In 2018, the United States Navy commissioned a new ship named for the city of Wichita. The U.S.S. Wichita (LCS-13) is a Freedom-class litoral combat ship. It's the third ship to bear the name Wichita, following the U.S.S. Wichita (AOR-1), a replenishment oiler in service from 1969-93, and the U.S.S. Wichita (CA-45), a heavy cruiser in service from 1939-47 and active in World War II.
At the end of World War II, a book entitled
300,000 Miles to Victory: U.S.S. Wichita was published as a souvenir for the crew members of the U.S.S. Wichita. There were only a few hundred copies produced, and in recent years, many surviving crew members and their families have expressed an interest in the hard-to-find book.
The Wichita Public Library owns a copy of this rare book. In an effort to share this unique item with as many people as possible, the Library collaborated with volunteers Dennis and Elizabeth Kennedy to digitize the book and make it available online.
To view the book, you will need a PDF reader such as Adobe Acrobat Reader. While the digital file has been compressed for the web, it is about 14 MB - load times may be long on slower internet connections.
In 1935, the Philadelphia Navy Yard began construction on a 9,000-ton heavy cruiser, completed and launched in 1937. The U.S. Navy commissioned the ship on February 16, 1939 under command of Captain Thaddeus A. Thomson.
The ship's first major military responsibility was to patrol the Caribbean out of Guantanamo Bay, and over the course of World War II, she traveled to the Netherlands, Uruguay, Brazil, Iceland, Russia, North Africa, the Philippines, Okinawa, and many other places to assist in war efforts.
The ship was decommissioned in 1947 and scrapped in 1959.