USS Reno: Veterans Day Honors For A Brief, Violent Career

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RENO, NV - Monday, Reno will honor its veterans with all appropriate pomp and circumstance with a parade down Virginia Street.

But inside City Hall there will be a smaller, quieter dedication, recognition of a World War II warrior who carried the city's name into some of its more important battles.

The USS Reno was the second of four Oakland class light cruisers.

Built in San Francisco and commissioned in December of 1943, the Navy wasted little time getting her into action. She was deployed less than four months later to the Pacific theatre.

By May she was in combat, escorting aircraft carriers raiding Marcus and Wake Islands, then Saipan. By September she was in action off the Philippines.

October 24, 1944, the USS Princeton was bombed and burning, the Reno stood by fighting, aiding in efforts to save the stricken carrier. When those efforts failed the Reno scuttled the Princeton with torpedoes.

Damaged in the fight, she nevertheless took part the next day in the final action of the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

A few days later she was hit by a torpedo, badly damaged, her crew saved her she sailed home for repairs.

The Reno's war was over. Her final act was helping bring servicemen home from Europe at war's end.

Decommissioned in 1946, she remained in the reserve fleet for another decade. In 1962, the light cruiser with the brief, but violent career was sold for scrap.

Today, 70 years after her launching, all that remains of the Reno is the flag she flew and the ships bell, both long since given to the city of Reno.
Monday a display featuring both the bell and the flag will be rededicated in the lobby of City Hall honoring a brief but proud chapter in American military and local history.

A reception at City Hall will be held from 9am to 1:30pm. The parade starts at 11.