The USS CANBERRA was a Baltimore class heavy cruiser laid down by the Bethlehem Steel Company's Fore River Shipyard at Quincy, Massachusetts on 3 September 1941. She was christened at her launching on 19 April 1943 by Lady Alice C. Dixon , the wife of the then Australian Minister in Washington and was commissioned on 14 October 1943 with Captain A. R. Early in command. Initially the cruiser was to be named Pittsburgh, but in 1942 President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the 8 inch gun cruiser then building to instead be renamed USS Canberra in honour of the Australian cruiser HMAS Canberra which was severely damaged by gunfire and torpedoes from Japanese warships and subsequently sunk by USN warships at the Battle of Savo Island on 9 August 1942. On 12 October 1942 the ship was officially renamed Canberra.
Badly damaged on 13 October by an aerial torpedo which resulted in flooding of the engineering spaces and bring the vessel to a halt. The cruiser was taken to Boston Navy Yard for permanent repairs which were completed after the end of the WWII.
In 1946 the vessel was decommissioned and placed in reserve and mothballed at Bremerton WA
he "mothballed" heavy cruiser Canberra was redesignated CAG-2 in early January 1952. She was subsequently towed from Bremerton, Washington, to Camden, New Jersey, to begin an extensive conversion to a guided missile heavy cruiser. This work, which took some four years, significantly changed the ship's appearance. It included replacing her after eight-inch gun turret and five-inch gun mount with two launchers for "Terrier" anti-aircraft guided missiles, plus installation of an extensive suite of radars and other electronics.
The above detail were taken from the ships site which includes a full history and photographs of the vessel
Link for the site : http://www.usscanberra.com/