A Chronological History

of the U.S. Navy Cruiser USS Little Rock
CL 92 / CLG 4 / CG 4

Page last updated: 19 March, 2021

30 Apr 45 - Adolph Hitler commits suicide.
01 Jan - New Year's in Rio !!
02 Jan - "Farewell" party held on board.
03 Jan 1605 Underway at 1605 for Recife, Brazil, SA
07 Jan 0847 Moored starboard side to berth #3 Recife, Brazil
09 Jan - Some crew see their first "Jangada" a home made sailing craft unique to northern Brazil.
11 Jan 0831 Underway for Bahia, Brazil
12 Jan 0847 Moored portside to berth #9 Bahia, Brazil
15 Jan - Began to get underway at 0835 for Rio de Janeiro. Pilot backed the ship into the dock, making a small dent in the stern. Prop wash creates havoc, but no real damage to adjacent ships.
- Anchored out while divers inspected screws.
1000 Underway
17 Jan 0651 Anchored Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- Honor Guard for George G. Bee who died in Brazilian Air Force Hospital. (See Note 4.)
- Took on supplies.
1754 Underway for Cape Horn and Concepcion, Chile.
18-19 Jan - 35 - 40 knot gale.
20 Jan - Sighted whales and many birds, but no icebergs.
22 Jan - Falkland Islands visible in the distance from lookout posts.
23 Jan 2123 USS Little Rock "Doubles the Cape" westward by rounding Cape Horn, Argentina, SA. Wind about 9 knots. Temperature 55 deg. F.  Many penguins sighted.
- "Mossback" certificates issued to the ship's crew indicate USS Little Rock doubled Cape Horn at Longitude 67 degs 16.2' West, Latitude 56 degs 06.5'South.
28 Jan - USS Little Rock is off the coast of Chile.
- Ship's band provided evening entertainment on the Mess Decks
29 Jan - Arrive at Concepcion, Chile
0957 Anchored off Naval base Concepcion, Chile. 8 fathoms, mud bottom.
- No Liberty for the crew because of political climate.
30 Jan - At Concepcion, Chile. No Liberty because of political unrest.
31 Jan 0903 Underway for Valpariso, Chile
01 Feb 0908 Let go starboard anchor in 23 fathoms. Moored stern to breakwater, Valpariso, Chile.
02 Feb - Great fishing from the ship!
- Crew parades to a statue of Arturo Prat. Captain William E. Miller places a wreath.
03 Feb - At Valpariso, Chile.
11 Feb 0910 Underway from Valpariso, Chile.
13 Feb 1437 Moored stern to mooring buoy. Antofagasta, Chile, in 45 fathoms.
16 Feb 1021 Underway for Iquique, Chile
17 Feb 1030 Moored stern to buoy at Iquique in 9 fathoms.
20 Feb - Reception for Chilean civilians, Army, Navy, and Air Force personnel.
- Chilean sailors visit in the evening to watch movie and visit Gedunk.
21 Feb 0957 Depart Chile, underway for Callao (Lima), Peru
- Fired 5" guns
23 Feb 0937 Moored portside to commercial Pier #44 South Callao, Peru.
28 Feb 1001 Underway with U.S. Ambassador on board.
1645 Moored starboard side to Pier #2 Callao, Peru.
