USS Long Beach (updated-ish)

Posted: 3 October, 2009 by SeaBart in ugly
Tags: , ,

USS Long Beach

Pennant nr : CLGN-160 / CGN-160 / CGN-9

Build : 1960 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts in the U.S.A., nr ???

Reading between the lines of my earlier post about navy-vessels you might already have figured out my opinion about the world’s Navies so I’m trying not to go into a rant today. Let’s just concentrate on the vessel I’ve chosen for today’s post, the USS Long Beach. She has a few distinctive facts going for her: Being the last cruiser to be build using a traditional “cruiser-hull”, whatever that may mean. she was the first “new cruiser” to be build after WW II, she had 2 nuclear reactors for propulsion and was capable of doing in excess of 30 knots.

Dunno source, via

Dunno source, via

She was also a experimental platform for a complete new radarsystem and that was also the reason for the big box-shaped thing underneath her bridge.

That boxy thing actually is the reason for 2 other distinctive features: She had the highest bridge of any ship in the US Navy smaller than an actual aircraft carrier and, being the most important: it made her an OUS: an Official Ugly Ship!

After 33 years of service and fueling the minds of all the little boys that saw her with Lego-images she was decommissioned in 1994, clearing the 7 seas of an unbelievable ugly sight. She is now laying at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to be “recycled”, aka scrapped. Her superstructure has already been removed, taking away the most distinctive of her features and turning her into a anonymous hulk.


Dunno source, via the Interweb

Dunno source, via the Interweb, She is the largest one in this picture.

After so many friendly visits here from people who served on her I would like to direct your attention to their Facebook-group where there are more pics and information available.



  1. Victor M. Jacobs says:

    I agree that the forward superstructure left a little to be desired as far as eye appeal. But, it was that self same foward structure that made it so deadly when compared to the othere ships of the fleet, at that time. I do feel, however, that the hull design was beautiful. A dagger that could slice through the seas and maneuver like no others of its displacement. I served aboard her for three years, and I know how well she handled in both calm and heavy seas. Say what you will about the box, she will always be a beautiful thoroughbred. She was the only ship of her class. There has never been another like her, and there never will.

  2. Andy Farley says:

    What was special about the box Victor? How did it make it more deadly?


  3. WildLouie says:

    Looks like Victor’s not going to reply haha.

    So I will.

    The Long Beach was the consummate “Cold war era” weapon bar none !

    Know as Rickover’s baby (thus the Teakwood planks), This “MIG killer” could get to wherever it was needed FAST!

    Nuclear powered & Nuclear tipped, it was an advanced technology (albeit expensive)testbed.

    The box housed the AN/SPS-32 SCANFAR(rectangle) and the AN/SPS-33CT(square) systems or what we called the “AT&F” Acquire, Track & Fry.

    Un-fortunately stealthy it was not!

    It was deemed too expensive to create others in her class.

    So future AEGIS cruisers would be half her size and gas turbine propelled, encompassing a more distributed package approach.

    Just think
    All this, just so little dutch boys can wave their wankers all over the planet.

    Louie B.
    70-73 onboard the “mobile chernobyl”

  4. seabart says:

    Thanks for the explanation….unfortunately I don’t get the Little Dutch boys part, must be my bad english?

  5. Andy Farley says:

    Right, so it was a uber radar on a nuke hull? Probably advances in AWACS made it obsolete as well.


  6. Victor M. Jacobs says:

    As I said, ” at that time.” Did you serve aboard Louie B.? I agree that things had to change. Just as there are no more like her, there are none like Bainbridge and Truxton. Gas turbines were definitely the way to go for destroyer and slightly larger hulls. But how else do we advance, than try things and then find better ways. Or does it have something to do with congress and pork barrel spending? Maybe a bit of all the above. Calling it the “mobile chernobyl”, I gotta believe you don’t know a hell of a lot about how nuclear power plants are designed. There is a very large difference, and I’m not comparing wankers, between the way the USSR did biz, and well, most of the rest of the world. The USSR was run by “gangsta’s.” They did not care about anyone but themselves and answered to no one else. At least our gov’t’s “gangsta’s” have to at least appear as if they have to. Also, I’ve never heard it reffered to as ” Rickover’s baby”, Nor do I understand why you call it the ” consumate cold war era weapon.” I do agree, however with your calling it a ” MIG killer.” It was definitely that.

    And if you, Louie B., did serve aboard the “BITCH”, in what division did you serve?

    If I don’t reply quick enough for you, please umderstand that I may have other things to do.

  7. Victor M. Jacobs says:

    A couple of more things. Other than subs, were there any stealthy ships in, say, 1960? Then why bring it up? Also, seeing as how you said that the radar system ” as we called it” was AT&F, you probably served as a radar tech. Yes or no?

    And, yes I know, subs are boats.

    And even without the superstructure, the hull is not anonymous. Show me another hull that looks like that.

    Seems to me that Louie B. agrees with the person who wrote up this “review” of this ugly ship. That military sailors are nothing more than a bunch of children given the chance to wag their wankers around the globe. While I might agree that that is the justification of some, I do not agree that that is the reason that the majority served. When the people with guns who don’t like the way you look, live, or believe come for you, what are you gonna’ do? Be sarcastic?

  8. Victor M. Jacobs says:

    Just trying to figure out where this web paged is based.

