Allied Warships

USS Phoenix (CL 46)

Light cruiser of the Brooklyn class

NavyThe US Navy
TypeLight cruiser
PennantCL 46 
Built byNew York Shipbuilding Corp. (Camden, New Jersey, U.S.A.) 
Laid down15 Apr 1935 
Launched13 Mar 1938 
Commissioned3 Oct 1938 
End service3 Jul 1946 

USS Phoenix earned 9 battle stars for the WWII service.

After being decomissioned on 3 July 1946 she remained at Philadelphia until being tranferred to Argentina on 9 April 1951. On 17 October 1951 she was commissioned into the Argentinian Navy as Diecisiete de Octubre (C-4) but renamed General Belgrano in 1956.

On 2 May 1982, during the Falklands War, General Belgrano was operating some 220 miles from the Falkland Islands and steaming toward the mainland at 10 knots, screened by destroyers Hipolto Bouchard (D-26) and Piedra Buena (D-29). At 1600 hours, local time, General Belgrano was torpedoed twice by the British nuclear attack submarine HMS Conqueror (S-48). The cruiser sank in 45 minutes with the loss of 321 men. Keeping station on the far side of General Belgrano from the submarine, Hopolto Bouchard was reportedly struck by a third torpedo from Conqueror, but it did not explode. The destroyers delivered a depth charge attack, but HMS Conqueror escaped undamaged.


Commands listed for USS Phoenix (CL 46)

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1Capt. John Wilkes Rankin, USN24 Oct 19383 Jun 1940
2Capt. Herman Edward Fischer, USN3 Jun 194025 Oct 1942 (1)
3T/R.Adm. Joseph Reasor Redman, USN25 Oct 19426 Mar 1943
4Capt. Albert Gallatin Noble, USN6 Mar 194311 Mar 1944 (1)
5T/R.Adm. Jack Harlan Duncan, USN11 Mar 194421 May 1945
6T/Capt. Harold Lincoln Challenger, USN21 May 19451 Feb 1946
7Captain Richmond Kenneth Kelly, USN1 Feb 19463 Jul 1946

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Notable events involving Phoenix include:

27 Jul 1942
HrMs Tromp (Cdr. J.B. de Meester, RNN) departed Fremantle to escort convoy ZK 12 part of the way from Fremantle to Sydney. Convoy ZK 12 was made up of the following ships; British passenger (troops) / cargo ships Athlone Castle (25564 GRT, built 1936), City of Canterbury (8421 GRT, built 1923), British cargo ships Dunedin Star (11168 GRT, built 1936), Martand (7967 GRT, built 1939), Australian liner (troopship) Duntroon (10346 GRT, built 1935) and the Australian Armed Merchant Cruisers HMAS Manoora (A/Capt. J.M. Armstrong, RAN) and HMAS Westralia (A/Capt. (emergency) H.V. Hudson, OBE, RAN).

Also part of the escort were the US light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. H.E. Fischer, USN) and the Australian destroyer HMAS Voyager (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Robison DSC, RAN). (2)

2 May 1982
The General Belgrano (former USS Phoenix CL 46) was sunk by the British Navy during the Falklands conflict. 321 men perished when she sank in 45 minutes after being hit twice by torpedoed from the British nuclear attack submarine HMS Conqueror (S-48). (3)


  2. File (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  3. Personal communication

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