On the night of 30 November, while engaged in the Battle of Tassafaronga, the New Orleans was struck by a torpedo that tore away her bow. She remained afloat and entered Tulagi Harbor under her own power on 1 December 1942. She underwent further repair in Sydney, Australia, and received a new bow at Puget Sound Navy Yard. By September 1943, she was back in action and took part in the bombardments of Wake Island and the Gilbert Islands.
In early 1944, the New Orleans fired on the Marshalls; from 1718 February took part in a raid on Truk; and later played a role in an attack on the Marianas. In March, she took part in attacks on the Carolines, and in April supported landings in New Guinea. During the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the New Orleans engaged enemy aircraft that penetrated Allied air cover.
Later in 1944 and throughout the war, the New Orleans supported operations on Iwo Jima, the Palaus, Okinawa, Formosa, Luzon, and took part in the memorable Battle of Leyte Gulf. She received 16 battle stars for her service in World War II.
The New Orleans was decommissioned on 10 February 1947 and stricken from the Navy List on 1 March 1959. Six months later, she was sold for scrap.