  9. Victor M. Jacobs says:

    Wankers kinda gave it away, but wanted to be sure. Enjoy your bangers and mash.

  10. Victor M. Jacobs says:

    I admit that I am older and a bit more scatterbrained, but have you noticed how carriers and other ships( Ticonderoga maybe) have boxier superstructures?

  11. Victor M. Jacobs says:

    Andy Farley,

    What are AWACS advances? I think I know, but then again, What is the difference betwen Chernobyl, Three mile island and EBR 1? Spit it out.

  12. Good grief! says:


    Don’t have a meltdown.

    I think CGN-9 is one of the most impressive ships to ever sail the oceans.

    Not ugly at all, quite the opposite.

    I “do not” agree with the person that wrote this review!

    The “wanker” reference was directed at the fact that everyone (some of them being wankers!) in the world currently has the liberty to “Express” their opinions, because of the efforts of ships like the LB contributing to the “balance of power”.

    Everything gets obsolete at some point even AWACS, by advances in satelites and UAV’s like darkstar and others.

    The Nautilas was the 1st nuclear powered sub.
    Longbeach was the 1st nuclear powered surface ship.

    As far as Rickover is concerned, go read his biography.

    I stood next to him on the 09 level as the ship was being turned around in the Mare Island straits after its overhaul in 71. Nice guy, but then I wasn’t an officer!

    I worked on the twin 1130 UNIVAC that replaced the hardwired CT.

    Mobile chernobyl nickname came about sometime after the New Zealand protests over her visit there.

    Here is a good reference for information:

    Note, however, I do not agree completely with some of the articles conclusions.

    Like you, I also have better things to do, so if you want more answers. Read this:

    Louie B.
    70-73 onboard the CGN-9

  13. Victor M. Jacobs says:

    thanks louie, but i find it hard to believe that you stood next to hymie. I manned the throttles during the entrance to new zealand as well as australia, forget the nuclear free pacific.

  14. Victor M. Jacobs says:

    Wildlouie/Louie B. Make up your mind. I am not having a meltdown. You needf to decide who you agree with. Do you believe that we are all just Dutch Boys, tryin’ to stick our wankers in the dike, or are we tryin’ to keep the peace? Exorcet missiles make sailors the same as cannon fodder.

  15. Victor M. Jacobs says:

    I served onboard from 74-77.

  16. Victor M. Jacobs says:

    Also, you may know about the Nautilas, but how about the Thresher?

  17. Victor M. Jacobs says:

    So, who is taking responsibility for ugly ships? They have indicated their belief in military sailors. Let them own up to their website. I stand behind what I believe by giving my full name. What about the rest of ya’?

  18. Victor M. Jacobs says:

    The thing is, the “guy” has revised the initial comments about the box since I have replied. Afterall, it was an ” ugly ship”. Now it is boxy. Seems this guy reinvents his understanding of what is an ugly ship. My memory is that the uss long beach was an ugly ship because of this really big superstructure.Now it has to do with that it has the highest bridge above this box. He never commented on the radar until I mentioned that it was the box that made it so deadly. Who is this guy kidding? Bite me you know nothing SOB.

    MM1 Jacobs

  19. Victor M. Jacobs says:

    Remember Andy Farley, 12 Sept., 2009

  20. Victor M. Jacobs says:

    So there is no misunderstanding; When Hitler and his minions force you to come after me, I will do my best to make you die for your beliefes before I die for mine. In other words, F..K You!

  21. C Ya ! says:

    This has been fun, but I’m outa here.

    Victor, get back on your meds !

    Louie B.

  22. Andy Farley says:

    Victor – you’re ascribing beliefs to people and judging them on that.

    No one has disparaged your ship – apart from to put it on Ugly Ships. And Seabart LOVES ugly ships, or why else would he have this blog?

    The guy who said “wankers” /served on the same ship/. And the comment wasn’t even *about* the ship.

    Nice to see Godwin’s law if full effect though.

  23. seabart says:

    Victor: chill out mate!

    This site is supposed to be fun, no need to go on a rampage!

    BTW: I never revised a single thing in the above post.

  24. Bright Star says:

    Victor said: “Exorcet missiles make sailors the same as cannon fodder”

    What about turning MIG pilots into “Jiffy Pop” with the 33CT ?

    Anyway the Longbeach had port & starboard CIWS for that crap !

    War with rules SUX



  25. D. Hall says:

    I served onboard 76-79, I had a great time on her, I was very proud and still am..
    I have some of coolest pics of missles being fired and and I learned a lot also..

  26. Andy Farley says:

    “Anyway the Longbeach had port & starboard CIWS for that crap !”

    Got to love the CIWS. I was reading about the Australian designed gun that can fire a million (?!) round per minute wondering why it didn’t replace that Phalanx. Apparently the Phalanx leads the incoming missile and registers it’s own outgoing round stream, correcting it to the target.

    Pretty cool – especially for the 70’s.

  27. Bright Star says:

    I had to laugh at the guy that described the CIWS as looking like
    “R2D2 with a hard on”

    “Australian designed gun that can fire a million (?!) round per minute”

    Is there a link to that?

    I can’t imagine them using depleted uranium shells for that.
    That would be some bio-hazard for sure.


