USS Miami (CL-89)

USS Miami (CL-89) was a Cleveland class light carrier that fought in the Pacific from June 1944 until April 1945 when she was recalled for a refit. During that period she won six Battle Stars and took part in the carrier raids against Japanese-held islands and the Home Islands, supported the invasions of the Philippines and took part in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Miami received six battle stars for World War II service.

The Miami was laid down on 2 August 1941, launched on 8 December 1942 and commissioned on 28 December 1943. Her shake-down cruise and training lasted until April 1944 when she set sail for the Pacific in the company of USS Vincennes (CL-64) and USS Houston (CL-81).

USS Miami (CL-89) departing for Okinawa, March 1945
USS Miami (CL-89)
departing for
Okinawa, March 1945

The Miami reached the fleet in time to take part in raids on Saipan, Tinian, Rota, Guam, Pagan and the Bonin Islands during June 1944, all carried out in support of the wider Marianas campaign. She acted as part of the cruiser screen for the fast carrier force and spent most of July protected the carries as they supported the troops fighting on the Marianas.

In August she supported the fleet during raids on Iwo Jima and Haha Jima. In September the targets were Peleliu and Anguar in the Palau Islands (7 September) then the Philippines (12-15 September). Durng these raids she acted as part of the cruiser screen and also used her scout planes on air-sea rescue duties, picking up four downed pilots.
From 10-14 October she supported an attack on Okinawa, claiming her first confirmed enemy aircraft on the night of 12-13 October. Luzon was the target on 18 October, before on 20 October the US invaded Leyte.  

Crew of USS Miami (CL-89) hoist in paravane, 26 March 1945
Crew of USS Miami (CL-89) hoist in paravane, 26 March 1945

The Japanese responded to this invasion with a three-pronged naval assault, triggering the battle of Leyte Gulf. The Miamiwas part of the cruiser screen for the main fleet carriers during this battle. She was with them when they attacked the main Japanese battleship force (battle of Sibuyan Sea, 24 October 1944) and then accompanied them as they sailed north to intercept the Japanese carrier fleet coming from the Home Islands. When Admiral Halsey realised that the Japanese centre force was still heading towards his invasion fleet he dispatched Admiral Bogan's carrier group south in an attempt to catch them. The Miami was part of this group, and although the main Japanese force did escape she and other ships caught and sank the Japanese destroyer Nowaki.

The Miami remained off the Philippines into December 1944. She suffered damage in a typhoon on 18 December, losing one of her aircraft and even suffering hull damage, but she was in good enough condition to take part in the search and rescue operations on the following day.

In January 1945 the Miami supported the fleet during raids on Formosa, Luzon, Indochina, the South China Coast, Hainan and Hong Kong. On 20 January she had another confirmed success, shooting down a Zero.

In February she helped screen the carriers during the first major raid on Tokyo. March began with a cruiser strike on the Ryukyu Islands (with the Vicksburg, Vincennes and San Diego), and in mid March she supported the carriers as they raided Kyushu and the Inland Sea. After that she operated in the area east of Okinawa, until withdraw in late April for an overhaul.

She reached Pearl Harbor on 17 May and the United States on 24 May. Her refit lasted until the end of the war, and she didn't return to Pearl Harbor until 25 August. After the Japanese surrender the Miami took part in the occupation of the islands north of Okinawa. She then visited Japan before carrying out a survey of the Japanese naval base at Truk (11 November).

After the war she served as a training ship off California before entered the reserve on 30 June 1947. She was struck from the Navy List on 1 September 1961 and sold for scrap in 1962.

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

2 August 1941


12 August 1942


28 December 1943

Broken up


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 (14 November 2013), USS Miami (CL-89),

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