St. Louis Class, U.S. Light Cruisers

Photograph of St. Louis-class light cruiser

National Archives #19-N-72219

Schematic diagram of St. Louis class light cruiser

ONI 222


Tonnage 10,000 tons standard displacement
Dimensions 607'4" by 61'8" by 22'11"
185.12m by 18.80m by 6.99m
Maximum speed       33 knots
Complement 888
Aircraft 2 catapults
4 seaplanes
Armament 5x3 6"/47 guns
4x2 5"/38 dual-purpose guns
8 machine guns


1798 tons:
5.625" (15.88mm) machinery belt tapering to 3.25" (83mm) and backed by 25lb STS steel
5" (127mm) bulkheads tapering to 2" (51mm)
2" (51mm) forward magazine internal longitudinal protection
4.7" (120mm) aft magazine internal longitudinal protection
3.7" (93mm) magazine bulkheads
2" (51mm) armor deck
6.5"/1.25"/2" (165mm/32mm/51mm) turret front/side and rear/roof
6" (152mm) barbettes
5" (127mm) conning tower
4-shaft Parsons geared turbine (100,000 shp)
8 Babcock & Wilcox boilers
Bunkerage 2000 tons fuel oil
Range 7080 nautical miles (13,110 km) at 15 knots
1941-12 or 1942-1: Added 2x4 1.1"/75 AA guns, 8x1 20mm Oerlikon AA guns, FC radar.

Late 1942: Light AA upgraded to 4x4, 4x2 40mm Bofors AA guns and 12x1 20mm Oerlikons. SG, SC, and two FD radars installed.

1943: Radar upgraded to SK-2, Mark 8, 2x Mark 28 radars

1945: Light AA consisted of 4x4, 6x2 40mm Bofors guns and 10x2 20mm Oerlikon guns.

The St. Louises were completed in 1938. They were very similar to the Brooklyns except for more compact machinery, allowing better machinery dispersal, and a somewhat different arrangement of the after superstructure. The eight single 5"25 guns were replace with four twin 5"/38 turrets. Like the Brooklyns, they featured a very heavy armament and fair armor protection on a flimsy hull.

Units in the Pacific:

Helena Pearl Harbor       Sunk in surface action on 1943-7-6 off New Georgia

St. Louis      

Pearl Harbor

Photo Gallery

Side view of St. Louis-class light cruiser

U.S. Navy

Forward view of St. Louis-class light cruiser

U.S. Navy

Superstructure of St. Louis-class light cruiser

U.S. Navy



Gogin (2010; accessed 2013-4-11)

Whitley (1995)

Worth (2001)

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