Bell Ringers

Bell Ringer: Sweet Pea at War: The Role of the USS Portland in World War II

Sweet Pea at War: WWII and the History of the USS Portland

The USS Portland was one of the few American gunships remaining after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. The U.S. Navy relied heavily on the Portland, nicknamed Sweet Pea, in the turning point battles of Midway, Guadalcanal, and Coral Sea in 1942. Author William Thomas Generous explains the contributions of Sweet Pea to the War in the Pacific.

Description

The USS Portland was one of the few American gunships remaining after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. The U.S. Navy relied heavily on the Portland, nicknamed "Sweet Pea," in the battles of Midway, Guadalcanal, and Coral Sea in 1942. Over the course of her service in the Navy, the Portland rescued thousands of stranded sailors, protected scores of aircraft carriers, and provided heavy artillery against the Japanese in the Pacific. Author William Thomas Generous describes the contributions of Sweet Pea in his book, "Sweet Pea at War: The History of USS Portland."

Bell Ringer Assignment

  • CLIP #1: According to William Thomas Generous, was the USS Portland (CA-33) ever attacked by kamikaze pilots?
  • CLIP #1: Based on the clip, what was the nickname for the USS Portland?
  • CLIP #1: At the end of World War II, what happened on the "deck" of the USS Portland?
  • CLIP #2: What were the cruisers "designed" for?
  • CLIP #2: According to William Thomas Generous, why were the cruisers assigned to protect the carriers?
  • CLIP #2: List the three turning point Pacific battles of 1942, based on the clip.
  • CLIP #2: After Sweet Pea fought at Guadalcanal, according to Generous, how did the attitude change about the war in the Pacific?

Additional Resources

Participants

    Vocabulary

    • Admiral Nimitz
    • Aircraft Carriers
    • Battleships
    • Cruisers
    • Decisive
    • Defeatism
    • Pearl Harbor
    • Resilient
    • Rife
    • Scrapped
    • U S S Enterprise
    • U S S Indianapolis
    • U S S Portland
    • U S S Yorktown

    Topics

    U.S. HistoryWorld History

    Grades

    Middle SchoolHigh SchoolUniversity