  28. Bright Star says:


    D. Hall

    A good place to post pictures of CGN-9 is at the Facebook group:

    USS Long Beach CGN 9

    Where everyone hangs out Thanks

  29. Andy Farley says:

    Metal Storm:

    Doesn’t seem to be making the expected impact, so to speak.

  30. Victor M. Jacobs says:

    I apologize for having a ” meltdown”. I agree that I may have over reacted. But LouieB made the statement that ” all this, so that little dutch boys can wave their wankers all over the planet.” SEABART says that he doesn’t understand the dutch boy comment, but he also talks about having already commented on his opinion about the worlds navies. And about reading between the lines. And about not going on a rant.

    I can read between the lines, and I have no problem with ranting and raving.

    SEABART says that this is just about having fun. But he still expresses his political views.

    He is oh so subtle.

    LouieB, Whether you know it or not, you are supporting SEABART.

    And SEABART, If you never revised anything about the above post, why did I talk about the box and why did Andey Farley ask me about it.? Damn! I just noticed. You changed it again.

    You are the same as a political officer. Change history to reflect your ” truth”.

    You win!

  31. Victor M. Jacobs says:

    As far as metal storm, I don’t know. But I do know this:

    “Axes flash, broadswords swing,
    Shining armour’s piercing ring
    Horses run with polished shield,
    Fight those Bastards ’till they yeild
    Midnight mare and blod red roan,
    Fight to Keep This Land Your Own
    Sound the horn and call the cry,
    How Many of Them Can We Make Die!

    Follow orders as you’re told,
    Make their yellow blood run cold
    Fight until you die and drop
    A force like ours is hard to stop
    Lose your mind to stress and pain
    Fight ’till your no longer sane,
    Let not one damned cur pass by,
    How Many of Them Can We Make Die!

    See ya, folks. We all get what we deserve.

  32. Jakeman says:

    It’s easy to change info on the internet.

  33. Jakeman says:

    Especially when its your website. I am still Victor M. Jacobs

  34. Jakeman says:

    Reading between the lines of my earlier post about navy-vessels you might already have figured out my opinion about the world’s Navies so I’m trying not to go into a rant today.

    The box housed the AN/SPS-32 SCANFAR(rectangle) and the AN/SPS-33CT(square) systems

    Looks like Victor’s not going to reply haha.

    So I will.

    This has been fun, but I’m outa here.

    Victor, get back on your meds !

    Louie B

  35. Jakeman says:

    I understand that sailors with no nuclear training have a bad attitude about nuc ships. Afterall, I had to chase two conventional MM’s out of the ER during a yard period. The older of the two, who was a PO2, said that they should drown all nuc’s like dogs, and the younger of the two, who was a PO1, asked that they be put back on a steam driven ship.I kept telling them that they did not have the security clearance to be in my space, but after they made these comments, I lost my temper and asked them what kinda ship they thought they were on, a sailboat? Then I told them to get the hell out.

    I have little patience with stupidity.

    I have had my head up my ass on more than a few occasions. And while I know that I need to call for the low visibility detail, I know that I am not blind.

    Say what you will, I will always stand for the military.

  36. Vic says:

    I’ve been having fun. How about you, SEABART?

  37. Vic says:

    The Long Beach had a teak deck at the officer’s brow because it was the alternate Admiral”s Flag ship. It was the last ship in the fleet to have a teak deck. Do we understand about “Flagship”?

    The Nuclear Navy was Rickover’s baby. Not any single surface ship or sub.

    If I misunderstood your “wanker” referance LouieB, I apologize. But I don’t think I did. Even SeaBart said he had no clue. Not that I believe that. And I’ve met Hymie, and I would not describe him as you did. Maybe thats because I’m a Nuc. I’m qualified to glow in the dark. So are my kids.

    Please forgive me if I’ve upset some of you. But LouieB and Seabart can KMA.

    Later taters.

  38. Vic says:

    I Know, I am such a scatterbrain!

    But I have to ask SeaBart,

    As far as you going back and forth on the info in the above post:

    Please tell me that you are not being a butterfly!

  39. DJ says:

    Seems to be a very new website. How did you pick this ship as an uglyship?

  40. Jakeman says:

    Good Grief!

    Your weblinks are good, but not truly apropo. Sorry Louie, try again.

  41. Jakeman says:


    You say you served aboard the ” mobile chernobyl” from 70-73.

    You do realize that Chernobyl happened in 1986? You may say that that was the nickname after entering NZ or Aus., but by stating that you served onboard the “mobile chernobyl” in 70-73, you are stating your feelings about the ship? I can read between the lines.

    Three mile island happened in 1979, I believe. Why didn’t you call it the “mobile island”? Still happened after you served. I am trying not to have a meltdown. HaHa. Again LouieB, its probably better that you decided to be “outta here”. You really can’t keep up.

    And SeaBart, I’m still having fun, how about you?

  42. Jakeman says:


    You say that you haven’t revised your original post.

    But, it was that self same foward structure that made it so deadly when compared to the othere ships of the fleet, at that time.

    What was special about the box Victor? How did it make it more deadly?

    She was also a experimental platform for a complete new radarsystem and that was also the reason for the big box-shaped thing underneath her bridge

    Why would Andy ask if you had put this info in your original post?

    You can fool all of the people some the time, but you can’t fool all the people all of the time.

