The University of Southern Mississippi -- McCain Library and Archives
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Collection Title: U.S.S. Biloxi Collection
Collection Number: M353
Dates: 1944 - 1945; 1999
Volume: .25 cubic foot
Restrictions: Available for research use by the serious student and scholar.
The CL-80 U.S.S. Biloxi, the only United States Navy ship named for a Mississippi City, was present during every major military operation in the Pacific during World War II, from January 1944 to May 1945, and was awarded nine battle stars for her service.
The Biloxi was a Cleveland Class Light Cruiser, built by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia. The ship, which was sponsored by Mrs. Louis Braun, was launched on February 23, 1943 and commissioned on August 31, 1943. The Biloxi's captain was Daniel M. McGurl, and the vessel reported to Cruiser Division 13, Pacific Fleet.
During her tenure, the ship screened fast carrier task forces, bombarded shore installations, and covered amphibious landings, seeing action in battles at Iwo Jima, Formosa, Leyte Gulf, Saipan and the Philippines. On April 27, 1945, the Biloxi withdrew from the fighting area for overhaul, returning in time to participate in the attack on Wake Island on July 18. When the war was over, the Biloxi was one of the first ships dispatched to Nagasaki (Japan) to evacuate allied prisoners of war.
Despite being constantly placed in harm's way, the ship made it through World War II without losing a single man, although it incurred slight damage on March 27, 1945, from a kamikaze plane. On that day, the vessel encountered four of the Japanese suicide bombers, shooting down three and disabling the fourth to the point that it crashed into the ship. Fortunately, the bomb it was carrying did not explode. The crew later retrieved the bomb, disarmed it, resealed its head, and placed it on the quarter deck as a souvenir.
The U.S.S. Biloxi was decommissioned in 1946, and as of 1999, her metal superstructure resided in Guice Park at the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor, Biloxi, Mississippi.
Contents of the Collection
Dictionary of American Fighting Ships, Vol. I, 1964, Navy Department, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Naval History Division, Washington, D.C. (Printed from website:www.hazegray.org/danfs/cruisers/c180.txt)
This collection consists of materials that document the service of the U.S.S. Biloxi during World War II and provide insights into life aboard a U.S. Navy vessel in wartime. Of particular interest is an article titled "On the Road to Tokyo", which is a brief rundown of the Biloxi's movements from January through April, 1945. Also of interest is a series of the ship's newsletter, "The Busy Bee." One of the undated issues contains an open letter to the crew dated April 5, 1944, written by a former shipmate who was discharged because he was underage -- he was fourteen.
This collection should be of interest to researchers of World War II, especially those focusing on naval action in the Pacific.
Series I: Original Materials