U.S.S. Louisville Reunion Association Records, 1939-2005

Accession: 2001-023
Extent: .25 linear feet
Restrictions: None.
Copyright: Copyright for some materials has been transferred to the University of Louisville Archives & Records Center.

Administrative History

This U.S.S. Louisville (CA-28) was the third of four ships bearing that name. The first ship named the Louisville was an ironclad, center wheel steamer that was commissioned on January 16, 1862 and served continuously with the flotilla of the War Department on the western rivers during the Civil War, participating in the successful siege on Vicksburg on July 4, 1863.

The second Louisville was the formerly named St. Louis, an American Line steamship that was renamed on April 16, 1918 and served as a troop transport during World War I.

This U.S.S. Louisville (CA-28) was launched from the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington on September 1, 1930 and was commissioned on January 15, 1931. She participated in several naval campaigns during World War II, most notably the battle of Leyte Gulf. On January 5 and 6, 1945, two kamikazes scored direct hits on the Louisville, causing extensive damage. She was repaired and returned to sea duty, only to be struck again by a kamikaze on June 5, 1945. The ship was decommissioned in 1946.

Scope and Content Note

This small collection of material related to the U.S.S. Louisville and its Reunion Association was donated to the University Archives by Wilfred Hester, and documents some of the history of the U.S.S. Louisville, (CA-28) and the men who served aboard her. Contemporary records include a few copies of a shipboard newsletter and a program from Christmas aboard ship in 1939. There is also one issue of the Guinea Gold, an Allied military field newspaper, from 1943. There is one folder of correspondence, newsletters, programs, and printed material from the cruiser's reunion association, as well as a memorial plaque and an association T-shirt, along with a memoir by Hester entitled "An answer to the question: What did you do in the War, Daddy?"

In March 2005 a folder of material on the history of the U.S.S. Louisville along with The Lady Lou and her Valiant Crew, 1931-1946, compiled by Irma Caluwe, were added to the collection.

Box/Folder List

  • U.S.S. Louisville - Christmas Program, 1939 and newsletters, 1941-1943
  • Guinea Gold, volume 2, #36, December 24, 1943
  • "An answer to the question: What did you do in the War, Daddy?" by Willie Wilford "Cotton" Hester, [1995]
  • U.S.S. Louisville Reunion Association, correspondence, newsletters, programs, printed material, 1962-1997
  • U.S.S. Louisville Reunion Association T-shirt, 1997
  • U.S.S. Louisville CA-28, "Lady Lou" plaque, [1990s]
  • History of the U.S.S. Louisville, material added March 25, 2005
  • The Lady Lou and her Valiant Crew, 1931-1946, compiled by Irma Caluwe, added March 25, 2005