Wreck Dives: USS Wilkes-Barre

Perhaps the crown jewel of technical wreck dives found in the Florida Keys, the USS Wilkes-Barre was formerly a 608-foot long Cleveland Class cruiser built in 1942 and commissioned on July 1, 1944.

The USS Wilkes-Barre is by far the largest ship to be reefed in the Florida Keys, even bigger than the Spiegel Grove.

For the technically qualified diver, the USS Wilkes-Barre offers an exciting adventure at deep depths (200+). (via Divebuddy)

USS Wilkes-Barre Key West Wiki

USS Wilkes-Barre (CL-103) was a Cleveland-class light cruiser of the United States Navy that served during the last year of World War II. She was named after the city of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

USS Wilkes-Barre (CL-103)

Courtesy of Wikipedia

After fitting-out, Wilkes-Barre conducted her shakedown cruise in Chesapeake Bay and in the Gulf of Paria, Trinidad, British West Indies, before she returned to Philadelphia for post-shakedown availability.

Getting underway on 23 October, the new light cruiser conducted training over ensuing days as she headed for the Panama Canal and the Pacific.

Soon after transiting the Canal on 27 October, Wilkes-Barre arrived at San Diego, California, where she loaded provisions and ammunition.

Then, following gunnery exercises off San Clemente Island, Calif., the warship headed for Hawaii on 10 November.

Wilkes-Barre reached Pearl Harbor on 17 November, and conducted exercises in the Hawaiian operating area from 19–24 November and 2–3 December, before she left Oahu on 14 December, bound for the Carolines.

Upon her arrival at Ulithi, Wilkes-Barre joined Cruiser Division 17 and sortied on 30 December as part of a support unit for Vice Admiral John S. McCain’s Task Force 38. (Read Full Article Here …)

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