01 Mar - The 01 Mar 46 issue of "Our Navy" lists USS Little Rock as "Atlantic Fleet, Active" in the "Cruisers" category, along with Providence, Worcester, Fargo, Houston, Portsmouth, Huntington and Roanoke.
03 Mar - Underway from Callao, Peru passing live penguins standing on the jetty! (Warm weather at 12 deg. Lat.)
07 Mar - Anchored off Santa Elena, Equador, SA.  No liberty for crew.
09 Mar - Underway from Santa Elena, Ecuador.
- About 1800 crossed Equator heading north.
- Approximately 25 new "Pollywogs" and ship's band members were initiated into King Neptune's realm.
11 Mar - Arrive Balboa, Panama, CZ.
11 - 15 Mar - Transited Panama Canal along with a Navy LCI.
15 Mar - At Colon, Panama, CZ. Moored near German cruiser Pritz Eugen.
16-18 Mar - Cartagena, Colombia, SA.
- Picnic given to crew by Colombian Navy.
22 Mar - Depart Cartagena, Colombia for United States.
23 Mar - Receive distress call from Navy LCI (See 11-15 Mar above.) Took LCI in tow.
24 Mar - LCI released to tugboat. 
- Docked at NOB, Norfolk, VA. (This date and event mark the end of the South America cruise.)
26 Mar - At Norfolk, VA
30 Mar - Anchored offshore, Norfolk, VA alongside USS Briareus, AR12.
? Apr - Moved to drydock, Portsmouth, VA.
18 Apr - Leave drydock.
19 Apr - Depart Norfolk, VA for Trinidad along with Eighth Fleet (Adm. Marc A. Mitscher) for exercises in Caribbean.  (See Note 3.)
30 Apr - Port au Spain, Trinidad for 4 days of liberty, along with Midway CVB 41 and Portsmouth CL 102.
02 May - LITTLE ROCK crew celebrates with a beach party at Scotland Bay, Trinidad.
04 May - Underway for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
?? May - Anchor Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for 3 days. Other ships of Eighth Fleet anchored in Guantanamo Bay  included Midway, Princeton, FDR, Macon, Dayton, hospital ship Consolation, and numerous auxiliaries.
10 May - Depart Guantanamo Bay.
12 May - Arrive Philadelphia Naval Shipyard
13-19 May ?? - Gunnery exercises at Culebra, PR with US Naval Ships Missouri, Dayton and Macon.
21 May - At sea. Conduct underway replenishment.
28 May - Anchor in Hudson River, New York City, NY
04 Jun - Departed Philadelphia, PA for England
10 Jun - Pass by Lands End, England enroute to Plymouth, England
11 Jun - Early AM sighted Scilly Islands.
- 17 gun salute received from British
1500 Arrived Plymouth, England.
14 Jun - Depart for Gibraltar
16 Jun 1400 Arrive Gibraltar (delivered propeller for USS Providence)
17 Jun 1300 Depart Gibraltar
18 Jun - Arrive back at Portsmouth, England
23 Jun - Underway from Portsmouth, England
25-26 Jun - Maneuvers underway. Traverse Irish Sea.
26 Jun 1400 Arrived and anchored at Scapa Flow
28 Jun 1400 Anchored at Invergordon, Scotland with destroyers USS Warrington DD843 and USS Perry DD844.
28-29 Jun - Invergordon & Inverness, Scotland
29 Jun 1800 Depart Invergordon
29-30 Jun - Underway.
- On Sunday, June 30th the New York Times ran the following article:

U.S. Fleet to Visit Scandinavia

LONDON June 29 - Six ships of the United States Twelfth Fleet, including
the light cruiser Houston, Flagship of Admiral H. Kent Hewitt, Commander
of United States Naval Forces in Europe, will make a month's good-will tour
of Scandinavian and Low Country ports beginning July 1.

Cities to be visited are Oslo, Gothenburg, Stockholm, Aalborg, Copenhagen,
Antwerp, Ostend, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

01 - 03 Jul - Gothenburg, Sweden
04 - 09 Jul - Copenhagen, Denmark
08 Jul - Captain Henri Smith-Hutton reports aboard CL 92
09-10 Jul - Underway in the Baltic.
11-18 Jul - Stockholm, Sweden
11 Jul - Captain Henri Smith-Hutton relieves Captain William E. Miller as CO of CL 92.
- At this time LITTLE ROCK operating with U.S.S. Houston CL 81 (COM12THFLT Admiral Hewitt, CO CAPT Neil Kittrell Dietrich), USS Perry DD844 (CDR Clyde James Van Arsdall Jr.), USS Warrington DD843 (CDR Donald Wesley Wulzen), USS Glennon DD840 (CDR George Washington Pressey), and USS Cone DD866 (CDR John Shannon).
17 Jul - Morning departure from Stockholm, Sweden.
18 Jul - Entered Kiel Canal in the afternoon.
18-19 Jul - Transit Kiel Canal (8 hours / 61 miles).
- Sighted and avoided large mine 300 yards off the port bow.
22 Jul - Underway
20 - 24 Jul - Antwerp, Belgium
24 Jul 1000 Depart Antwerp.
25 Jul - Enter and transit North Sea Canal
25 - 30 Jul - Amsterdam, Netherlands with USS Warrington DD843 and USS Perry DD844.
- Dutch newspapers ran the following regarding the LITTLE ROCK's visit....

The visit to Amsterdam

Drawn by four tugs of about half the weight, the 12,000-ton American cruiser
Little Rock, followed by torpedo hunters Warrington and Perry entered the port of
Amsterdam. The guests were also greeted by the naval commander of the city.

30 Jul 1800 Departed Amsterdam via North Sea Canal. 50 knot winds in North Sea.
31 Jul - Arrive Plymouth, England in the evening.
31 Jul -12 Aug - Plymouth, England
13-14 Aug - Underway to Lisbon, Portugal
15 - 21 Aug - Lisbon, Portugal at Alcantara docks. Join U.S.S. Roosevelt (RADM Cassady COMCARDIVONE)
22 - 23 Aug - At Gibraltar
24 - 26 Aug -
27 Aug - 03 Sep - Naples, Italy
04 - 09 Sep - Piraeus, Greece (port city of Athens)
- News Release: Dated September 5, 1946
USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, flying the flag of Rear Admiral John H. Cassady, COMCARDIVONE escorted by USS Little Rock CL 92 under the command of Henri H. Smith-Hutton, USS Cone, USS New and USS Corry, visited Piraeus, the port of Athens, Greece
08 Sep - Captain Henri Smith-Hutton receives Order of the Phoenix from Greek Minister of Defense
09 Sep - Underway
10 - 12 Sep - Valetta, Malta
13 Sep - Underway
14 - 16 Sep - Bone, Algeria
(17?) 19 Sep - Returned to Malta to pick up Admiral Mitscher of World War II fame, who had become ill, and transported him back to the USA.
27 Sep - 22 Oct - Norfolk, VA. Conducted Training Exercises off the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.
25 - 29 Oct - New York, NY
27 Oct - Moored at Buoy A off 81st Street, North River.
- Navy Day 1946
30 Oct - 14 Nov - At Norfolk, VA
01 Nov - "Our Navy" magazine Nov. 1, 1946 issue states in the "Scheduled for shift assignment" section that:  ".... the USS Little Rock (was) transferred to U.S. waters from the Mediterranean late in September (of 1946).
15 Nov - Departed Chesapeake Bay to began Cold Weather Training in northern waters in the area between Greenland and Canada along with USS Missouri and four destroyers. (See additional details of this trip in Captain Smith-Hutton's memoirs.)
21 Nov (?) - LITTLE ROCK strikes USS Missouri with starshell during gunnery practice. ( Information suggests that this incident actually occured on 13 Dec.  See Note 5. below.)
30 Nov - Crossed Arctic Circle at 56 deg 23' West Longitude. All CL 92 crew members on board at this date qualify for Blue Nose Certificate.
03 Dec - Re-crossed Arctic Circle south-bound (Longitude Not Known).
10 - 16 Dec (?) - At Argentia, Newfoundland
13 Dec - LITTLE ROCK strikes USS Missouri with starshell during gunnery practice. (Other information suggests that his incident occured on 21 Nov. See Note 5. below.)
13 Dec - Arrive New York, NY. Moor at Pier 26, North River, NY City, NY.
21 Dec - LITTLE ROCK hosts Christmas Party for underprivileged children.
- From Capt. Smith-Hutton's memoirs:
"During the holidays the Commandant of the 3rd Naval District
asked us to act as host for three Christmas parties for underprivileged
children. The public relations staff of the District attended to all of the
details, providing food, presents and entertainment, but they asked us to
furnish guides and men to keep an eye on the small visitors, so that they wouldn't
get hurt. These parties were a great success, and it seemed to me that the men
detailed to help with them had as much fun as the children did."
22 Dec - On Dec. 22 the New York Times reported.... 
"They were dreaming of a white Christmas,
but the Weather Man changed it for them, so 250 children had to be content with a rainy
Christmas party yesterday aboard the United States light cruiser LITTLE ROCK.  The
cruiser was at Pier 26, North River, at Moore Street."
31 Dec - During the afternoon USS Little Rock pilot Charles R. Fitzpatrick, Lt(jg), USNR died when his SC-1 Seahawk crashed off Rehoboth Beach, New Jersey. (Aircraft Accident Card)

