HOLD FOR RELEASE IN MORNING
NEWSPAPERS OF FRIDAY, OCTOBER
RADIO RELEASE: 9 P.M. (E.W.T.),
Thursday October 26, 1944.
(Memorandum to the press: Battle records of various U.S. Navy
units, which are being released for publication on Navy Day, in-
clude actions up to the beginning of the Marianas Islands opera-
tions in the Pacific, or through the invasion of Southern France
in the Atlantic and European Theaters. This may be sent through
the mails as it is a press release.)
THE U.S.S. TUSCALOOSA, HEAVY CRUISER
The Heavy Cruiser U.S.S. TUSCALOOSA has seen action in the
Atlantic and the Mediterranean. She has engaged in patrol duty
off Iceland and was a participant in the battle of Casablanca, the
invasion of Normandy, the action off Cherbourg, and the assault on
The TUSCALOOSA, under command of Captain Norman C. Gillette,
U.S.N., of 7113 Harvard Avenue., Chicago, Ill., was at Hvalfjord
Harbor, Iceland, at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
and remained there until the beginning of February 1942. She
operated in the North Atlantic for the first half of 1942.
In August 1942 the TUSCALOOSA made a voyage to North Russia.
She left Hvalfjordur in the latter part of July, and went to
In late October 1942 the TUSCALOOSA sailed form this country
as one of the covering group, commanded by Vice Admiral (then Rear
Admiral) Robert C. Giffen, U.S.N., of Annapolis, Maryland, in the
MASSACHUSETTS, whose mission was to contain the French Fleet in
Casablanca during the three simultaneous landings in Morocco.
In the battle of Casablanca which took place on November 8,
1942, the TUSCALOOSA, at 7:05 a.m., opened fire on French Naval
Vessels in the harbor, using her main battery guns. At 7:19 a.m.,
she shifted fire to the batteries on Table D'Aukasha, silencing
them, and at 8:10 a.m., commenced firing at targets on Point El
Hank. During the time ships of the covering group were under heavy
fire from the Jean Bart and from shore batteries. There were
straddles but no direct hits on the TUSCALOOSA.
During the sortie of the French Fleet, the covering group
fired from about 9:15 a.m., until 10:16 a.m., when the retreating
enemy was engaged by the center fire support. When the French
ships attempted to regain the harbor of Casablanca the TUSCALOOSA
with other of our ships, stood in and took them under fire.
Although the TUSCALOOSA was under actual fire for three hours
and eighteen minutes, she suffered no material damage in the
battle of Casablanca.
That night and all the following day, the TUSCALOOSA patrolled
the area between Cape Fedala and Casablanca. On November 10, 1942,
she proceeded to sea and returned to Norfolk, Virginia. She re-
turned to the West coast of Morocco in January, 1943, in company
with a Task Force which included an Aircraft Carrier; the Tuscaloosa
serving as a covering unit for the carrier.
From then until May of this year the TUSCALOOSA operated in the
Atlantic for the most part in Northern Waters.
In mid-May, Captain John B.W. Waller, U.S.N., of Meadow Lodge,
Manchester-by-the-sea, Massachusetts, Commanding, she joined a
Task Group which was under command of Rear Admiral Morton L. Deyo,
U.S.N., of Kittery Point, Maine, with the TUSCALOOSA as Flagship.
On June 3, 1944, this fire support group got underway for
Normandy. On the 5th they stood across the channel to the Baie
Dela Seine to take up a bombardment position North of Iles St.
Marcouf. Shortly past midnight the TUSCALOOSA and other units
entered the fire support channel leading to the fire support area.
The Tuscaloosa at 5:50 a.m., opened fire with her main battery on
her target, reported to be six 105 MM guns.
Next she opened fire with her 5-inch battery on three 75 MM
guns in a fort on Ile De Tatihou. Many salvos were observed to
land inside the fort. The Cruiser also opened main battery fire
on four 105 MM Howitzers. At 10:20 a.m., the TUSCALOOSA was taken
under fire by shore batteries, with improving accuracy. Ranging
shots came within 300 yards and the ship was maneuvered radically
to avoid salvos. Again, at 12:29 a.m., she was fired on by shore
batteries. The first three shells landed 1,500, 1,000, and 500
yards short. The TUSCALOOSA at once began evasive tactics. This
was none too soon, for the next salvo landed 300 yards astern in
the water just vacated by the ship.
