USS Richmond (CL-9)

USS Richmond (CL-9) was a Omaha class light cruiser that served in the Pacific during the Second World War, spending most of her time in the Aleutians and northern Pacific. She earned two battle stars for her service during the war.

The Richmond was laid down on 16 February 1920, launched on 29 September 1921 and commissioned on 2 July 1923. She had an impressive three-month long shakedown cruise that took her to Europe, Africa and South Africa, and then became the flagship of the Scouting Force (the name then used for the Atlantic fleet).  By the start of 1925 she was flagship of the Light Cruiser Divisions, Scouting Fleet.

USS Richmond (CL-9) in Panama Canal, 1925
USS Richmond (CL-9)
in Panama Canal, 1925

In April 1927 she arrived as Shanghai at the start of a year on the China Station. On her return to the US she was used to transport a Navy Battalion to Nicaragua, before in July 1928 she moved back to the East Coast. She spent the next six years serving in the Atlantic.

Between September 1934 and December 1937 the Richmond served with the Scouting Fleet on the west coast. On 21 December 1937 she became flagship of the Submarine Force. She held this post until December 1940. 

At the start of 1941 the Richmond moved to Pearl Harbor, where she became flagship of the Scouting Force. In October she left for the US west coast, and in November she joined the Neutrality Patrols on the west coast of North and South America.

After the US entry into the war she patrolled off the western approaches to the Panama Canal. Early in 1942 she was used to escort convoys going to the Galapagos and Society Islands, then patrolled the west coast of South American. In December 1943 she went to San Francisco for an overhaul, before in January 1943 she was posted to the Aleutians as flagship of Task Group 16.6.  

Crew of USS Richmond (CL-9)
Crew of USS Richmond (CL-9)

Her first task was to protect Amchitka, where the US was building new bases. She was the target of a Japanese air raid on 10 February, then on 18 February bombarded Holtz Bay and Chichagof Harbor on Attu. In March the Japanese attempted to run the American blockade, sending two heavy cruisers, two light cruisers, four destroyers and three transports from Paramushiro Island. TG 16.6 intercepted this force, triggering the battle of Komandorski Islands (26 March 1943). The Japanese inflicted heavy damage on the Salt Lake City, and the Richmond moved to protect her against torpedo attack. The battle ended inconclusively, with the faster Japanese ships able to escape from the American pursuit.

In August 1943 the Richmond took part in the bombardment and invasion of Kiska. On 24 August she departed for an overhaul, then returned to patrol in the western Aleutians. On 4 February 1944 she took part in the first of a series of bombardments of the Japanese Kurile Islands, and also carried out anti-shipping sweeps in the area north of Japan. In the summer of 1945 these included a raid in the sea of Okhotsk.  

After the end of the war the Richmond took part in the occupation of northern Japan. On 14 September she departed for Pearl Harbor, then moved to Philadelphia. She was decommissioned on 21 December 1945, struck off the Navy List on 21 January 1946 and was sold for scrap on 18 December 1946.

Displacement (standard)


Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed



10,000nm at 10kts (design)
8,460nm at 10kts (actual)

Armour – deck


 - belt



555ft 6in


55ft 5in

Armaments (as built)

Twelve 6in/53 guns
Two 3in/50 AA guns
Ten 21in torpedo tubes (two triple and two double mountings)

Crew complement


Laid down

16 February 1920


29 September 1921


2 July 1923



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 (9 January 2014), USS Richmond (CL-9) ,

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