Awards, Citations and Recognition
earned by the
U. S. S. Little Rock and her
Crew
Page last updated: 13 August, 2017


This page is an attempt at cataloging all awards and citations earned by the LITTLE ROCK during her lifetime.
This includes awards received by the ship and individual crew members during their tour(s) on LITTLE ROCK.
Your input is important to making sure that all such recognition is displayed here.

Unit Awards & Campaign Medals
A.  Campaign (Expeditionary) Medals A.  Marjorie Sterrett Award A.  "Course Completion" Certificate
      Navy Expeditionary Medal B.  Shipshape & Sharp Award
B.  Command Excellence Awards

     Battle Efficiency Award




Special Awards to Individuals Ribbons & Medals to Individuals Certificates (Non-official)
A.  Bronze Man Award  A.  Silver Commendation of Naval Valor A.  "Plankowner" Certificate
B.  Letters of Commendation B.  Bronze Commendation of Naval Valor B.  "Last Cruise" Certificate
C. USS Little Rock "Sailor of the Year" C.  Navy Good Conduct Medal
C.  "Spanish Main" Certificate
D.  NESEP Awards to Little Rock crew D.  Sea Service Deployment Ribbon D.  "Equator Crossing" Certificate
E.  Awards not earned aboard Little Rock E.  Commendation of Naval Valor E.  "Rounding Cape Horn" Certificate

F.  Purple Heart F.  "Panama Canal Transit" Certificate


G.  "Straits of Gibraltar" Certificate


H.  "Suez Canal Transit" Certificate


I.   "Arctic Circle Crossing" Certificate


J.  "Order of the Salty Helohopper"


K. "Honorary Crew Member"


L. "1975 Final Cruise" Certificate


Unit Awards & Campaign Medals
This section lists the Unit Awards & Campaign Medals earned by the U.S.S. Little Rock. The official document that details all Navy Unit Awards and Campaign Medals is OPNAVNOTE 1650. From this document we know the USS Little Rock received the following two awards:

#1.   Navy Expeditionary Service Medal (Cuba)

Qualifying dates:  03 Jan 1961 - 23 Oct 1962


U.S.S. Little Rock's participation dates:
20 Jan 1962 through 26 Jan 1962



 
#2.
 Navy "E" Ribbon

0l Jul 1974 through 30 Jun 1975
(See Notes 1. and 2.)



Note 1: The Navy "E" Ribbon denotes permanent duty on ships or in squadrons that won the battle efficiency competition after July 1, 1974. This ribbon replaces the "E" patch previously sewn on the right sleeve of the uniform.

Note 2: The U.S.S. Little Rock also won the Battle "E" award for Fiscal Year 1961. No ribbon was authorized at that time for winning the Battle "E" competition. See Command Excellence & Efficiency Awards below.

Note 3: OPNAVNOTE  1650 says in part:  .... "All personnel permanently attached to or serving with cited units listed.....  during the period designated, or any part thereof, are entitled to the award. Eligibility may be established by documentary evidence in service records, such as orders to officer personnel or page four service record entry for enlisted members.

Note 4: Eligibility for retired, discharged or Fleet Reserve personnel must be determined by the Navy Liaison Office, National Personnel Records Center, 9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63231-5100 or the Navy Personnel Command.
 
Campaign and Expeditionary Medals

A campaign / expeditionary medal is a military decoration  awarded to a member of the military who serves in a designated military operation or performs duty in a geographical theater. These medals are similar to service medals but carry a higher status in that the award usually involves deployment to a foreign region or service in a combat zone.
Medal

Navy Expeditionary Medal

1. Navy Expeditionary Medal


The Navy Expeditionary Medal is an award of the United States Navy which was first created on 05 Aug 1936 by Navy Department General Order (N.D.G.O.) #84 of the Department of the Navy. The Navy Expeditionary Medal is awarded to Navy personnel who have operated in foreign territory to engage in operations, both combat and non-combat, for which no other campaign medal has been awarded.


