The Baltimore class cruisers were a class of heavy cruisers built for the United States Navy and the last heavy cruisers to be built during World War II. The ships looked very much like those of the Cleveland class. Their main role was to escort light and heavy aircraft carriers. The first of the 17 ships of the Baltimore class were commissioned in 1943 and several survived in service for many years postwar.
The USS Baltimore (CA-68), the lead ship of her class of cruiser, was launched 28 July 1942 by Bethlehem Steel Company, Fore River, Massachusetts,and commissioned 15 April 1943. Between November 1943 and June 1944 Baltimore was a unit of the fire support and covering forces for the US island hopping campaign in the Pacific. Returning to the United States, in July 1944 she embarked President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his party and steamed to Pearl Harbor. After meeting with Admiral Chester Nimitz and General Douglas MacArthur, the President was carried to Alaska where he departed Baltimore 9 August 1944. USS Baltimore returned to the Pacific war in November 1944 and continued to engage the enemy until the end of World War II. Postwar, the cruiser was placed in reserve 8 July 1946. Baltimore was reactivated 28 November 1951 and assigned to the US Atlantic Fleet. On 5 January 1955 she was transferred to the Pacific Fleet and was deployed with the 7th Fleet in the Far East between February and August 1955. Upon her return from the Far East Baltimore was decommissioned 31 May 1956. She was struck from the Navy List 15 February 1971, sold 10 May 1972, and subsequently scrapped.