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Columbia in Richland County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
USS Columbia CL-56
( Light Cruiser )
 
USS Columbia CL-56 Memorial Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, 2011
1. USS Columbia CL-56 Memorial Marker
 
Inscription.
U.S.S. Columbia CL-56
Commissioned 29 July 1942
Decommissioned 30 November 1946
Upper Plaque
The Secretary of the Navy takes pleasure in commending the
United States Ship Columbia
For service as follows:
" For outstanding heroism in action as a unit of Task Group 77, 2 operating in support of the initial landings at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, Philippines from January 5 to 9, 1945. Engaged in bombardment of hostile shore defenses and in coverage of mine sweeping operations as a Japanese suicide dive bomber plunged to attack, the U.S.S. Columbia promtly opened fire, blasting the target upward and forcing it between foremast and mainmast to crash 50 feet from the side abreast of the bridge and spray the entire forward part of the ship with gasoline. Although saved from serious fires by the quick action of the repair crews. The Columbia suffered severe personnel casualties later the same day when a hostile suicide dive bomber crashed her main deck, put two turrets out of action and caused progressive electrical failures from extensive flooding. Despite her crippled condition and the increased damage resulting from a third suicide crash into the forward battery director. The Columbia stoutly continued her heavy bombardment schedule after each fanatical
 
USS Columbia CL-56 Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, June 26, 2011
2. USS Columbia CL-56
 
attack, sending her salvos into enemy gun positions and facilities with punishing effect in gallant support of our assault forces until her vital mission was fulfilled. A resolute and sturdy veteran, complemented by skilled and aggressive officers and men, the Columbia has rendered distinctive service, sustaining and enhancing the finest tradition of the United States Naval Service."

All personnel attached to and serving on board the U.S.S. Columbia during the above mentioned period are hereby authorized to wear the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon.
James Forrestal
Secretary of the Navy.

(Lower Plaque)
The Secretary of the Navy takes pleasure in commending the
Cruiser Division Twelve
For service as follows:
"For outstanding heroism in action against enemy Japanese combatatant ships off Empress Augusta Bay, the night of November 1-2, and the hostile air attack of the morning of November 2, 1943. Promptly upon interception of a formation of twelve hostile surface vessels on cours set for Empress Augusta Bay and threatening our newly established beachhead, Cruiser Division Twelve opened fire. Operating at high speed and maneuvering violently under constant fire and sporadic shellfire illumination, these gallant fighting ships confused and disorganized the enemy, throwing off his fire control calculations
 
USS Columbia CL-56 Memorial, upper plaque United States Ship Columbia Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, June 26, 2011
3. USS Columbia CL-56 Memorial, upper plaque United States Ship Columbia
(For outstanding heroism in action as a unit)
 
and, by the fierce and relentless blasts from their own batteries, destroyed one Japanese cruiser and one destroyer and inflicted severe damage on two additional cruisers and two destroyers with only minor damage to our own units. Without fighter cover when attacked during withdrawal by an overwhelming aerial force of high-level and dive bombers with fighter escort, the cruisers sent up an umbrella of five inch- bursts, accurately finding their targets through the shrapnel-filled air and forcing the Japanese to retire with heavy losses. An aggressive daring group, coordinating as one powerful weapon of destruction, Cruiser Division Twelve achieved a notable combat record, made possible only by the courage, seamanship and daring determination of each ship's company, and served with distinction in driving the enemy from his southern strongholds, thereby upholding the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

All personnel attached to and serving on board the Cleveland, Columbia, Montpelier or the Denver, November 1 -2, 1943, are hereby authorized to wear the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon.
/S/ James Forrestal
James Forrestal
Secretary of the Navy

(Left Plaque)
U.S.S. Columbia
Dec. 1942     Aug. 1945
Actions and Operations
The U.S.S. Columbia participated in the following
 
USS Columbia CL-56 Memorial, lower plaque Cruiser Division Twelve Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, June 26, 2011
4. USS Columbia CL-56 Memorial, lower plaque Cruiser Division Twelve
 
actions and operations against the Japanese during World War II.

