Drone practice. Knocked down drone on 2nd run.
19 Aug
-
Overcast cancels drone exercise. Evening AA practice.
20 Aug
-
Drone practice with 6" and 5".  6" not very close. 5" knocked down drone. 20mm practice.
21 Aug
-
Entered Guantanamo Bay for upkeep prior to COTCLANT Inspection.
22 Aug
-
The evening:  "Where Do We Go From Here?" with Fred MacMurray and Joan Leslie.
22 - 24 Aug
-
Continued preparations for COTCLANT Inspection.
25 Aug
0955
Commenced COTCLANT "At Anchor" Inspection.


1130
Underway for "Underway Portion" of Inspection


1715
Returned to Guantanamo Bay to disembark Inspection Team.


1815
Underway for Culebra for bombardment exercise.
26 Aug
-
Enroute Culebra.
27 Aug
-
Off Culebra.


0754
Commenced bombardment.


1130
Completed bombardment.


-
Headed northward during the night.
28 Aug
0826
Commenced bombardment.


1130
Completed bombardment.  Underway for Philadelphia, PA with speed-run test enroute.
29 Aug
-
Enroute Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA
30 Aug
0700
Enroute Philadelphia


1822
Moored starboard side to at Pier 5, PNY, Philadelphia, PA.
31 Aug
-
Moored as before, PNY, Philadelphia, PA
01-16 Sep
-
Undergoing repairs and alterations at Pier 5, PNY, Philadelphia, PA
02 Sep
-
Japan signs surrender on board USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, Tokyo, Japan.
17 Sep
-
Entered drydock No. 3 for inspection of rudder post and packing. Packing was renewed.
Rudder post was in good condition.


-
Rumors abound that LITTLE ROCK will be "the flagship" for the upcoming Navy Day celebrations in New York City, however it turns out that LITTLE ROCK will be in San Juan, PR on 27 Oct.
18-19 Sep
-
Hurricane #9 (downgraded to an "extra-tropical depression on 18 Sep) strikes the Mid-Atlantic area with heavy rains and wind of up to 50 mph.
21 Sep
-
Undocked and moved to Pier #5. Continued overhaul work.
23 Sep
-
Yard availability expired.
25 Sep
-
Depart Philadelphia Navy Yard, Phila. PA for Fort Mifflin, PA to load ammunition.
26 Sep
0930
Underway for Newport, RI.


-
In lower Delaware Bay by afternoon.


-
General Quarters drill in the evening.


-
Rumors of  South America cruise circulate among the crew.
27 Sep
0830
Anchored, Berth 54, East Passage, Newport, RI in 20 fathoms.


-
USS Augusta CA-31 in port.
28-30 Sep
-
At anchor Berth 54 Newport Harbor.
01 Oct
-
At anchor.


0815
Embarked USS Juneau trainees.
02 Oct
0900
Underway on first of 3 five-day trips between Goat Is. and Block Is., with Middies from Annapolis (?). All types of drills for them with 1 Day liberty in Newport, RI, each week.


-
Poor weather prevented drills.


1730
Anchored Block Island, in 16 fathoms
03 Oct
0800
Underway for drills and General Quarters.
04 Oct
-
20 and 40mm firing exercises.


1700
Anchored off Block Island.
05 Oct
0830
Underway for Newport Harbor.


1112
Moored to Buoy #5.


1315
Disembarked trainees.
06-07 Oct
-
Moored Newport Harbor.
08 Oct
-
Received trainees from USS Princeton Commissioning Detail.
09 Oct
-
Underway for ship handling and AA training.


1640
Anchored east of Block Island.
10 Oct
0800
Underway for AA tracking and simulated Air Strikes.
11 Oct
0723
Entered Narragansett Seaward Channel.


-
5", 20mm and 40mm exercises.


1725
Anchored east of Block Island.
12 Oct
0830
Underway for Newport Harbor.


1120
Moored to Buoy #5 Newport Harbor.
13-14 Oct
-
At anchor Newport Harbor.
15 Oct
0830
Received trainees from USS Princeton Commissioning Detail.
16 Oct
0900
Underway for training in Narragansett Seaward Channel.


1735
Anchored east of Block Island.
17 Oct
0830
Underway for training exercises. AA drills, steering casualty, man over-board.


2035
General Quarters drill.
18 Oct
0737
Passed Buoy "A" Narragansett Seaward Channel. Weather prevented gunnery exercise.


1630
Moored to Buoy #5
19-20 Oct
-
Moored to Buoy #5 Newport Harbor. (War Diary discontinued.)
21 Oct
-
Departed Newport, RI for South America cruise via San Juan, PR.


-
Pass Ambrose Lightship, NY.
22 Oct
-
LITTLE ROCK passes Cape Charles, VA
23 Oct
-
Ship is about 100 miles off the coast of Georgia, USA.
24 Oct
-
Off the coast of Florida.
25 Oct
-
Calm blue seas.
25 Oct
-
Prophylactic treatments were administered to 231 crew members upon return from liberty.
26 Oct
-
Prophylactic treatments were administered to 289 crew members upon return from liberty.


