USS Biloxi (CL-80)

USS Biloxi (CL-80) was a Cleveland class light cruiser that served in the Pacific from the start of 1944 to the end of the war, supporting the fast carrier task force and taking part in the invasions of Saipan, the Philippines, the Palaus and Okinawa and the battles of the Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf. The Biloxi received nine battle stars for her service in the Pacific during World War II.

The Biloxi was launched in February 1943, commissioned on 31 August 1943 and spent the rest of the year training and preparing for action, before joining Cruiser Division 13 of the Pacific Fleet.

USS Biloxi (CL-80) on shakedown cruise, October 1943
USS Biloxi (CL-80)
on shakedown cruise,
October 1943

The Biloxi entered combat in January 1944, serving as part of the cruiser screen around the fast carrier task forces. She took part in the invasion of Eniwetok (31 January-8 February 1944), following by a series of raids on Japanese held islands, starting with Truk (16-17 February 1944), the Marianas (21-22 February) and Palau, Yap, Ulithi and Woleai (30 March-1 April).

In late April the Biloxi supported the Allied landings at Hollandia, New Guinea, shelling Japanese shore installations. Truk, Satawan and Ponape were the target on 29 April-1 May, before the carriers returned to the Marianas (11-24 June). This period including the invasion of Saipan (14 June) and the battle of the Philippine Sea (19-20 June 1944), where the Biloxi was part of the cruiser screen.

For the rest of 1944 the fast carriers carried out a mix of raids on Japanese held islands and operations in support of the invasion of the Philippines. The Biloxi was with the cruiser screen throughout this period. She took part in raids on the Bonin Islands (3-4 July 1944), Chichi Jima (4 July), Palau, Yap and Ulithi (25-27 July), the Bonins (4-5 August), the Volcano Islands, Bonin Islands and Yap (31 August-8 September), Okinawa (10 October), northern Luzon and Formosa (11-14 October) and Luzon again (repeated from mid October to mid December).

Officers and Crew of USS Biloxi (CL-80), October 1943
Officers and Crew of USS Biloxi (CL-80), October 1943

During this period the Biloxi also took part in the invasion of Guam (12 July-15 August), the invasion of the Palaus - Peleliu and Anguar (6 September-14 October), the battle of Leyte Gulf (24-26 October), and the invasion of the Philippines.

1945 started with more raids on Luzon, but the fleet then began to move further afield, starting with a raid of the Chinese coast (12 and 16 January), and the first naval attacks on the Japanese Home Islands (15-16 February and 25 February-1 March 1945). She took part in the fighting off Okinawa from 25 March until 20 April, despite being hit by a kamikaze aircraft on 27 March 1945.

On 27 April 1945 the Biloxi left the fleet and returned to the US for an overhaul. She returned to the battle in time to take part in a raid on Wake Island (18 July 1945) and reached Leyte on 14 August. The Japanese surrender ended the war, and the Biloxi was used to transport liberated POWs from Nagasaki. She then joined the occupation fleet before departing for the US on 9 November. The Biloxi had one of the shortest post-war careers of the Cleveland class cruisers - she went into the reserve on 18 May 1946, but went of commission on 29 October 1946. She remained in that state until 1962 when she was broken up.

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 four 40mm guns
Twenty one 20mm guns
Four aircraft

Crew complement



Newport News

Laid down

9 July 1941


23 February 1943


31 August 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 (1 November 2013), USS Biloxi (CL-80) ,

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