The Des Moines-class heavy cruiser USS Salem (CA-139), the “Pride of the Sixth Fleet,” was named for Salem, MA, being the third Navy ship of that name. Laid down on 4 July 1945 at the Bethlehem Steel Company in Quincy, MA, and commissioned in May 1949 at the Boston Navy Yard, Salem served a distinguished ten-year career as flagship of the US Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean and of the Second Fleet in the Atlantic. Though never firing her guns in anger, her very presence served as a stimulus for peace during the Cold War – a “Lady of Diplomacy,” hosting to such notables as the Shah of Iran; the President of Lebanon, and the King and Queen of Greece.
Decommissioned in early 1959, the Salem joined the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Philadelphia, remaining in that status 1994 when she returned to Quincy where she will become the centerpiece of the U.S. Naval Shipbuilding Museum, serving her country once again with a new mission of teaching all generations this nation’s rich history of shipbuilding and naval service. Quincy’s proud shipbuilding history comes to life aboard this Cold War-era heavy cruiser. Onboard exhibits feature memorabilia of over 100 U.S. Naval Cruisers including the City’s namesake USS Quincy and the USS Newport News, a Military Weapons Display and Archives, and Model Ships collection.
United States Naval Shipbuilding Museum
PO Box 165Quincy, MA 02170
Open: Saturday and Sundays, Mid-April – Mid-June; September – mid-November; Friday – Saturday – Sunday | 10am – 4pm, July & August.
Group reservations and access to library and archives welcome by appointment.
Organization of crew members who served aboard USS Salem (CA-139)