    And I’m still having fun!

  43. Jakeman says:


    I am still reading between the lines of your earlier post about
    your opinion of the world’s Navies. Do you think I have a clue? Do I at least suspect? And I am still having fun!

  44. Jakeman says:

    Bright Star,

    Thanks for the facebook link!

    We can talk about ship killer missiles, but whats wrong with making MIG pilots ” jiffy pop” ?

  45. seabart says:

    Oh yeah, I am still having fun! Laughing my socks of here! Can’t get enough of seeing grown up people making a fool of themselves over a freaking old welded up bunch of steel.

    Regarding altering the post: I never did. And seeing your comments above you won’t believe me, whatever I may say….so I won’t go into an argument about that.

    Regarding the “reading between the lines”: I might have had to change that. It was in regards to a much earlier post about me ranting on about the all our nations proud navies basically giving the Merchant Navy the finger on the Gulf of Aden Pirate issue. But I pulled that after having second thoughts about posting it. So yeah, sorry about that, won’t happen again.

    Now: please continue to have fun!

  46. Bright Star says:

    Seabart thanks spoken like a true Wanker !

    Victor – nice pics on facebook !


  47. seabart says:

    Bright Star: thanks for the compliment, you just made my day!

  48. Squidley says:

    It’s the good old MN saying, If in grey, stay the hell away.

  49. Smokin Joe says:

    The Long Beach was destined to be a unique ship in that the navy politics were against her from the start.
    Even while she was being assembled and the long range AN/SPS 32/33 radars were being installed, there was a move afoot in NAVSEA to replace her with the AEGIS series of ships being lobbied by a certain commander and a certain electronics company to replace the 32/33, made by Hughes Aircraft Company, with that of the AEGIS radar made by RCA.

    Are you starting to get the picture!

    Politics and career jocking, were far nmore important than the millions of dollars and dedicated hours, from those of us who poured our blood sweat and tears into the old girl. So even though the Long Beach proudly served the fleet, Talos and Terrier were under attack by the “standard missle” vertical launch system.

    The buzz word around NAVSEA and the Pentagon was “better is the enemy of good enough.”

    So the Navy was slowly changed over from the great ships like the Long Beach, to poor sea keeping vessels like the AEGIS ship.

    NAVSHIPS had one helluva a time in the design of the AEGIS, and its ability to keep above decks, light enough to recover from rolling seas.

    The RCA radar design was too heavy and needed some of the innovative technology created by Hughes Aircraft Company.

    Ironic that the very company that RCA was trying to sink, would be that salvation of the their own radar design.
    So, in time the SPS 32/33 radar was scrapped in favor of the AEGIS ship(s).

    For those of us in the know, the USS Long Beach could outperform AEGIS on its worst day.

    Long live the memory of the Long Beach, Admiral Rickover and Captain Captain Eugene Wilkinson and the first Exec –
    Captain Swarz, who met an untimley death meeting the ship in Long Beach. CA.

    I will never forget the USS Long Beach and the hundreds and hundreds of sailors and officers she held from harms way.

    I know a ship is just steel, but I tell you the CGN 9 had a soul and a ghost that still sails the oceans of the world.

    Joe Bradley

  50. Andy Farley says:

    Nice post Joe.

    And if you think American pork barrel politics are bad, you should take a look at British procurement policy.

  51. Victor M. says:

    Seabart, I may be wrong, but I seem to remember the post specifying the radar suite after Louie B’s 18 Sept input. If I am wrong, I apologize.

    “She was also a experimental platform for a complete new radarsystem and that was also the reason for the big box-shaped thing underneath her bridge.” This is now in your ” original post”. If this statement had actually been in the original, I would have said somethig like” it is this radar suite that made her so deadly” not what I actually said. I realize that there is no way either of us can prove what was there originally, and like you, I am not going to argue about it. I will however, always say what I think. If anyone hasn’t figured that out yet!

    To Brightstar, I have more pics.

    To Andy Farley, I did ascribe beliefs to people, at least to some extent. I took Seabart’s comments about reading between the lines of an earlier post about the world’s Navies,leggos, and Louie B’s Dutch boys and their wankers, and jumped right the heck on it with both feet.

    Again, I apologize.

    Smokin’ Joe, thanks for your comments, also. I too believe that some, if not all, ships aguire some sort of energy, soul if you will, by all that served aboard her.

    Let the good times roll! 🙂

  52. Victor M. says:

    I am still a scatterbrained SOB. Been that way for a few years now. I also wanted to tell Seabart that I am not completely familiar about the military navies vs the merchant navies during the Gulf of Aden Pirate issue. I’ll to to look that up. I have never considered the merchant navies to be any less than the military. Afterall, during the first two WWs, they basically crossed and recrossed the oceans with little or no protection from their enemies. Don’t take any sh.. stuff from anyone. I don’t.

    But, I gotta wonder how many years did you sail the worlds oceans if you can talk about ships just being freaking old bunches of welded steel?


  53. seabart says:

    @ Victor M.:
    The whole issue regarding the Gulf of Aden issue, especially in the beginning was that if any of the Merchant Marine Vessels asked for protection some hotshot behind a desk somewhere said “NO!”
    I argued that as the navy originally was established to protect the countries Merchant Marines they should put their arses in gear and get out there to do their job instead of playing tourist in some tropical resort on a PR-mission. There was more that I was annoyed and ranting about but I’ll spare you that.
    Now things has changed a little bit…..luckily, for the better.

