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  USS Denver CL-58
USN
Light Cruiser

10,000 Tons
610' x 66' 6" x 20'
12 x 6" guns
12 x 5" guns
Click For Enlargement
USN 1943

Ship History
Built by New York Shipbuilding Corp. Laid down Decmeber 26, 1940. Launched on April 4, 1942. Comissioned October 15, 1942.

Wartime History
Departed from Philadelphia January 23 1943, arriving at Efate on February 14.

Solomon Bombardments
Participated in the bombardment of Vila on March 6. During this action her force engaged and sank two Japanese destroyers, Minegumo and Murasame, in the Battle of Blackett Strait.

Denver joined the bombardment of Ballale during the night of June 29-30 at 1:55am along with USS Montpelier, USS Cleveland, USS Columbia, with destroyers, USS Philip, USS Saufley, USS Renshaw and USS Waller. Also a mine laying force of USS Pringle (DD-477), USS Preble (DD-345) and USS Breese (DD-122) and USS Gamble (DD-123) laid mines 6,000 yards ahead. This bombardment was in conjunction with the Amiercan landings on New Georgia, then remained in the area on patrol.

Battle of Empress Augusta Bay
On the last day of October 1943 USS Denver sortied from Port Purvis with Task Force 39 (TF-39) to intercept an enemy force attempting to disrupt the landings at Torokina. In the resulting battle of Empress Augusta Bay on the night of 1 November–2 November, the American ships sank one enemy light cruiser and a destroyer and damaged two heavy cruisers and two destroyers, while the four other enemy ships broke off the action and retired. During the heavy firing Denver was hit by three 8 inch shells which fortunately did not explode. She shared in the Navy Unit Commendation awarded her division for its outstanding performance in this battle.

USS Denver covered the support landings on Cape Torokina on 10 November and 11 November 1943, and 2 days later during a heavy air attack was hit by an aerial torpedo which knocked out all power and communications and killed 20 of her men. She was towed by USS Sioux to Port Purvis and by USS Pawnee to Espiritu Santo for temporary repairs, then sailed to Mare Island for permanent repairs, arriving 2 January 1944.

Denver returned to the forward area at Eniwetok, arriving 22 June 1944. Eight days later she put to sea to screen carriers as they launched strikes to neutralize Japanese bases in the Bonins and Marianas during the invasion of the Marianas. She bombarded Iwo Jima 4 July, and after screening continued air assaults returned to Eniwetok 5 August.

Denver sailed from Port Purvis 6 September 1944 for the invasion of the Palau. She bombarded Angaur September 12-18 then covered a task unit engaged in minesweepmg, reconnaissance and underwater demolition operations before the landings on Ulithi 23 September. She returned to Manus on 28 September to prepare for the return to the Philippines.

Philippines Operations
Denver departed 12 October 1944 for the landings on Leyte, bombarding Suluan Island and Dulag to open the vast invasion fleet's way into Leyte Gulf, then sailed on to bombard the southern landing beaches. As the Japanese sent the major portion of their remaining combatant fleet south in a desperate attempt to break up the landings, Denver's group took station in Surigao Strait on 24 October to prevent the passage of the Japanese Southern Force into Leyte Gulf. Attacks were made by motor torpedo boats and destroyers stationed in advance of the battle line, and battleship Yamashiro, heavy cruiser Mogami, and destroyer Shigure were all that remained of the Japanese ships when Denver and the others of the battle line opened fire at 03:51. With three other cruisers, she made a material contribution to the cumulative gunfire which sank Yamashiro. Mogami was later sunk by aircraft, and Shigure was the sole survivor of the mighty fleet which had sailed forth for this phase of the decisive Battle for Leyte Gulf. After this action, Denver sailed to aid in polishing off enemy cripples, aiding in sinking destroyer Asagumo early in the day on 25 October.

Continuing her service in Leyte Gulf, she fought off numerous attacks; during the one of 28 October a bomb released from one of the planes she shot down exploded nearby causing minor damage and slight flooding. She screened reinforcement landings in November and fought off a suicide attack on 27 November, suffering four men wounded from fragments of a bomb which exploded 200 yards off the starboard quarter. She joined the heavy covering group, for the Mindoro landings of 13 December to 16 December, then returned to Manus 24 December.

Returning to San Pedro Bay 3 January 1945 Denver sortied the next day to cover the landings at Lingayen Gulf. She remained in the Philippines to join in the consolidation of those islands. She covered the landings on Zambales on 29 January and 30 January, supported minesweeping near and landings on Grande Island; provided fire support at Nasugbu on 31 January; escorted a replenishment convoy to Mindoro between 1 February and 7 February; covered the Army landings around Mariveles Bay from 13 February to 16 February, rescuing the survivors of mined La Vallette; and supported the operations on Palawan and Mindanao Islands from February to May.

Borneo
On 7 June 1945 Denver sailed from Subic Bay for the amphibious assaults on Brunei Bay and Balikpapan. She covered the preinvasion work of minesweeping units and underwater demolition teams, and provided fire support for the invading troops until returning to San Pedro Bay, Leyte, 4 July for brief overhaul.

Okinawa
Departed for Okinawa 13 July 1945 to hunt Japanese shipping off the China coast until 7 August. She sailed from Okinawa 9 September to cover the evacuation of men of the Allied forces rescued from prison camps in the Wakayama area and covered the landing of occupation troops at Wakanoura Wan from 25 September to 20 October, when she sailed for home.

Postwar
Denver arrived at Norfolk 21 November 1945 and after overhaul, reported to Newport, R.I., in January 1946 for duty training men of the Naval Reserve, and a good-will visit to Quebec, Canada. In April she arrived at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard where she was placed out of commission in reserve 7 February 1947. She was sold for scrap February 29, 1960.

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Last Updated
January 10, 2018

 

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