USS Salem Specifications
Other Ships Named Salem |
USS Salem Photo Gallery
Pursuit of the Graf Spee
| Historical Documents
Found Aboard the USS Salem |
Significance of USS Salem to Naval Warship
Design and Construction (Shipbuilding)
Ordered by the
US Navy on 14 June, 1943, USS Salem (CA
139) was laid down on 4 July, 1945 at the
Bethlehem Steel Company's Quincy Yard in Quincy,
MA and launched on 25 March, 1947. She was
commissioned at the Boston Navy Yard on 14 May,
Salem served a distinguished 10 year
career as flagship of the US Sixth Fleet in the
Mediterranean and the Second Fleet in the
Atlantic. During her career she served as host
to such notables as the US Ambassador to Spain,
John D. Lodge; the Honorable Thomas S. Gates,
Undersecretary of the Navy; Admiral Arleigh A.
Burke, USN, Chief of Naval Operations; the Shah
of Iran; the President of Lebanon and the King
and Queen of Greece.
Salem never fired her mighty guns in anger,
her very presence served as a stimulus for peace
during those troubled times that came to be
called the Cold War. She served as a Lady of
Diplomacy, rather than as a means of exerting
Imagine a small
city placed in "mothballs", stored for 35 years,
and then reopened and restored to it's former
Salem was decommissioned on 30 January, 1959
and joined the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at the
Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Dwight D.
Eisenhower was president of the United States
and everyone was watching I Love Lucy on
their new television.
October of 1994, Salem once again made
her way north to her birthplace in
Quincy, where she is now the centerpiece of the
United States Naval and Shipbuilding Museum.
Bill Clinton was president of the United States,
people were watching Murphy Brown and
Beverly Hills: 90210 on their big-screen
TV's and "surfing the net". Now "crewed" by a
staff of museum professionals and enthusiastic
volunteers, she is being restored to her full
14 May, 1995 - 46 years to the day since her
original commissioning - Salem was
re-commissioned - this time as a member of the
Historic Naval Ships Association. She now serves
her country once again with her new mission of
teaching people of all generations our nation's
rich history of shipbuilding and naval duty.
"Greek Rescue Cruiser"
"Lives of refugees from the
earthquake-ridden island of Greece
rest today in some measure on the
navigational skill of a Lock Haven
navigation officer Lt. Cmdr. William
S. Hitchens, navigation officer of
the heavy cruiser, U.S.S. Salem."
Clipping Dated 1953, from
a local Lock Haven, PA Newspaper.
Photo by Herb Simpson