Two service medals have been authorized for Navy and Marine Corps personnel who served in Cuban waters during the period of tension that culminated in the Cuban quarantine of 1962. The Navy Expeditionary Medal was authorized for service performed between 03 January 1961 and 23 October 1962

Personnel who were attached to Little Rock, and who actually participated in the given operation, are eligible for the Navy Expeditionary Medal. This includes personnel attached to a squadron or unit embarked. (Members of rear echelons, transients, observers and personnel assigned for short periods of Temporary Additional Duty (TAD) or Training Duty (TD) are not normally eligible for the award.) USS Little Rock personnel who were aboard for the period 20 Jan 1962 through 26 Jan 1962 are authorized to wear the medal.

Multiple awards of the Navy Expeditionary Medal to an individual are denoted by service stars. One bronze star is added for each subsequent award after the first, with a silver star used in lieu of five bronze stars.

Note: The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal was also authorized for service in the Cuban quarantine from 24 October through 31 December 1962. The USS Little Rock did not qualify for this award.
Ribbon

Navy Expeditionary Ribbon





B. Command Excellence Awards
Command Excellence Awards indicate that the ship that bears them has proven to be superior in a certain field of operations.

1. Battle Efficiency Award


E

The Battle Efficiency Award (now called the Battle Effectiveness Award), is awarded annually to U.S. Navy ships and other units that win their battle effectiveness competition. The award signifies the overall readiness of the command to carry out its assigned wartime tasks as determined over the course of a yearlong evaluation. The competition measures the ship's overall ability to meet all its mission objectives.

Ships and units winning a Battle "E" are authorized to paint a white "E" on their stacks or elsewhere. The E is twice as large as the other E's and is the only award with shadow. For each subsequent consecutive award a "hashmark" is painted below the white E. Winners of five consecutive E's replace the white E and four hashmarks with a Gold "E" with a silver star above the "E". The "E" and any hashmarks are removed in the year the ship or unit first fails to win the award.

Prior to 1976, personnel of ships and units that won the Battle "E" were authorized to wear a small cloth "E" on their uniform sleeve, with hashmarks and color corresponding to that displayed on their ship or unit. Starting in 1976 personnel were authorized to wear the Navy "E" Ribbon and Battle "E" Device (See below.).

The U.S.S. Little Rock won the Battle "E" in FY61 (01 Oct 1960 - 31 Sep 1961) with a score of 91.26. Personnel aboard the Little Rock during that period are entitled to wear the Battle E Ribbon.

Medal

(None Authorized)
Navy "E" Ribbon

The Navy "E" Ribbon was established in July of 1976 by Secretary of the Navy J. William Middendorf. The award, commonly known as the Battle "E" is based on a year-long evaluation of individual Navy ships, submarines, aviation and other units, and is awarded annually to units that win their battle efficiency competition. The criterion for the Battle Efficiency Award is overall readiness, and recognizes sustained superior performance in an operational environment within a command.

Personnel of ships and units that win the Battle "E" are authorized to wear the Navy "E" Ribbon and Battle "E" Device. Before 1976, they wore a small cloth "E" on their uniform sleeves, with hashmarks and color corresponding to that on their ship or unit.
The ribbon denotes permanent duty on U.S. Navy ships or in squadrons that have won a battle efficiency competition. For each award of the Navy "E" Ribbon, one Battle "E" device is authorized for wear on the Navy "E" ribbon, up to the third award. For the fourth and all subsequent awards, the E with wreath device is worn, with no further devices added to the ribbon. The ribbon, itself, is also commonly referred to as the "Battle E" ribbon.
Ribbon

Navy ''E'' Ribbon
Medal

(None Authorized)
Navy "E" Patch

Prior to July 1976 the Battle "E" the crew of ships winning the Battle "E" competition wore a small cloth "E" patch on right sleeve of their uniform, with hashmarks and color corresponding to that displayed on their ship or unit.
White E    Blue E

Other Common Command Efficiency Awards


E
Maritime Warfare Excellence
E
Engineering / Survivability Excellence
E
Communications / Command & Control Excellence (Note 4.)


In the case of the above awards, an "E" of the stated color is painted on the ship, with a hashmark of the same color to signify consecutive awards. In the case of five consecutive awards, a star of the same color will be painted, replacing the service hashmarks.

All awards, except the Battle E, are 20 inches in length and 25 inches in height without shadow.