Capture and defense of Guadalcanal
Battle of Rennell Island
Consolidation of Solomon Islands
New Georgia Group Operation
Treasury-Bougainville Operation
Battle of Empress Augusta Bay
Bismark Archipelago Operation
Western Caroline Islands Operation
Leyte Operation
Battle of Surigao Straits
Luzon Operation
Lingayen Gulf Landing
Balikpapan - Borneo Operation
Anti - shipping sweep, East China and Yellow Seas

(Right Plaque)
U.S.S. Columbia
Dec. 1942     Aug. 1945
In Memory
Of those officers and men killed and missing in World War II.
The following officers and men while serving on board were killed in action.
[List of 44 names]
The following officers and men while serving on board were reported missing in action.
(List of 16 names)

(Rear Left Panel)
Dedicated to perpetuate
the memory of the valiant
shipmates who served
aboard the Gallant ship.
U.S.S. Columbia CL-56.
Especially those killed in action
during World War II

Presented by:
USS Columbia CL-56 Association
April 20, 1991
(List of Contributers)

(Rear Center Panel)
U.S.S. Columbia CL - 56
The
 
USS Columbia CL-56 Memorial, front left plaque Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, June 26, 2011
5. USS Columbia CL-56 Memorial, front left plaque
U.S.S. Columbia
Dec. 1942     Aug. 1945
Actions and Operations
 
"Gem" of the Ocean
Beam                                 65'-71/2"
Length                               610'
Displacement                   10,000 Tons
Draft                            24'-5"
Rated Speed                   33 Knots
Horsepower                    100,000
Main Battery               12-6" 47 Caliber
Secondary Battery          12-5" 38 Caliber
Antiaircraft Batteries     40 MM
Antiaircraft Batteries     20 MM
Steamed Mileage            178, 023

Commissioned               29 July 1942
Decommissioned             30 Nov 1946

(Rear Right Panel)
29 July 1942                  2 Sept. 1945
The Columbia is officially credited with the following:
Destruction of 27 planes
Assisting in the sinking of
1 Cruiser and 1 Destroyer
at the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay
and
2 Battleships, 1 Cruiser and 1 Destroyer
at the Battle of Surigao Straits

Awards
10 Battlestars
2 Navy Unit Citations

 
Location. 34° 0.111′ N, 81° 2.55′ W. Marker is in Columbia, South Carolina, in Richland County. Marker is on Washington Street near Wayne Street, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. Located in Columbia's Memorial Park. Marker is in this post office area: Columbia SC 29201, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
 
USS Columbia CL-56 Memorial, front right plaque Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, June 26, 2011
6. USS Columbia CL-56 Memorial, front right plaque
U.S.S. Columbia
Dec. 1942     Aug. 1945
In Memory
Of those officers and men killed and missing in World War II.
 
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. "The Spirit of the American Doughboy " (a few steps from this marker); China - Burna - India Veterans (within shouting distance of this marker); A Tribute To All U.S. Military Personnel On This Day Of Infamy (within shouting distance of this marker); South Carolina State Vietnam War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); The Columbia (S.C.) Holocaust Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Korean War Memorial (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Seaboard Air Line Passenger Station (about 600 feet away); R.L. Bryan Co. Warehouse (about 700 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Columbia.
 
Also see . . .  USS Columbia (CL-56), Wikipedia entry. Columbia was commissioned in July 1942, and saw service in several campaigns in the Pacific. Like almost all her sister ships, she was decommissioned shortly after the end of the war, and never saw active service again. Columbia was scrapped in the early 1960s... Columbia flew a Confederate Navy Ensign as a battle flag throughout combat in the South Pacific in World War II. This was done in honor of the ship's namesake, the capital city of South Carolina, the first state to secede from the Union. (Submitted on July 5, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
USS Columbia CL-56 Memorial Marker, rear view Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, June 26, 2011
7. USS Columbia CL-56 Memorial Marker, rear view
 
 
USS Columbia CL-56 Memorial Marker, rear left panel Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, June 26, 2011
8. USS Columbia CL-56 Memorial Marker, rear left panel
Dedicated to perpetuate
the memory of the valiant
shipmates who served
aboard the Gallant ship.
 
 
USS Columbia CL-56 Memorial Marker center rear panel Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, June 26, 2011
9. USS Columbia CL-56 Memorial Marker center rear panel
U.S.S. Columbia CL - 56
The "Gem" of the Ocean
 
 
USS Columbia CL-56 Memorial Marker, rear right panel Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, June 26, 2011
10. USS Columbia CL-56 Memorial Marker, rear right panel
The Columbia is officially credited with ...
 
 
USS Columbia CL-56 Memorial Photo, Click for full size
By USS Columbia Homepage
11. USS Columbia CL-56 Memorial
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on July 5, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 662 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on July 5, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.
 
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