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CA-44: Steaming through the Panama Canal
CA-44: Panama Canal

After departing North African waters on 10 June, the cruiser returned to the United States to offload her precious metallic cargo and return to the drudgery of Neutrality Patrols. Overhauling at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Norfolk, Va. into the first week of January 1941, Vincennes departed Hampton Roads on 7 January in company with Wichita (CA-45), New York (BB-44), and Texas (BB-35) bound for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Operating once again in the Caribbean, the heavy cruiser fired battle practice and gunnery exercises in company with Wichita through 18 January, when the two cruisers proceeded for Portland Bight, Jamaica, British West Indies. Conducting Neutrality Patrols from this port, Vincennes patrolled in company with other ships safeguarding neutral waters and America's recently acquired Caribbean bases. Vincennes joined other Fleet units for landing exercises at Culebra, Puerto Rico, on 4 February 1941 and sent her 50-foot boats to assist in unloading and troop debarkation drills. She assisted McCawley (AP-10) and Wharton (AP-7) in landing men and material before taking station with Fire Support Group II. The cruiser then fired simulated gunfire support operations with her main and secondary batteries in exercises which foreshadowed her future combat role in the South Pacific.

For the remainder of February, the ship continued her landing support operations with Transport Divisions 2 and 7, anchoring on occasion at Mayaguez or Guayanilla, Puerto Rico. Conducting operations out of Puerto Rican waters, Vincennes called at Pernambuco, Brazil, on 17 March and got underway for Capetown South Africa, on the 20th. Arriving to a warm welcome nine days later, the ship took on a large shipment of gold bullion to pay for arms purchased in the United States by the United Kingdom and then headed home on the 30th. En route to New York, she conducted exercises.