    Answer to your other question: I’m already making the 7 seas unsafe for more than 12 years and still going strong, and will keep doing it as I rather love my job. But I still regard ships as no more than tools to do the job, and nowadays the vessels are considered disposable by most companies which makes you a bit sarcastic about it all.

  54. Victor M. says:


    It was not my intent to be sarcstic. Well, not entirely. And I am not sure what you mean. Which post are you referring to? There have been so many. I’ll argue if I must, but I would rather discuss.

    I have yet to research the Gulf of Aden. Does it have to do with the frequency of piracy in this area?

    You seem to have served at sea a lot more than I have. Maybe it has to do with my age when I served, and your age since you’ve been serving. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I view it as a service, and you view it as just another job.

    I loved being at sea and pulling in to all the different ports. Maybe you are tired of the boredom of being at sea and going from point A to point B. I don’t know your sailing history.

    I have known people that spent 30 years in the navy and loved it. But there is no denying the boredom of long periods at sea.

    Maybe the MN is even more boring than the military navy.

    I do agree that the military navy was not only to keep our shores safe, but to protect our MN’s.

    Andy Farley mentioned GB’s vs US’s pork barrel spending.

    Unfortunately, gov’t’s bureaucrats will be the death of us all.

    That is one of the failings of a citizen elected gov’t. It is the worst form of gov’t in the world. Except for all the others.

    If you’re going to be a sailor, you have to accept the fact that once you sail beyond territorial boundaries, you’re pretty much on your own. For better or worse, that’s just the way it is.

    Sail on, Seabart. Fair winds and following seas.

  55. Victor M. says:

    You are the website administrater, You can do what you want. If you can put lines through certain lines, you can change lines in their entirety. Say what you mean, mean what you say, and own it!

  56. Victor M. says:

    ” and nowadays the vessels are considered disposable by most companies which makes you a bit sarcastic about it all.”

    This is what I don’t understand. How have I been sarcastic about it all as compared to what you call a disposable commodity? Please enlighten me. I really want to know.

  57. seabart says:

    The “You” in that sentence was meant in a general way, not aimed at “You: Victor”. It was meant to mean “Me & my colleagues” It wasn’t meant to insult or be aimed at you in particular.

    I guess better (Queen’s) English would have been:
    “which makes one a bit sarcastic about it all.”

  58. Victor M. says:

    And we are both trying to communicate in the Queen’s English. It seems that we are not at such odds as I first believed. Mostly my fault. I do apologize.

    I agree that the corporate world reduces everything and EVERYBODY to a line item. Everything and EVERYONE is a tool to be used. But that’s not the grey navies fault anymore than the MN.

    The grey navy goes where it is ordered, same as you. Whether it be a PR run to the islands or a show of force that can quickly become a shooting match.

    All sailors should come together and realize that it is the bureaucrats that control our destinies. Or do they?

    Local, regional, and national police say they are there to protect us. Even though they know that they cannot actually protect us as individuals, they do not want us to protect ourselves. They are more worried about their own saftey. If they admit that they cannot actually protect us, what happens next? That is what our leaders fear. That we realize that we have to protect ourselves. We suppossedly have that right. But we are not allowed to.

    As I said, once you sail beyond the terriatorial boundaries, you are truly on your own. Its always been that way.

  59. I had never seen such a beautiful design and elegance in a warship, congratulations engineers and all those who served on board this elegant lady called LONG BEACH!!!!


  60. Victor M. says:

    Senor de Farias, Sir!

    I agree, and thank you.

  61. Robert Karp says:

    I wonder what happened to the two 1961 Silver Dimes that were behind the plaque inside the main mast that was placed there on the day the Long Beach was commissioned.

    Bright Star – Depleted Uranium. Is non expanding so it makes it ideal for tearing apart incoming missiles. It’s really not a radioactive hazard at all.

    I served on the Long Beach from 1983 to 1985 as an OS2.

    I also served on the USS Coronado, USS Camden, USS Enhance and USS Pledge.

    Of all the ships I served on the USS Long Beach was by for the most impressive.

    People knocking the Long Beach superstructure, I have news for you, The USS Enterprise supports the same type of superstructure.

    When I served on the Long Beach all that space that was designed for that special radar system was converted into office space.

    Of course they would have stripped the Long Beach’s superstructure off after decommissioning. It was made of aluminum. There are lots of ships in PSNS that are much older then the Long Beach that still have their superstructures.

  62. Victor M. says:

    SEABART has gotten everything he wanted off this one. He declares his opinion but minimises anyone else’s.

  63. Victor M. says:

    There has been so many misconceptions when it comes to nuclear power, nuclear physics, and basic physics. All I can say is that people should read the basics before they try to undermine the basics.

  64. Bruce S. says:

    G’day from downunder. I’ve had fun reading all the posts, I was shocked a few years back while doing research on LB (for a 1/72 scale RC model) that she had been decommissioned along with the the California’s and Virginia’s what a waste of asset’s typical of govt’s all over going for the cheaper option. The Nuke’s added versatility to the US Navy, no conventionally powered ship would be able to do the high speed transits the nukes wher capable of.
    ( model of Long Beach is still under construction )

  65. Victor M. says:

    We played tag with a Russian gas turbine in the northern sea of japan one time. They may have had speed on us, but we always passed them while they were refueling.