On the afternoon of June 7, 1944, the TUSCALOOSA fired on a
defended post for 15 minutes, accomplishing her mission. Other tar-
gets taken under fire that afternoon and evening were an infantry
position, an observation post, a defended post, a battery of six
155 MM guns, a battery of two 105 MM Howitzers and two 75 MM guns.
At 7:52 p.m., shore batteries opened fire on the TUSCALOOSA. The
shells landed accurately in range, but off in deflection.
On June 8, 1944, she took position in her station and fired
on various targets throughout the day, including defended posts and
enemy bivouac areas. In the evening, she opened main battery fire
on a defended post in Montebourg.
On the morning of June 9, 1944, she resumed fire on an enemy
troop concentration in Montebourg. That afternoon Rear Admiral
Deyo shifted his flag to the Quincy and ordered the TUSCALOOSA to
Plymouth, England, to replenish ammunition. She was back in the
assault area in the vicinity of Iles St. Marcouf on the evening
of June 11, 1944. In the afternoon of the 12th she shelled the
town of Quineville. Later she opened up on a rocket battery and
destroyed it. The TUSCALOOSA remained in the assault area as a
fire support ship until the 21st, when she departed for England.
After fueling and provisioning, the ship got underway on June
24, 1944, for the fire support area north of Cherbourg, to assist
the U.S. Army in the assault on the port. At 10:10 a.m. on June 25,
1944, the TUSCALOOSA entered the fire support area and reported
to her station. At 12:36 p.m., she opened fire on an active
battery. Beginning at 1:12 p.m., the TUSCALOOSA came under accur-
ate fire from shore batteries. Salvos landed astern of the QUINCY
and just ahead of the TUSCALOOSA. Both ships maneuvered to avoid
the close fire. At 1:23 p.m. a shell landed 100 yards dead ahead
of the Tuscaloosa. The ships of the Task Force withdrew at 2:58
p.m., and proceeded to England.
The TUSCALOOSA proceeded to Palermo, Sicily. On August 13,
1944, the TUSCALOOSA got underway for Southern France, as the Flag-
ship of a bombardment group which was commanded by Rear Admiral
Deyo. At sea the group rendezvoused with a convoy and escorted it
to the assault area.
In the early hours of August 15, 1944, the fire support ships
made their way into the fire support area. At 7 a.m. the TUSCA-
LOOSA commenced main battery firing on her target, believed to be
four 105 MM guns, and ceased after ten minutes. She then opened
drenching fire with her 5-inch battery on Ile D'OR. Meanwhile
she brought the assault beach under heavy fire, with her main
battery guns, and then shifted the fire behind the beach to four
88 MM guns. In the early afternoon she directed her fire on the
second landing beach and gave it, and a hill behind, a heavy
shelling. That evening she opened fire with her 5-inch battery on
an enemy plane of the JU-88 type.
On August 16, 1944, the TUSCALOOSA fired on enemy trucks and
light field guns, with success. In the afternoon she brought the
area west of Cannes under observation. That night there was a
resumption of air attacks. Between 8:50 and 8:57 p.m., the
TUSCALOOSA fired on two JU-88's and a DO-217.
On August 17 and 18, 1944, the TUSCALOOSA operated in the
Golfe De Frejus and the Golfe De Napoule. While in the latter she
was fired on by a shore battery, on the afternoon of the 17th.
There were near hits close aboard to port and starboard. The
TUSCALOOSA took the gun emplacement under fire with her 5-inch
battery. The following afternoon while in the Golfe De Napoule
she was again fired on by a shore battery. This time she silenced
it with her 5-inch guns.
Between August 21-26, 1944, the TUSCALOOSA operated in the
area off St. Raphael, Cannes, and Nice, in support of the Right
Flank of the U.S. Army, delivering fire support as required.