ARA General Belgrano

The USS Phoenix (CL-46) was built in Camden, New Jersey, and launched in 1938. She was anchored at Pearl Harbor during the December 7th attack, but was not damaged. She served throughout the Pacific during WWII, receiving 9 battle stars.

In 1951, the decommissioned USS Phoenix was sold to Argentina, and eventually renamed the ARA General Belgrano. She was sunk in 1982 by HMS Conqueror during the Falklands War; to date, she is the only known victim of a nuclear submarine.

I am fascinated by this story; maybe it’s the slight incongruity of her original name, or the unlikeliness of her fate. If you’d told her captain on December 8, 1941 that she would eventually be sunk by torpedo, he probably wouldn’t have been surprised. He couldn’t have imagined the circumstances of that sinking, though.

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