USS Colorado (BB-45) (1923-1947)
USS Colorado (BB-45) – was the lead ship of the class and was commissioned on August 30, 1923. She displaced 32,600 tons with a length of 624 feet. She served in European waters in 1923 and 24 before transferring to the Pacific. Prior to WWII she served with the Pacific fleet and helped in the search for missing aviator Amelia Earhart in 1937.
She earned seven battle stars for her service in WWII. She supported operations in the Gilberts, Marshalls (Enitwetok and Kwajalein), Marianas (Saipan and Guram), Leyte, Luzon (Mindoro and Lingayen Gulf), Okinawa and Tinian. On 24 July 1944, while bombarding Tinian, she was hit by enemy shore batteries, suffering serious casualties to topside personnel. Colorado‘s next combat duty was off Leyte in November 1944, where she was hit by two Kamikaze suicide planes. She was tied up net to USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay for the signing of the surrender of Japan. She was decommissioned in 1947.
USS Colorado (ACR-7) (CA-7) (1905-1927)
The second USS Colorado was an Armored Cruiser of the 13,900 ton Pennsylvania class and was commissioned in 1905. After initial operation on the east coast she served in the Pacific alternating between the Asiatic Station and the eastern Pacific.
Between August and November 1912, she sailed to land and support expeditionary troops at Corinto, Nicaragua, then patrolled Mexican waters. After a period of inactivation, she later serving as flagship of the Pacific Reserve Fleet, patrolling in Mexican waters during the revolution and then returned to reserve status.
She was renamed Pueblo on 9 November 1916 to free up the name for the new battleship Colorado. After a yard period she returned to Mexico, to blockade interned German ships. After the start of WWI she served as flagship of the Scouting Force patrolled the South Atlantic, protecting shipping, paying diplomatic calls to South American ports, and preventing the sailing of German and Austrian ships interned at Bahia, Brazil. Later made seven voyages to escort convoys carrying men and supplies to England. At the end of the war she made six voyages to bring American veterans of the American Expeditionary Force home. She was placed in reduced commission and then decommissioned in September 1919. She was reactivated and served again as receiving ship in the 3d Naval District from 1921 to 1927.
USS Colorado (1858-1876)
The first USS Colorado was a 3500 ton three-masted steam frigate commissioned in 1858 and named after the Colorado River. During the Civil War she participated in the Union Navy’s Gulf Blockading Squadron. She participated in the first Naval engagement of the Civil war when she attacked and sank the Confederate private schooner Judah off Pensacola, Florida. She captured several vessels and engaged four Confederate steamers.
In October 1864, she joined the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron and cruised off the coast of North Carolina until 26 January 1865. During Colorado’s participation in the bombardment and capture of Fort Fisher from 13 to 15 January 1865, she was struck six times by enemy fire which killed one man and wounded two.
After the war she served as flagship of the European Squadron from 1865 until 1867 and from 1870 to 1873 as flagship for the RADM Rodgers squadron on the Asiatic Station. During this time she came under an unprovoked attack by Korean shore batteries then participated in a punitive expedition destroying the forts. She arrived back in New York in 1873 and after a period of decommission sailed the North Atlantic Station after which she was decommissioned for the last time in 1876.
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