USS Hawaii (CB-3)[A 1] was intended to be the third member of the Alaska-class large cruisers. It was the first United States Navy ship to be named after the then-Territory of Hawaii. Because Hawaii's construction was delayed by higher-priority ships like aircraft carriers, her keel was not laid until December 1943, about two years after her sister ship Guam.
Hawaii was launched in late 1945, but post-war budget cutbacks necessitated her cancellation in 1947. The Alaska-class large cruisers were seen as requiring a crew almost as large as a South Dakota or Iowa-class battleship, while the armor and protection of the capital ship-sized Hawaii was no better than a Baltimore-class cruiser and this was particularly significant as the underwater protection designed into Hawaii was poor. In a famous Proceedings article in January 1949, Frank Uhlig dismissed the performance of the class in 1944–1945 and concluded the battlecruiser had no place in the postwar USN. For a time, the US Navy planned to convert the ship into the US' first guided missile cruiser, but this did not come to fruition. A conversion to a large command ship was later contemplated and planning went far enough that money was allocated in the 1952 budget for this purpose. However, with one command ship already completed, Northampton, and a second already chosen, Wright, no work was started upon Hawaii. Having been laid up for twelve years, the still incomplete ship was towed to breakers to be scrapped in 1959.