USS Juneau (CL-119)

USS Juneau (CL-119) was an Atlanta class light cruiser that entered service too late for the Second World War, but saw action during the Korean War. She received five battle stars for Korean War service.

The Juneau was launched on 15 July 1945 and commissioned on 15 February 1946. After spending a year operating off the Atlantic coast, she was posted to the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. Her first tour lasted from 2 May-15 November 1947 and saw her take part in operations at Trieste, then disputed between Italy and Yugoslavia, and in Greece, where the Americans provided support against the Communist guerrillas. A second tour with the 6th Fleet lasted from 14 June-3 October 1948 and a third from 3 May to 26 September 1949.

USS Toledo (CA-133) and USS Juneau (CLAA-119), Yokosuka, 1950
USS Toledo (CA-133) and
USS Juneau (CLAA-119),
Yokosuka, 1950

On 18 March 1949 the Juneau was reclassified as CLAA-119. In November of the same year she was posted to the Pacific, although she was delayed on the US West Coast and didn't reach Japan until 1 June 1950. Her first task was to patrol the Tsushima Straits, and she was thus immediately available when the Korean War began on 25 June 1950.

Her immediate role was to patrol the coast south of the 38th parallel to guard against possible North Korean amphibious attacks. During this period she also conducted the first US Navy shore bombardment of the war, hitting targets at Bokuki Ko (29 June) and the first US naval engagement, when she sank three torpedo boats near Chumonchin Chan (2 July). On 18 July she was part of an Allied flotilla that bombarded North Korean troops near Yongdok.

Her first Korean tour ended soon after this, and on 2 August she joined the 7th Fleet at Okinawa. She was flagship of the Formosa Force from 4 August to 29 October.

This was followed by her second tour of duty off Korea, this time acting as part of the carrier screen for the Fast Carrier Task Force operating off the Korean east coast. This tour lasted well into 1951, before she was sent back to the US for a refit, arriving at Long Beach on 1 May 1951.

USS Juneau (CL-119) after launch, 15 July 1945
USS Juneau (CL-119) after launch, 15 July 1945

After a spell operating on the US West Coast the Juneau returned to the Far East for a third Korean tour. She reached Yokosuka on 19 April 1952, and supported the carriers off the Korean coast from then until October. She then returned to the US once again, reaching Long Beach on 5 November.

This ended her Korean War service. She was used for training and operations off the West Coast until April 1953. She then joined the Atlantic Fleet for a short spell, before on 13 May leaving to join the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean once again. This lasted until October 1953 and was followed by a short spell off the US East Coast. One final tour with the 6th Fleet followed, but on her return she was placed in reserve (23 March 1956), then decommissioned (23 July 1956). She didn't remain in the reserve for long, and was struck off in 1959. She was sold for scrap in 1962.

Displacement (standard)


Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed



8,500 nm @ 15kts

Armour – belt


 - bulkheads


 - armour deck


 - gunhouses


 - deck over underwater magazines



541ft 6in oa


Twelve 5in/ 38 guns (six two-gun turrets)
Twenty eight 40mm guns (four quad and six twin positions) as built
Twenty 20mm guns (all singles)
Eight 21in torpedo tubes

Modified to:
Thirty six 40mm guns (six quad and six twin)
Twenty four 20mm guns (twenty single and two twin positions) later changed to sixteen 20mm guns in eight twin mountings
Torpedo tubes removed

Crew complement


Laid down

15 September 1944


15 July 1945


15 February 1946

Sold for scrap


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

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (24 July 2015), USS Juneau (CL-119) ,

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