  66. Victor M. says:

    He who needs most replenishment looses. Just in case seabart can’t figure that out.

  67. Rick Sanchez says:

    I am surprised that the responses are concentrated on the radar and appearance. I served one tour on the Long Beach as a nuclear operator (1968 to 1971) including one tour in Viet Nam. The Long Beach’s performance is what I remember. If you wanted to serve on a ship that rarely left port in the US, the Long Beach was where to be. We couldn’t do much more than 30 knots with a clean hull, so we couldn’t keep up with the carriers, so we rarely left port. The reason was that the Long Beach was originally going to be a DLG weighing 12,000 tons. By the time the USN was done expanding it, it weighed 14,000 tons. During sea trials, it was feared that the ship would roll over because it was so top heavy, so 2000 tons of lead was added along the keel to raise the weight to 16,000 tons. With 2 40,000 shaft HP engines, the total power was 80,000 SHP. We tied up outboard of the heavy cruiser Oklahoma City in Subic. It too was 16,000 tons, but had 4 30,000 SHP engines for at total of 120,000 SHP. Therefore for the weight, the Long Beach was seriously underpowered. While in port in 1969 in Long Beach, the Bainbridge and Truxton regularly tied up outboard for a week end and were gone for a couple weeks plane guarding carriers, which I said we couldn’t keep up with. In the mid 1960’s, the 2000 tons of lead in the keel shifted so the ship didn’t roll symmetrically, and jerked 2 or three times each way rather than rolling smoothly and then snapped upright. Additionally, one of the shafts was out of balance so it vibrated a lot when it was over 20 knots. The top heaviness also caused it to roll up to 35 degrees to each side which made the steam generator sloshing from side to side real interesting and left foot prints 6 feet up the walls at the ends of the athwart ship passage ways where a sailor was forced to stop himself during a roll. In heavy seas, the nose would dive, and water would come up thru the bull nose and cover the forward Tarrier launchers. What a ride! But, because of the advanced radar and Talos missiles, the North Vietnamese never flew a MIG within range during our 1969-1970 cruise. We couldn’t steam with the carriers, so we steamed alone in circles for a month and visited ports such as Hong Kong and Bangkok all by ourselves. Great liberty! As the tallest ship in the navy, we had to take down 13 feet of removal mast to get under the Golden Gate Bridge on our way to dry dock in Vallejo and had to do a full bell to get under the Richmond San Rafael Bridge before the tide came in. I was standing on the stern when we passed under the Golden Gate Bridge, and I thought we were going to hit it for sure. We also had to tie up at the carrier piers on North Island when in San Diego because we couldn’t get under the Coronado Bridge to get to the cruiser destroyer piers.

  68. aidan says:

    Does anyone know any specifics regarding vietnamese boat people mission that this ship might have participated in.

  69. Victor M. Jacobs says:


    This all started when Seadog included the Beach in his list of UGLYSHIPS. Said it was that LEGGO’S box. Kinda went downhill from there. As far as some are concerned. I had a great time! But then again, I’m a nuc. I like discourse. I served aboard from ’74-’77. My first cruise was during the last months of Vietnam.

    Later Shipmate,


  70. Victor M. Jacobs says:


    During my first cruise, there were rumors we would be asked to provide boarding parties for ships leaving Vietnam.


  71. Victor M. Jacobs says:


    What part of the world do you reside in now?

    I’m in SE US.


  72. CFOUR says:

    I served aboard the “Grand Ol’ Lady with the Big Box” from 66 to 71. When we pulled into Hong Kong, the international NRC came out to take radiation readings. They were so sure they would be able to send us away because of being “hot”. Boy did we get the last laugh. The radiation was was higher in their wala wala boats than in the engine room. Chinese lose face you betcha.
    You East Coast guys missed all the hoopla of going under the Golden Gate bridge at low tide with the mast lowered. She was the tallest warship in the world.

  73. Steve Barrow says:

    I thought I would send this under my name as opposed to a pseudo. I should have done this on the first above. We in TALOS Div. always heard the lead was put on board to correct a starboard list. Am I wrong on this? And what about all the the higlhineing with did on PIREZ. We always had a race at the end and always pulled a head. Of course we had to do a left full rudder at full speed to impress the supply ships crew. Hell, it impressed us after we finally up righted and changed our drawers. You can see some of the left full rudders posted on other sites.

  74. John Spectre says:

    Why are my “replies” being returned as “discarded” !!

    If this get posted…Please Delete

  75. John Spectre says:

    Be sure to join the USS Long Beach “page” on facebook:!/pages/USS-Long-Beach-CGN-9-Strike-Hard-Strike-Hom


    Videos, photos, discussions & memorabilia !

  76. Victor M. Jacobs says:


    I see you have made a comment just a few days ago. The discarded part may be because of Seabart. Who knows? He seems to believe most ships are ugly. I really wish that he would admit to a ship that was at least functional. I just don’t understand how any sailor can think all ships are ugly.

    Ships are tools that allow us to accomplish our jobs. If you hate the tools, how can you love your job? If you don’t love your job, find another line of work.