Command Excellence Awards are painted and displayed on the port and starboard side of the bulwark aft of the Battle "E"


Additional Common Command Awards

E
Logistics Management Excellence
E
Commander, Naval Surface Forces (CNSF) Ship Safety Award
E
Efficiency Excellence
E
Weapons Excellence (Note 5.)
F
Fire Control Excellence
C
Communication Department Excellence (Note 6.)
A
Antisubmarine Warfare Excellence
DC
Best Damage Control Crew
CS
Combat Systems Excellence (Aircraft Carriers)
H
Wellness Award
H
Habitability Award
M or M
Best Medical Department
N or N
Navigation Excellence
T
Tactical Proficiency
R
Repair Excellence
D
Best Deck Department
W
Best Weapons Department (Aircraft Carriers)
D
Dental
Nav Award
Navigation Award
Deck
Deck Seamanship Award
Note 4.
In FY61 the Little Rock's Combat Information Center (CIC) was awarded a green "E" with a score of 93.5
Note 5.
In FY61 Little Rock's weapons excellence was exhibited by the winning of the coveted white "E" by the Missile System (97.5), the 6" Turret (101.3), and the 5" Mount (125.0)
Note 6.
Communication Department excellence was displayed in FY61 by winning of the green "C" with a score of 94.8.
Ribbons & Medals Awarded to Individuals
This section lists Official Ribbons & Medals presented to crew members while they were aboard the U.S.S. Little Rock. This list includes only Ribbons and Medals that were actually earned while on board the Little Rock.

The list is in the order of precedence. That is, the order in which the medals/ribbons are to be worn. The see the complete order of precedence for all military awards, go to "Grunts Military".

Medal

(Picture not
available)

A. Silver Commendation of Naval Valor (Italy)

On 18 August 1963 the USS Little Rock's helo rescued an Italian woman after the boat in which she was a passenger capsized. Helo Detachment members Lt(jg) Leif A. Elstad, the pilot, received a Silver Commendation of Naval Valor Medal (Italy), Crewman Charles R. Adams ADR3 who jumped to rescue the woman received a Bronze Commendation of Naval Valor (Italy), and crewman G.C. Woody ADJ2 received a Commendation of Naval Valor (Italy). The awards were presented on behalf of the Italian government by Italian Vice Admiral Francesco Baslini at the Italian Naval Academy in Livorno, Italy when the Little Rock was in La Spezia.

(Note: The ship's newspaper
"Talosman" stated that the awards received were as follows: Lt(jg) Elstad, Bronze Medal of Naval Valor, ADR3 Adams Silver Medal of Naval Valor, and ADJ2 Woody a Commendation of Naval Valor.)

Click HERE for more stories involving Lt. Elstad
Click HERE for picture of the Helo Detachment
Ribbon

Silver Naval Valor
Medal

(Picture not
available)


B. Bronze Commendation of Naval Valor (Italy)


On 18 August 1963 the USS Little Rock's helo rescued an Italian woman after the boat in which she was a passenger capsized. Helo Detachment members Lt(jg) Leif A. Elstad, the pilot, received a Silver Commendation of Naval Valor Medal (Italy), Crewman Charles R. Adams ADR3 who jumped to rescue the woman received a Bronze Commendation of Naval Valor (Italy), and crewman G.C. Woody ADJ2 received a Commendation of Naval Valor (Italy). The awards were presented on behalf of the Italian government by Italian Vice Admiral Francesco Baslini at the Italian Naval Academy in Livorno, Italy when the Little Rock was in La Spezia.

(Note: The ship's newspaper
"Talosman" stated that the awards received were as follows: Lt(jg) Elstad, Bronze Medal of Naval Valor, ADR3 Adams Silver Medal of Naval Valor, and ADJ2 Woody a Commendation of Naval Valor.)

Click HERE for picture of the Helo Detachment.
Ribbon

Bronze Naval Valor
Medal

Good Conduct Medal

C. Navy Good Conduct Medal

The Navy Good Conduct Medal was established by SECNAV on 26 April 1869 to recognize the "all-around" good Navy enlisted person, well qualified in all phases of conduct and performance.........

Eligibility Requirements:  After 1 November 1963 any 4 years of continuous active service as an enlisted person in the Regular Navy or Naval Reserve. Per NAVADMIN 305/95, After 1 January 1996, the qualifying period of eligibility is 3 years vice 4 years for service terminating after that date........

Attachments. A bronze star, 3/16 inch in diameter will be worn on the suspension ribbon and bar to denote subsequent awards.



