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Chester was launched on 3 July 1929 by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey; sponsored by Miss J. T. Blain; commissioned on 24 June 1930, Captain Arthur Fairfield in command; and reported to the Atlantic Fleethester supported the reinforcement landing on Samoa (18–24 January 1942), then joined Task Group 8.3 (TG 8.3) commanded by Adm. William Halsey for the successful raid on Taroa (1 February). Retiring under heavy air attack, she received a bomb hit in the well deck which killed eight and injured 38. The Chester was the only surface ship to lose men in the first surface attack of the Pacific war. She returned to Pearl Harbor on 3 February for repairs.[5]Following an escort voyage to San Francisco, Chester joined TF 17 for the Guadalcanal-Tulagi raid (4 May); the attack on Misima Island, Louisiade Archipelago (7 May); and the Battle of the Coral Sea (8 May) during which her steady antiaircraft fire protected the carriers providing the air strikes which stopped the invasion force heading for Port Moresby, New Guinea. Five of Chester's crew were wounded in this encounter. On 10 May, she received 478 survivors of Lexington from Hammann, whom she transferred to Tonga Island on 15 May.[5]After a West Coast overhaul, Chester arrived at Nouméa on 21 September 1942, to join TF 62 for the landings on Funafuti, Ellice Islands (2–4 October). She then proceeded south and while cruising in support of the operations in the Solomons, specifically north of the New Hebrides Islands, Chester was hit by a torpedo from I-176 on the starboard side, amidships on 20 October which killed 11 and wounded 12. She returned to Espiritu Santo under her own power for emergency repairs on 23 October. Three days later, President Coolidge struck a mine, and Chester sent fire and rescue parties to her aid as well as taking on the 440 survivors for transfer to Espiritu Santo. She steamed to Sydney, Australia, on 29 October for further repairs and on Christmas Day, departed for Norfolk and a complete overhaul. Returning to San Francisco on 13 September 1943, Chester operated on escort duty between that port and Pearl Harbor until 20 October. On 8 November, she cleared Pearl Harbor for the invasion of the Gilbert Islands. On 18–20 November, after air attacks, destroyers and cruisers bombarded Tarawa. Chester was the lead ship and received some accurate fire from the beach for the first two days. The Chester, along with the rest of the division, also bombarded Apemoma, another of the Gilberts. She covered the landings on Abemama Island and bombarded Taroa, Wotje, and MaloelapChester assumed antisubmarine and antiaircraft patrol off Majuro until 25 April 1944, when she sailed for San Francisco and brief overhaul (6–22 May). She joined TF 94 at Adak Island, Alaska, on 27 May for the bombardments of Matsuwa and Paramushiru in the Kuriles on 13 June and 26 June, then sailed to Pearl Harbor, arriving on 13 August.[5]Chester sortied on 29 August with TG 12.5 for the bombardment of Wake Island (3 September), then arrived at Eniwetok on 6 September. She cruised off Saipan and participated in the bombardment of Marcus Island on 9 October, before joining TG 38.1 for the carrier strikes on Luzon and Samar in support of the Leyte operations, as well as searching for enemy forces after the Battle for Leyte Gulf (25–26 October)From 8 November 1944 to 21 February 1945, Chester operated from Ulithi and Saipan in bombardment of Iwo Jima and the Bonins, supporting the invasion landings of 19 February.[5]After another West Coast overhaul, Chester returned to Ulithi on 21 June, and conducted patrols off Okinawa from 27 June, as well as covering minesweeping operations west of the island. In late July, Chester was assigned to the force supplying air cover for the Coast Striking Group (TG 95.2) off the Yangtze River Delta and protecting minesweeping. In August, she made a voyage to the Aleutians, and on the last day of the month sailed to participate in the occupation landings at Ominato, Aomori, Hakodate, and Otaru in September and October. wiki

USS Chester CA-27 WL Print

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