  77. seabart says:

    Hee….leave me out of that, this time.

    Those replies didn’t pass the spam filter and because I had no acces to tht Internet as being offshore I didn’t notice & couldn’t do anything about it.

    And Victor: I already replied twice to that question, look back at your earlier comments. But I will send you an email.

  78. John Spectre says:

    Sanitizing MIG’s at PIRAZ…can’t really put that on my resume. LOL !

  79. CrackerJack says:

    I still remember my first sight of her when I walked down the pier in Long Beach. I was impressed then, and I still feel strongly about her today, 36 years later.

  80. Jay McNabb says:

    I would just like to add to all of the crap that has been said
    (to those of you who had nothing good to say about it). I had
    the honor to serve on her and I thought that, because of the
    fact that she looked so different than any other and was a one
    of a kind, that made her special. not ugly. I went out today
    and saw her in the shipyard and it’s sad to see what has happened. Ya, it’s bound to happen sooner or later, but that was
    home for several years and it’s was a kick ass ship. Not everone
    can say that they were on a one of a kind ship. When I first
    saw her in the shipyard, I was on a motorcycle ride past the
    base and saw that bow from across the bay and there was no doubt
    what ship it was. From stem to stern, she had everything to
    Kick ass. They don’t make them like that anymore!

  81. Jack Mehoff says:

    I loved that ship. She was BEAUTIFUL. The Chicago class had a superstructure just as high as “Lone Bitch”. I sailed on her and loved her. Saw her hull in Panama, the damned Navy bastards didn’t have the decency to paint over her name and number.

  82. Rex Steinkuller says:

    Ghost ships & Wooden ships – as far as history is concerned it never really existed anyway.

  83. haakondahl says:

    Seabart, you may work at sea, but you’re no sailor. A Cruiser hull, by the way, is shaped like a bullet. Long Beach had no two frames the same, and was not the product of some fevered cost-cutting mass-production design mentality. Long Beach was designed for the sea, not the factory.

    I had thew brief privilege of cross-decking to LBH from Enterprise rounding Cape Horn in Feb/Mar 1990. Amazing, beautiful ship.

  84. haakondahl says:

    Let me know when you get it.

  85. SeaBart says:

    @haakondahl: please explain to me why I’m not a sailor? I’m very curious to what I have to change to be one.

    720/72 = 9 : You’re bad at maths?

  86. JKrob says:


    ol’ ‘Smokin Joe’ made some pretty interesting remarks way back on 4 October, 2009. I just came across this blog, saw his entry and, sorry, can’t help but reply to set some records straight.

    1) “Even while she was being assembled and the long range AN/SPS 32/33 radars were being installed, there was a move afoot in NAVSEA to replace her with the AEGIS series of ships being lobbied by a certain commander and a certain electronics company to replace the 32/33, made by Hughes Aircraft Company, with that of the AEGIS radar made by RCA.”

    That is impossible. Long beach was keel was laid in December 1957…the first Aegis ship USS Ticonderoga was built in 1980 – that is 22 years difference. The Aegis system (SPY-1 radar & associated systems) was not even around back then to be in competition. However, I’m sure AEGIS learned lessons from SCANFAR but they could not be in competition.

    2) “…Talos and Terrier were under attack by the “standard missle” vertical launch system.”

    Vertical Launch System (VLS) was not available until it’s first install in 1986 on USS Bunker Hill CG-52. Talos would not fit VLS & being liquid fueled, too much prep work for a launch.

    3) “The RCA radar design was too heavy and needed some of the innovative technology created by Hughes Aircraft Company. Ironic that the very company that RCA was trying to sink, would be that salvation of the their own radar design.”

    And that “innovative technology” is…?

    4) “So, in time the SPS 32/33 radar was scrapped in favor of the AEGIS ship(s). For those of us in the know, the USS Long Beach could outperform AEGIS on its worst day.”

    I guess the world will never know because the Long Beach started it’s overhaul period to remove the SCANFAR system & Talos the same year that the Aegis cruisers construction started. They were never directly compared operationally. The SPS-32/33 ‘may’ have had more radiating power, but if the control & tracking computers were anything like the Talos computers back aft, I don’t believe the Long Beach would outperform AEGIS…*any* day.

    Just the facts, folks,
    JKrob (EW2 1980-1987)

  87. Lightpainter says:

    I have many fond memories of the Long Beach, I spent many night’s during the years 1966 through 1969 aboard her “my late teenage years”. My sister’s boyfriend, and her best friend’s husband were fire control tech’s on the Long Beach.
    During the summer and fall of 1967, the Long Beach was refitted with the Talos Missle system, and I would go to work with Richard Walker and Robert May, and spend the night pulling cable’s for the Fire Control Center. The result of that refit, was that on the next CinPac Cruise, Spring of 1968, the USS Long Beach, tracked and destroyed a MIG more that 100 miles away over South Viet Nam. The first time that had ever been done by a United States Naval Warship.
    The refit was done at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard, at Long Beach, California.

  88. Lightpainter says:

    If you want to look at her today, She is being turned into razor blades at Bremerton, Washington and you can still see what is left tied up to a dock on one side and several submarines on the other at the Bremerton Naval Yard, Bremerton, Washington.
    A sad end for a truly gallant lady.

