USS Galveston (CL-93)

USS Galveston (CL-93/ CLG-3) was laid down as a Cleveland class light cruiser but was eventually completed as a guided missile cruiser and served throughout the 1960s, fighting in Vietnam.

The Galveston was laid down on 20 February 1944 and was launched on 22 April 1945. Work continued even after the end of the Second World War and she was almost complete when construction was suspended on 24 June 1946. The partially completed cruiser was allocated to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, where she remained for the next decade.

In the mid 1950s it was decided to convert a number of Cleveland class cruisers into guided missile cruisers, and the Galveston was one of the ships that were chosen. She was reclassified as CLG-93 on 4 February 1956, retaining her original 'cruiser' number, but was reclassified as CLG-3 on 23 May 1957 when the guided missile cruisers were given their own numerical sequence. She was finally commissioned on 28 May 1958 and began a prolonged period of tests and trials of her new Talos missile system.

USS Galveston (CL-93) being towed to Philadelphia Naval Yard, 1946
USS Galveston (CL-93)
being towed to
Philadelphia Naval Yard,

Builder's trials occupied the second half of 1958. The Navy then tested out the missile in the West Indies early in 1959, achieving the first Talos missile launch at sea on 24 February 1959. The rest of the year was covered by a shakedown cruise, acceptance trials and radar tests. She spent most of 1960 in the Philadelphia Naval Yard, and the Talos missile underwent more trials in 1961. As a result of all of these tests the fire control system was modified during an overhaul that lasted from August 1961 until July 1962.

On 24 August 1962 the Galveston finally joined the active fleet when she became part of Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla 9, US Pacific Fleet. She operated off the US west coast until October 1963, then sailed to the Western Pacific to join the 8th Fleet.

On 4 June 1965 the Galveston left San Diego and sailed to South Vietnam for her first combat tour. She carried out a mix of duties that would have been familiar to her Second World War sisters, protecting the fleet carriers and providing fire support for American and South Vietnamese troops operating near the coast. She also provided search and rescue facilities.

This combat tour ended in November-December 1965 and by 18 December the Galveston was back at San Diego. She operated between the US west coast and Hawaii between January and 31 July 1966. In 1967 she was transferred to the East Coast and the Atlantic Fleet.

In October 1968 the Galveston left the US for Vietnam and her final combat tour. She served in two areas - Yankee Station in the north of the war zone and the Da Nang area further south. Once again she provided fire support for the ground troops, firing 3,500 rounds of 5in and 6in shells from her remaining guns in one nine day period.

She returned to the US on 2 February 1969. She had one final spell with the Atlantic fleet before being decommissioned on 25 May 1970 and struck from the Navy List on 21 December 1973.

Displacement (standard)


Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed



11,000nm at 15kts

Armour – belt


 - armour deck


 - bulkheads


 - barbettes


 - turrets

6.5in face
3in top
3in side
1.5in rear

 - conning tower

2.25in roof


610ft 1in oa


Twelve 6in/47 guns (four triple turrets)
Twelve 5in/38 guns (six double positions)
Twenty eight 40mm guns (4x4, 6x2)
Ten 20mm guns
Four aircraft

Crew complement




Laid down

20 February 1944


22 April 1945


28 May 1958


21 December 1973

US Navy Light Cruisers 1941-45, Mark Stille. Covers the five classes of US Navy light cruisers that saw service during the Second World War, with sections on their design, weaponry, radar, combat experience. Nicely organised, with the wartime service records separated out from the main text, so that the design history of the light cruisers flows nicely. Interesting to see how new roles had to be found for them, after other technology replaced them as reconnaissance aircraft [read full review]
cover cover cover
How to cite this article: Rickard, J (9 December 2013), USS Galveston (CL-93) ,

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