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USS Wilkes-Barre

 | By Seamus on 3/22/2011 10:01:57 PM | Views (424)

The USS Wilkes-Barre, a light cruiser in the United States Navy during World War II, belonged to the Cleveland-class of cruisers. This class was created by expanding upon the Brooklyn-class cruisers, whose size had been restricted by the First London Naval Treaty. With the outbreak of war and the dissolution of treaty limitations, the need for new vessels was urgent. Rather than designing a new class from scratch, the Clevelands utilized the same hull as their predecessors but were made significantly heavier. These cruisers were armed with a main battery of twelve 6-inch (152 mm) guns in four three-gun turrets and twelve 5-inch (127 mm) dual-purpose guns as a secondary armament. They could achieve a top speed of 32.5 knots (60.2 km/h; 37.4 mph).

After being decommissioned on October 9th, the USS Wilkes-Barre was transferred to the reserve fleet in Philadelphia where it remained until being removed from the naval register on January 15th, 1971. As the last light cruiser in the Navy's inventory, the ship was earmarked for disposal through underwater weapons testing. During a test off the coast of the Florida Keys on May 12th, 1972, the hull of the aging cruiser broke in half. The stern section of the ship sank that same day, while the bow remained afloat until it was intentionally sunk the following day using a scuttling charge.

The two sections of the USS Wilkes-Barre have since become artificial reefs and are now a popular site for deep wreck diving. The USS Wilkes-Barre is located off Cudjoe Key about 13.5 miles southwest of Summerland Key. The wreck is situated upright on the ocean floor at a depth of 320 feet (98 m) and the upper deck rests at about 210 feet (64 m), with the highest point of the wreck at 140 feet (43 m). Experienced divers are advised to attempt the dive, as noted by diver and author Steven Singer.


Catch Information

Species:
Black Grouper
Black Grouper

Black Margate
Black Margate

Blue Marlin
Blue Marlin

Great Barracuda
Great Barracuda

Sailfish
Sailfish

Scamp
Scamp

Speckled Hind
Speckled Hind

Depth:320 feet (97.54 meters or 53.33 fathoms)

Structure Information

USS Wilkes-Barre is a fishing spot. A shipwreck or wreckage from a sunken vessel is located at this spot. An artificial or natural reef that attracts fish can be found here.

This fishing spot was added to the database on 3/22/2011 10:01:57 PM by Seamus and last updated on 4/21/2023 10:20:59 AM.


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