  89. I wanted to make sure people see these videos:

  90. On the first video, you may want to advance to time 4:40

  91. John Spectre says:

    @JKrob: You don’t the “CLEARANCE” to even come close to the “FACTS” !

  92. JKrob says:

    @John Spectre…

    **WHAT?!?!?!?** I said ‘Talos’ *not* ‘Telsa’. I don’t think there were any *Telsa* imaginary weapons on the Long Beach.

    Oh, and for the record, I go through a doorway with 6 inches of ‘CLEARANCE’…and that’s the ‘FACTS’

  93. John Spectre says:

    TALOS was SOLID fuel. You have no facts! You are imaginary !

  94. JKrob says:

    @John Spectre…

    geeez…you may want to read your own references a little closer. I’ll give you some credit & say you were quarter right – the booster was solid fueled but only lasted about the first 2 seconds of flight however…the actual RIM-8 missile itself was a ramjet powered weapon which is liquid fueled by JP-4 (jet fuel, kerosene, etc.). See your own reference as well as:
    “Aft of the warhead a cylindrical electronics compartment wrapped around the central tube. Behind this was a mechanical section containing air turbines, electrical generators and hydraulic pumps. These were located between the wing sockets. Hydraulic actuators located in this section provided wing motion for steering. Aft of the mechanical compartment the fuel tank wrapped around the ramjet tube. In the RIM-8A the tank carried about 70 gallons of JP-5 fuel, giving the missile a range of about 60 nautical miles (69 miles). RIM-8C and later versions had an 85 gallon fuel tank giving a range of 100 nautical miles (115 miles) with JP-5 and 130 nautical miles (150 miles) with JP-4 fuel.”

    You are an idiot…This wasn’t that hard to research.

  95. John Spectre says:

    LOL – If you want to experience Tesla’s imaginary “Death Ray” first hand, go stick your head in your microwave oven and hit the start button.

  96. Walk70 says:

    I served on the Longbeach between 1978 and when she went in to get the t-hawks and harpoons. I went on to serve on two other “cruisers” as well as a ff and a spru can. The LB was by far the best. As far as staying in port, that was a Joke. Due to the gas crunch and other issues we stayed haze gray and underway. As far as keeping up with the cvn’s, they either slowed down or we got faster, because we spent many a day chasing the Big E so she could fly the planes. Yea when we got over about 28 knots things began to shake and I bet every sub in the IO knew exactly where we were, but that ain’t what we were built for. Outside of CIC there were two placards. One read “In God we trust all others we track.” The other was, “If it fly’s it dies”. If you have never seen a TALOS shoot you have missed something, but then again, most of the time so did TALOS. No, I loved the Longbeach and wish I had stayed on her, but I got lured by a brand new Spruance class DD. That was a bad choice. By the way the Spruance I was on is now resting at the bottom of the Atlantic while the LB is kinda still floating.

  97. OSC John Ritter, USN Ret. says:

    Some of my shipmates were on the big “E’ and the the “Alcoa” during the early 60’s. Got the tours on both ships. One of those ship’s problems was with the SPS-32/33’S Radar was designed with numerous tube circuits. Really the ships were built before their time.

    As there has been some talk about the admiral with the sub named after, let me tell you about what happened when he toured the “IKE” with the peanut farmer from Ga. After the firepower and airing demonstration, The flag party went to hanger deck to a dress the crew. The next step on the tour was to go to the airboss spaces and the bridge. All the players in the airshow were airborne. There were nine decks between the hanger deck and where they were going with the white house family was going. Then, the elevator got stuck between decks. They missed most of the airshow. BUT…….it worked out the real auidince got the 45 minute speech about the need to improve school education to support his program. Of course, the speaker was the only wearing dolphins on his suit.

    Time goes by and I’m sent to the pre-com for the Carl Vinson. One day, the Ops Boss see’s me in the hanger bay, and ask’s what is in the big box. So I told him it was the elevator car. It stayed in the hanger, in the box, for a year during our workups.

    Of course, the president did not like the wait, so after getting back to the White House, he wrote an E. O. banning personnel elevators. After the election the new president cancelled the E.O., and the ship got their elevator during PSA.

  98. Dan Hollifield says:

    She was a beauty to me. The Bitch got me back from Vietnam two times (’73 & ’73). Went through two typhons off Hong Kong, so tall, we had to list to pass under the Golden Gate Bridge.
    Dan Hollifield

  99. Jerry says:

    Another note about the box… it was aluminum! I was a welder onboard. The box was also to deceive the enemy of thinking there may be an aircraft carrier on the horizon or on the radar.

  100. Mark Spielman says:

    I was on board the Long Beach in 1970 and 1972, 2 tours Nam and was on one of the forward target director trainers. She was deadly in a fight.

  101. Jeff Krob says:


    As of May 2013, the scrapping of the USS Long Beach has (finally) begun…The end is near.

    Google Earth: 47° 33.546′, -122° 37.843′

    Govt. Liquidation Contract:

  102. Danny M. says:

    Victor M. Jacobs I served on the whore with the big box from 76 – 79. Deck ape then a- gang. Ugly she is not Awesome she was. Danny McFarlane

  103. Danny McFarlane says:

    Served on board 1975-1979 2nd Div and A gang.

  104. If you are interested in staying touch with shipmates from the USS Long Beach you can join the FREE website and discussion forum at

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