  1. Dateshown for ports generallyindicates arrival date.
  2. Portstays are typically 3-5 days.
  3. In July 1945, Mitscher became Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Air. During March-September 1946 he commanded the Eighth Fleet during the Navy's first major post-World War II combat training exercises. Admiral Mitscher was then assigned as Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. While holding that position he died of a heart attack on 03 February 1947. Click HERE for photo of Admiral Mitscher, Commander, Eighth Fleet, on the bridge of his flagship, circa 1946.
  4. We are missing data pertaining to this item. Let us know if you can add any info.
  5. The details regarding the incident where LITTLE ROCK struck the USS Missouri with starshell during gunnery practice is somewat incomplete. Two dates are given as to when the incident occured: 21 Nov 1946, and 13 Dec 1946. Here are two significantly different eye-witness accounts:
    1. From November 21-27, 1946, USS Missouri (BB-63) was en route to Davis Strait as part of Task Group 20.2, which also included the cruiser Little Rock and destroyer USS Fechteler. Between November 27 and December 4, she participated in cold weather exercises in Davis Strait, between Greenland and East Baffin Island, as part of Task Group 20.2. An incident during that cruise involving the USS Little Rock. She was off the port side firing 5" star shells for illumination, to spot icebergs, when there was a miss fire. According to standard procedure the gunner began to point the barrel toward the water to wait out a hangfire. However, the round cooked off half way down. The round hit the Missouri on the Signal Bridge killing Coxswain Robert Fountain and starting a fire involving an acetylene tank which was lashed to the railing. One or two officers cabins were destroyed as well. Missouri did not get back to Norfolk until December 13, 1946.

      Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Task_Force_20

      Also from the same source:

    2. Dear Sir, In this History of Nov 21 the man that as killed was not a Signalman and it did not hit the signal bridge. It hit on the O one level just above the After quarter deck on the Starboard side. There were 21 bottles of acetylene thanks. The name of the man was Robert Fountain BM3 Class of the 3rd Div. He was on or coming from Lt Jack's Cabin. I know because I left him at turret No. 3 10 minutes before it happened. My name is Frederick W. Lane of the 3rd Div. and served from Aug 46 to Mar 48 in the 3rd Div.

      In Aug 49 I met the man that fired the shot on the Little Rock. I was hitch hiking out of Boston Mass. to my home in Wellesley Mass. He told me that the Gunnery Officers gave the order to fire on the down roll. I suppose it don't really matter that it is wrong and few will really know it is. But he (Fountain) was my lead PO and a buddy of mine. I was to go home on New Year's Leave with him because we both lived in Mass. and he was to get married then and wanted me to be there. I enjoy these news letter about the MO. and I belong to the USS Missouri Association. Keep up the good work FREDERICK W. LANE.

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1940-1945 1946
1947-1956 1957-1965
1966-1973 1974-1979

"Thank You" to the to-numerous-to-mention contributors to this page.
Without your collective help this chronology would be hopelessly incomplete!

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