History of the Cruiser USS Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City (CL-91) was laid down on 8 December, 1942, by the Cramp Shipbuilding Co., Philadelphia, PA. It was launched on 20 February, 1944, sponsored by Mrs. Anton H. Classen and commissioned on 22 December, 1944 with Captain C. B. Hunt in cammand.

Following shakedown, the Oklahoma City transited the Panama Canal and reported to ComCruPac for duty, arriving at Pearl Harbor on 2 May, 1945. She conducted local operations until 22 May when she sailed for Ulithi to rendezvous on 6 June with Carrier Task Group 38.1 for operations in support of the Okinawa campaign. For the rest of June and into July, she screened Third Fleet Carriers during their intensified air operations against Japanese forces. On 18 July, she formed as bombardment group with other cruisers and destroyers, then rejoined the Carrier Task Group for continued action against the Japanese home islands.

At the end of hostilities, she continued to patrol off the coast of Japan and it was not until 10 September, after 72 days of continuous steaming, that she finally entered Tokyo Bay. Oklahoma City remained on occupation duty until relieved 30 January, 1946, when she departed for the United States. She arrive at San Farncisco 14 February where she remained until 15 August when she entered the Mare Island Navy Yard for inactivation. She was placed out of commission in reserve on 30 June, 1947, assigned to the San FranciscoGroup, U.S. Pacific Reserve Fleet.

On 7 March. 1957, Oklahoma City arrived at the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Pacific Coast Yard, San Francisco, where conversion to a guided missile light cruiser commenced on 21 May. Two days later, her hull classification and number were changed to CLG-5. Her conversion completed on 31 August 1960, she was towed to Hunter's Point and recommissioned on 7 September, with Captain Ben Sarver in command.

During her shakedown training, Oklahoma City became the first combat unit of the Pacific Fleet to fire a Talos guided missile successfully. Following shakedown, she participated in several major training exercises while serving as flagship for CruDiv 3 and CruDesFlot 9, then departed 1 December for a six month deployment in WestPac.

She arrived in Yokosuka, Japan on 20 December, where, six days later, she became flagship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. The ship participated in SEATO training operations, received two awards for operational excellence, and served as an ambassador of good will to several cities in the Far East. She then returned to Long Beach, California on 12 June 1962 and spent the next several months conducting local training operations and upkeep work.

On 14 December, she entered Long Beach Naval Shipyard for restricted availability follower by an extensive overhaul. In early 1964, Oklahoma City began refresher training in Southern California waters to prepare for lengthy deployment. She then departed for Yokosuka, arriving 7 July to assume her duties again as 7th Fleet flagship.

Shortly thereafter, North Vietnamese gunboats attacked U.S. Destroyers in the Tonkin Gulf and Oklahoma City quickly began a 25-day alert in the Gulf. Training exercises and operational visits to various ports in the Far East followed, and in June, 1965, she began gunfire support missions off Vietnam. When the level of hostilities increased, she began to spend more and more time in the South China Sea and eventually participated in operations "Piranha," "Double Eagle," "Deckhouse IV" and "Hastings II."

After serving as 7th Fleet flagship for two and one half years, Oklahoma City returned to San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyard 15 December 1966 for overhaul. Following her yard period, she began refresher training in the Southern California operating area in July, 1967 and continued those exercises and intermittent calls to West Coast ports until she was deployed again to WestPac, 7 November 1968.

She arrived at Yokosuka 20 December and into August 1969, was again contributing to the strength of the 7th Fleet by participating in the varied assignments its units are called on to perform. Oklahoma City received two battle stars for service in World War II.

Chicago (CG-11), Long Beach (CGN-9) and Oklahoma City (CLG-5)fired their Talos anti-radar missiles (RGM-8H) against North Vietnamese radar sites, but little information has been released about these engagements.

On 30 June 1975, Oklahoma City was reclassified guided missile cruiser CG-5. Serving off and on as 7th Fleet flagship until in October, 1979, she was relieved by command ship Blue Ridge (AGC-19). Decommissioned later that year, she was stricken on 15 December 1979.

Commanding Officers of the Cruiser USS Oklahoma City


Hunt, Charles Boardman, CAPT

Madeira, Dashiell Livingston, CAPT

Burkhart, Horace V. CDR

Humphreys, Charles Owen, CAPT


Sarver, Ben William, CAPT

Muse, George Read, CAPT

Mugg, Richard Dryden, CAPT

Bonner, Emmett Peyton, CAPT

Seymour, Harry Augustus, CAPT

Simmons, Kenneth Grant, CAPT

Bagley, David Harrington, CAPT

Surface, Wayne Douglas, CAPT

Howell, Jay Stanley, CAPT

Tice III, John J., CAPT

Kanakanui Jr., William Atherton, CAPT

Butcher, Paul D., CAPT

Colligan, Thomas Richard, CAPT

McDaniel, Rodney P., CAPT

Shreckengaust, James Arthur, CDR






Rear Admiral

Rear Admirak


Rear Admiral








Vice Admiral





12/22/44 - 10/31/45

10/31/45 - 06/00/46

06/00/46 - 07/00/46

07/00/46 - 06/30/47

06/30/47 - 09/07/60

09/07/60 - 07/18/61

07/18/61 - 07/18/62

07/18/62 - 08/14/63

08/14/63 - 08/05/64

08/05/64 - 07/00/65

07/12/65 - 10/03/66

10/03/66 - 06/21/68

06/21/68 - 09/28/69

09/29/69 - 02/26/71

02/26/71 - 06/22/72

06/22/72 - 10/04/74

10/04/74 - 10/22/76

10/22/76 - 12/16/78

12/16/78 - 11/03/79

11/03/79 - 12/15/79