With the outbreak of World War II,
the number of roles fulfilled by cruisers significantly increased, and by the middle
of the war the U.S. Navy decided they needed a new generation of cruisers.
These were to be the most advanced heavy cruisers of their time. The new heavy cruiser project was named
after the lead ship of the class Des Moines Initially, it was planned to construct
twelve ships, but plans changed, and only three cruisers were built.
The second one was USS Salem.