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The USS Phoenix had an operational history of well over 40 years.  Laid down in Camden New Jersey in 1935, she was present at Pearl Harbor, where the Brooklyn class light cruiser escaped damage.  Her main armament of 15 six inch guns was particularly heavy for a light cruiser.  She served with distinction in the Pacific during World War II and was sold to Argentina in 1951.  The Argentinians renamed the ship “General Belgrano” and modernized her several times, including an overhaul that saw British SAM missile batteries installed during the 70’s.  Yet when the Falklands War broke out between Great Britain and Argentina in 1982, General Belgrano was considered one of the major ships of the Argentine Navy.  Her significance lies mostly in the fact that she is the first warship to have been sunk by a nuclear powered submarine, HMS Conqueror, on 2 May, 1982, while attempting to establish Argentine naval superiority around the Falklands.  

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