1405
Moored starboard side at Frontier Base Wharf, San Juan, PR.
26 - 27 Oct
-
USS Little Rock holds two-day open house. Hours 1000-1100 and 1300-1600.
27 Oct
-
"Navy Day" celebrations. Approximately 6,800 Puerto Ricans visit the USS Little Rock.
28 Oct
-
CDR J.T. Hazen, XO, USS LITTLE ROCK, participates in a radio broadcast (WKAQ).
25-30 Oct (?)
-
LITTLE ROCK crew acquires puppy "Hash Mark"
30 Oct
1249
Underway for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, SA. Start of CL 92's South America cruise.
04 Nov
-
"Davy Jones" arrives aboard LITTLE ROCK.
05 Nov
0810
"King Neptune" arrives on board with his retinue. Crossed the Equator at Longitude 37° 00' W while heading south. Wild "hi-jinks" aboard! "Shellback" certificates and wallet size  cards were issued to all those crew members who were initiated into King Neptune's Court.
06 Nov
-
In port. Rio Grande, Brazil
(09?)10 Nov
-
Arrive Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Moor starboard side to at Cais del Porto dock.
19 Nov
-
Dress ship in honor of Brazil's Flag Day.
20 Nov
1035
Underway after a vigorous inspection for stowaways.
23 Nov
-
An Albatross was sighted by Cdr. Arthur Schultz (the ship's doctor).
24 Nov
1207
Moored starboard side to at Montevideo, Uruguay.


1500
US Ambassador William Dawson, Ambassador to Uruguay came on board.


-
Ship's Band performs for Ambassador Dawson.
26 Nov
-
Ambassador to Bolivia Pierre Boal comes aboard for lunch.
28 Nov
-
The Polyfonic Choir of the Talleres Don Bosco school performs aboard LITTLE ROCK.
30 Nov
-
Uruguayan Railroad hosts rail trip for 300 crew to interior of Uruguay.
03 Dec
1032
Depart Montevideo, Uruguay for Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
04 Dec (?)
-
"Hash Mark" breaks her leg.
05 Dec
-
At sea. Planned arrival at Rio Grande do Sul is delayed because of adverse winds and seas.


-
Moored at Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
08 Dec
-
At Rio Grande do Sul.


-
Ship and Personnel inspection by Captain Miller.
11 Dec
-
At Rio Grande do Sul.
12 Dec
-
Moored starboard side at A-2 Porto Nova Dock, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.


-
Captain William E. Miller flew to Rio de Janeiro.


-
Evening movie " Sweet Rosie O'Grady".
15 Dec
0847
Underway for Santos, Brazil
17 Dec
1537
Moored portside abreast Companhia Docas de Armazem ("Armazem Company docks") at Santos (Sao Paulo), Brazil, SA.
18 Dec
-
Approximately 300 CL 92 sailors are guests at a picnic held for the crew of USS Little Rock. Festivities included a barbecue, swimming and a ball game.


-
Rioting breaks out between Japanese, Brazilian civilians and CL 92 liberty party. (Note 3.)
19 Dec
-
Liberty for crew is canceled due to unrest in Sao Paulo.
21 Dec
1456
Underway for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
22 Dec
1058
Moored starboard side to Praca Maua, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 13 day stop!
25 Dec
-
Christmas in Rio !!


-
The ship's band performs on the mess decks and plays, among other things, "I'm Dreaming of A White Christmas"
27 Dec
-
Moored Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Notes:

1.
Date shown for ports generally indicates arrival date.

2.

Port stays are typically 3-5 days.

3.

Rioting involving the LITTLE ROCK crew created an international incident.

4.


The letters of Earl Glen Philbeck have contributed greatly to the ship's chronology for the years 1945 and 1946. His letters were sent primarily to his wife Dorothy. Earl
was married to Dorothy "Dot" (Gamble) Philbeck, and they had two children, a son Tommy, and a daughter Glenda.  Mrs. Philbeck was living in Forest City, NC during the time Earl was in the Navy. Shipmate Philbeck died on 02 Oct 2011. He was predeceased by his wife and son. The letters were part of a collection of Philbeck's Navy memorabilia obtained by USS Little Rock shipmate Wayne McDermott MU2 1968-1970.

5.


Cramp Shipbuilding Company,  closed in 1927,  was reopened in 1941.  Over the next four years the yard would begin construction on six (6) Cleveland Class light cruisers. They were as follows:

Builder's Number
Name
Navy Hull No.
Comp. Date
532
Miami
CL-89
1942
533
Astoria
CL-90
1943
534
Oklahoma City
CL-91
1944
535
Little Rock
CL 92
1944
536
Galveston
CL-93
1945
537
Youngstown
CL-94
Not Comp.

In addition to the five Light Cruisers completed during this period, Cramp Shipbuilding Company also completed
the following other type vessels: (10) Workshop barges,  (5) Ocean Tugs,  (1) Transport ship,  (1) Repair Ship  and
(14) Submarines.
6.
Thanks to the family of WT3 Philip G. Taaffe (1945-1946) for the donation of his notebooks and photo album, without which many of the details for 1945-1946 would be missing.


Click below to go to another time-frame
1941-1945
1946
1947-1956
1957-1965
1966-1973
1974-1979
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