USS Astoria (CA-34)
USS Astoria (CA-34) was a 9950-ton heavy cruiser of the New Orleans-class, who went into service in 1934. She was active in the early part of World War Two in the Pacific, including serving as Rear Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher's flagship at the Battle of Midway, after he had to abandon USS Yorktown (CV-5). She sank after the Battle of Savo Island.
While a commander, Richmond Kelly Turner served as her executive officer. "Following the conclusion of Fleet Problem XX in early 1939, Astoria was assigned to carry the remains of the late Japanese Ambassador Saito back to his homeland. Upon this diplomatic mission's conclusion in late April, the cruiser visited China, the Philippines and Guam before returning to her normal duties with the U.S. Fleet. As tensions with Japan became increasingly severe in the autumn of 1941, Astoria escorted a troop transport to Manila." At the time of the Battle of Pearl Harbor, she was at sea with a task force taking aircraft to Midway. Later in the month, she participated in the abortive Relief of Wake Island.
"During the first half of 1942, Astoria operated with, or in support of, aircraft carrier task forces, primarily that built around USS Yorktown (CV-5). From February until May, she was in the south Pacific, protecting that vital region against the ongoing Japanese offensive. She screened the U.S. carriers during the Battle of the Coral Sea in early May, then steamed back to Pearl Harbor in time to take part in the Battle of Midway a month later.
"After several weeks of repairs and training near Pearl Harbor, Astoria went back to the south Pacific to join the invasion forces. During the 7-8 August 1942 landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi, she provided gunfire support for Marines ashore and screened the amphibious task force against counter-attacks by Japanese aircraft. On the night of 8-9 August, Astoria was one of three heavy cruisers guarding the northern approach to the invasion area, and was the only one afloat after" the Battle of Savo Island, but her crew was unable to save her the next day.
- USS Astoria (CA-34), 1934-1942, Naval Historical Center