The heavy cruiser USS Albany (CA-123) was the fourth U.S. warship to bear the Albany name. She was built by the Bethlehem Steel Company and launched on 30 June 1945, during the waning months of World War II, just in time for the coming Cold War.
After her shakedown cruise around Casco Bay, Maine, she soon sailed for the West Indies and took part in numerous training cruises with naval reservists and NROTC midshipmen aboard. In September 1948, the Albany began operations in the Mediterranean Sea and became a member of the Sixth Fleet. In January 1951, the Albany carried the official U.S. representatives to Brazil's presidential inauguration. She was temporarily placed out of commission on 30 June 1958 as she began a major conversion to a guided missile cruiser, armed with some of the most advanced missiles in the world's inventory.