USS Pasadena (CL-65)

USS Pasadena (CL-65) was a Cleveland class light cruiser that fought in the Pacific, taking part in attacks on Formosa, the Japanese Home Islands, Indo-China and the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The Pasadena earned five battle stars during World War II.

The Pasadena was launched in December 1943, commissioned on 9 June 1944 and was ready to depart for the Pacific on 25 September. She reached Task Force 38, the core of the fast carrier fleet, at its base at Ulithi in mid-November.

During her first month and a half with the fleet the Pasadena supported the carriers during a series of raids on Luzon and Formosa.

Combat Infomation Centre on USS Pasadena (CL-65), 21 November 1944
Combat Infomation Centre
on USS Pasadena (CL-65),
21 November 1944

In mid-January the Pasadena took part in a raid into the South China Sea, protecting the carriers during a series of attacks on targets on the Indo-China coast and on Formosa.

By February the fleet had swapped from its Third Fleet identity to its Fifth Fleet one, and TF 38 became TF 58. The Pasadena was with this force for attacks on the Japanese home islands. During the invasion of Iwo Jima she acted as part of the support group and also took part in the shore bombardment.

In mid-March the Pasadena set sail at the start of her longest continuous period at sea - a total of 80 days covering the invasion of Okinawa. During this period she was the flagship of CruDiv 17. The fleet sailed in mid-March and hit the northern Ryukyus and the southern Home Islands. She helped protect the carriers and also took part in night gun bombardments of Minami Daito (28 March and again on 10 May), as well as supporting the troops on Okinawa.

Her last war sortie began in early July. The fleet attacked targets in northern Honshu, Hokkaido and around Tokyo, in preparation for the planned invasion of the Home Island. The Japanese surrendered on 15 August, ending the need for that campaign.

USS Pasadena (CL-65), Mare Island Naval Yard, 2 May 1946
USS Pasadena (CL-65), Mare Island Naval Yard, 2 May 1946

On 23 August the Pasadena became the flagship of TG 35.1. Four days later she reached Sagami Bay, outside Tokyo Bay and on 1 September she moved into Tokyo Bay. On 2 September she was thus part of the fleet that witnessed the official Japanese surrender. She then joined the occupation forces, and was based in Tokyo Bay until mid-January 1946.

The Pasadena remained in commission for five years after the end of the Second World War. She went to the United States for a refit in early 1946 and then spent the summer operating in home waters. She moved back to the Pacific in September 1946. She took part in exercises in Micronesia in November 1946-February 1947, then fleet manoeuvres around Hawaii. She spent the rest of 1947 and the first part of 1948 in Californian waters.

In October 1948 the Pasadena returned to the Far East, operating off the coast of China between then and May 1949. Her active career was now drawing to an end. In June 1949 she returned to California, before on 12 September she left for Bremerton, where on 12 January 1950 she was decommissioned. She joined the Bremerton reserve fleet, before eventually being stricken in 1970.

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



Bethlehem, Quincy

Laid down

6 February 1943


28 December 1943


8 June 1944


1 December 1970

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 (29 October 2013), USS Pasadena (CL-65) ,

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