USS Providence (CL-82)

USS Providence (CL-82) was a Cleveland class light cruiser that entered service too late to see combat in the Second World War. She was later converted into a Guided Missile Cruiser as CLG-6 and served into the early 1970s.

The Providence was laid down on 27 July 1943, launched on 28 December 1944 and finally commissioned on 15 May 1945. By the time her shakedown cruise was over the war was over and the Providence began her first short post-war career. She served as a training ship in the autumn of 1945 before taking part in a tour of the Mediterranean during the first half of 1946. She returned to the Mediterranean again in 1947, for a third time from November 1947 to March 1947 and a fourth time from September 1948 to January 1949. After the end of this fourth tour she entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet (June 1949), where she remained for the next eight years.

USS Providence (CL-82) at Livorno, 4 December 1948
USS Providence (CL-82)
at Livorno, 4 December 1948

In the mid 1950s the Navy decided to convert a number of Cleveland class light cruisers into Providence class guided missile cruisers. The Providence was reclassified as CLG-6 on 23 May 1957 and the conversion began in June. It took two years and she was re-commissioned on 17 September 1959.

This time the Providence spent much of her time in the Pacific, seeing combat in Vietnam. She was with the 7th Fleet at Japan for six months over the winter of 1960-61, then served as the flagship of that fleet from May 1962-July 1964 and from December 1966-1968.

During this period she was involved in the fighting in Vietnam. On 1 April 1967 she took part in a shore bombardment of enemy positions. On 25 May she took part in a gunnery duel with an enemy gun battery in the DMZ. In July she produced fire support for amphibious operations and on 10 October she bombarded storage areas south of Da Nang.

During 1968 the Providence fired her guns in anger off Vietnam in every month apart from June and December. In February 1968 she took part in the fighting at Hue, part of the Tet Offensive.

In 1970 the aging Providence returned to the US West Coast. She entered the reserve on 31 August 1973 and was stricken from the Navy List on 30 September 1978. She was finally sold for scrap in March 1981.  

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



Bethlehem, Quincy

Laid down

27 July 1943


28 December 1944


15 May 1945


30 September 1978

Sold for break 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

WWII Home Page | WWII Subject Index | WWII Books | WWII Links | Day by Day

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (7 November 2013), USS Providence (CL-82),

Help - F.A.Q. - Contact Us - Search - Recent - About Us - Privacy