Name: USS Northampton
Builder: Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Quincy, Massachusetts
Laid down: 31 August 1944
Launched: 27 January 1951
Commissioned: 7 March 1953
Decommissioned: 8 April 1970
Struck: 1 December 1977
Displacement: 13700 long tons (13920 t)
Length: 674 ft 11 in (205.71 m)
Propulsion: Steam turbines, 120000 shp (89 MW), 4 boilers, 4 shafts
Speed: 33 knots (61 km/h; 38 mph)
Armament: · 4 ´ 5″/54 caliber Mark 42 guns (4´1)
· 8 ´ 3″/70 caliber guns (4´2)
Armor: Belt: 6 in (150 mm)
Deck: 2.5 in (64 mm)
Aircraft carried: None; landing pad available for one helicopter
Redesignated hull number
Redesignated the CC–1 on 15 April 1961, Northampton remained in the western Atlantic until decommissioning in February 1970.
Her cruises ranged from Canadian to Panamanian waters as she extensively tested and evaluated new communications equipment and played host to visiting national and international dignitaries, including Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.
The ship was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 31 December 1977.
“Floating White House”
According to a Washington Post article on 29 July 2006, the Northampton was part of the U.S. government’s plan for continuity of government and reported to be a “floating White House” to which the President could be evacuated in the event of nuclear attack. As such she was designated as the National Emergency Command Post Afloat (NECPA). The Wright (CVL-49) was her sister ship and also designated part of NECPA.
The ship was modified with an extra deck, the tallest communications mast in the Navy and multi-link communications gear.