Ribbon

  Navy Good Conduct Ribbon
Medal

(None Issued)

D. Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon

The Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (SSDR) is a decoration of the United States Navy established in May 1980 and retroactively authorized to 15 August 1974. It is awarded to officer and enlisted personnel of the United States Navy and Marine Corps

The Sea Service Deployment Ribbon is granted to any member of the U. S. Navy or U. S.  Marine Corps assigned to a deployable unit (e.g. a ship, aircraft squadron, detachment, battalion, or other unit type that operates away from its assigned homeport) and is forward-deployed for a period of either 90 consecutive days or two periods of at least 80 days each within a given 12-month period.

When a ship's crew qualifies for the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, the ship is authorized to paint and display the ribbon and award stars on the port and starboard side of the bulwark aft to designate the number of deployments conducted throughout the commissioned life of the ship.

This is one of few Naval service awards that has no corresponding medal.

The Sea Service Deployment Ribbon will be awarded retroactive to 15 August 1974. However only one award may be earned for the period 15 August 1974 to 1 January 1979 regardless of the number of years of sea duty or number of deployments made.

Ribbon

USN Sea Service Ribbon
Medal

(None Issued)

E. Commendation of Naval Valor (Italy)

On 18 August 1963 the USS Little Rock's helo rescued an Italian woman after the boat in which she was a passenger capsized. Helo Detachment members Lt(jg) Leif A. Elstad, the pilot, received a Silver Commendation of Naval Valor Medal (Italy), Crewman Charles R. Adams ADR3 who jumped to rescue the woman received a Bronze Commendation of Naval Valor (Italy), and crewman G.C. Woody ADJ2 received a Commendation of Naval Valor (Italy). The awards were presented on behalf of the Italian government by Italian Vice Admiral Francesco Baslini at the Italian Naval Academy in Livorno, Italy when the Little Rock was in La Spezia.

Ribbon

(None Issued)







Medal

Purple Heart Medal




F. Purple Heart

PURPLE HEART MEDAL
TO LITTLE ROCK MM3C
IN NTS CEREMONIES

"For wounds received in action" while serving on board an aircraft carrier in the Philippines, Robert E. King, MM3c, USS Little Rock, was presented the Purple Heart Medal in ceremonies at the Area II Drill Hall last Saturday.

Participating in the invasion of the Philippine Islands on 25 October 1944, King's ship, the escort carrier St. Lo was attacked by a desperation Japanese aerial assault. One suicidal son of Nippon - bent on immortal glory to his emperor, crash dived into the flat-deck of the baby-flat-top, scattering blazing fragments in all directions.

King, with the rest of the crew, abandoned the vessel, and while drifting in his "Mae West" suffered a chest concussion from a piece of the flying shrapnel off the sinking St. Lo. After two-hours in a semiconscious state, he was finally rescued by an Allied destroyer escort.

A native of Broken Arrow, Okla., he attended the Murray State School of Agriculture prior to enlisting in the Navy in September 1943. He reported to NTS in April for duty aboard the Little Rock, a new light cruiser soon to be commissioned.

From THE NEWPORT NAVALOG, Vol. 45, Saturday, 19 May 1945 No. 20.

Ed. note:  "NTS" was the abbreviation for the U.S. Naval Training Station, Newport, RI










Ribbon

Purple Heart Ribbon

Special Awards and Recognition to USS Little Rock
The following are special awards and special recognition made by the US Navy, and by others, to the U.S.S. Little Rock.

A. Marjorie Sterrett Award

All Hands magazine announced in its February 1962 edition that the U.S.S. Little Rock was one of the seven ships in the Atlantic Fleet to win the Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award for FY 1961. That year the award was presented by the U.S. Navy's Chief of Naval Operations to seven ships in the U.S. Atlantic Fleet and to seven ships in the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

The Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award was established in 1917 by the (New York) Tribune Association. It was initiated by a contribution which accompanied the following letter:


Brooklyn, N.Y   
February 2, 1916

To the Editor of the New York Tribune

Dear Sir:

I read in your paper every morning a lot about preparedness. My grandpa and my great grandpa were soldiers. If I was a boy I would be a soldier, too, but I am not, so I want to do what I can to help.

