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USS Phoenix


USS Pheonix

USS Phoenix (CL-46) (1938)

Question – What American built ship was torpedoed and sunk by a British submarine during the Falklands War?

Answer – USS Phoenix also known as ARA General Belgrano (Argentina)


USS Phoenix (CL-46) -  Leaving Pearl Harbor after Japanese attack December 1941

USS Phoenix - Built by New York Shipyard and commissioned in 1938. USS Phoenix was anchored in Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941 but away from the main Japanese target area and escaped damage. She was a light cruiser, 600 feet long, 61 foot beam, draft of 20 feet, 4 screws and capable of 32 knots. Armament included 15 six inch guns and 8 five inch guns. After the attack she was part of a task force that unsuccessfully tried to locate the Japanese carrier that launched the attack.  Highlights of the ships WWII activities are:

                1942 Escorted a convoy of military ships from San Francisco to Australia and Indian Ocean. Escorted convoys from Australia to Bombay (now Mumbai) India, at evacuation of Java after Japanese invasion, escorted ships just north and east of Australia.

                1943 & 1944 Staying in the area north and east of Australia. Provided covering support for landing forces as they went ashore in areas north of New Guinea (about 1000 miles north of Australia). 

               October – December 1944 – Return to Philippine Islands. USS Phoenix supported operations in returning General MacArthur to the Philippine Islands and was under frequent kamikaze attacks. The attacks caused much damage to surrounding ships of the task force but Phoenix escaped major damage.

                1945 – provided support for operations in or near South China Sea between Philippines and Indonesia.

                1946 – Placed in reserve status.

                1951 – Sold to Argentina and renamed ARA General Belgrano.


ARA Belgrano (Argentine) - Sunk in Falkland War

Falklands War – 2 April 1982 - There was a longstanding dispute between the United Kingdom and Argentina over sovereignty of the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. The islands were the sovereignty of the British. The population of the islands is mostly British and they did not want the sovereignty status to change. The Argentine government was controlled by a series of military personnel and was not popular with many of the Argentine people. At least partially for political reasons, the government decided to invade the islands. A very hot war ensued. The war resulted in the sinking of ARA General Belgrano by the British nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror and the sinking of HMS Sheffield by an Exocet guided missel fired by the Argentine Navy. It also resulted in a land battle to regain control over the capital city of Stanley. The war lasted for about 10 weeks and resulted in a  victory for the United Kingdom.  


British task force converging on Falkland Islands

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