Mama gives me a dime every week for helping her. I am sending you this week's dime to help build a battleship for Uncle Sam.

I know a lot of other kids would give their errand money if you would start a fund.

I am 13  years old, and go to Public School No. 9, Brooklyn.

Truly yours,
MARJORIE. STERRETT


Prior to World War II income from this fund was used to pay prizes annually to turret and gun crews making the highest scores in short-range battle practice, and to submarine crews making the highest scores in torpedo firing.

Since the end of World War II, the Navy has emphasized readiness and fitness of the ship rather than competition between individual departments. Accordingly, the income from the trust fund has been used to promote battle efficiency by its payment to ships which stand first in the intra-type battle efficiency competitions. It has been the policy to rotate eligibility for the award annually among the various type commands.

The award includes a small monetary stipend (about $1500 in 2004). Commanding officers receiving the award must put the money into the ship's recreation fund, where it can be spent on athletic equipment, prizes for athletic or marksmanship competitions, recreation room furniture, dances, parties, and similar recreational activities.

"Shipshape & Sharp in '76 Award"

In June 1976 the USS Little Rock received the Commander Sixth Fleet "Shipshape and Sharp in 76" award, for best maintained ship in Sixth Fleet during Bicentennial Year.


Special Awards and Recognition to Individuals
The following are special awards and special recognition made by the US Navy, the U.S.S. Little Rock, and
by others, to individual crew members while they were assigned to the Little Rock.

A. Bronze Man Award

Bronzeman Certificate Sample

Bronze Man Certificate
(Sample)


The Bronze Man Award was unique to the U.S.S. Little Rock. Nothing specific is known about its origin. However, Captain J. R. Payne in the August 1962 issue of "The Talosman" says "Within the next few weeks I will announce a procedure whereby deserving men of the Little Rock will be recognized for outstanding job performance." It seems that the award was given out at the discretion of the Captain, and that there was no designated quantity of awards to be given in a particular time frame. Likewise it seems that these awards were sometimes presented singly to only one crew member, and at other times the award was presented to several crew members at the same time.

Each award had a "Serial Number", and from that we know that there were at least 35 Bronze Man awards made over its life. Below are the details, as far as we have them for each of the 35 awards.

Ser. No.
Recipient
Date
Citation
?
John R. Thibodeau, MM1
62-63
"As leading Machinist's Mate of the Auxiliary Division, PETTY OFFICER Thibodeau has demonstrated superior technical knowledge and perseverance in all phases of his work, particularly in regards to the ship's evaporation and nitrogen plants. He has trained the personnel under his control to the same exacting standards and has greatly raised the reliability of the LITTLE ROCK'S auxiliary machinery. His conduct, leadership, effective application of technical skill, and devotion to duty are symbolized by this award."
?
Hayes C. Mills, SD3
62-63
"As steward in charge of the Wardroom, PETTY OFFICER Mills has demonstrated outstanding leadership, attention to detail, and the ability to foresee the changing needs of a large officer's mess. Under his capable supervision the Wardroom has become a true home with high standards, appreciated fully by the officers of the mess."
?
Rene J. Galipeau, MR1
62-63
"As Machinist in charge of the Machine Shop, PETTY OFFICER Galipeau has consistently exhibited the highest qualities of leadership, outstanding skill and technical knowledge. Under his supervision the Machine Shop has manufactured many machinery parts normally considered outside the scope of facilities available in order to return vital machinery to operation."
?
Joseph S. Zembroski, GYSGT
62-63
"As Mount Captain of the five-inch battery, Sergeant Zembroski consistently exhibited outstanding qualities beyond that normally required or expected of his rank or experience. Under his leadership the mount crew developed into a disciplined and competent team whose performance was consistently evaluated by qualified observers as outstanding in all phases of firing, including local control."
#11
Arthur E. Tilley Jr., MT2
14 Aug
1963

"For consistently high performance of duty while serving on board the USS LITTLE ROCK (CLG-4) from 8 August 1962 to the present date.  As petty officer in charge of the starboard and port missile checkout areas, he has exhibited superior technical knowledge in all facets of the Talos Missile and Missile Test Equipment. This superior knowledge is demonstrated by his quick judgment and unerring skill in analyzing casualties. He has trained and inspired personnel under his cognizance to the same exacting standards, demonstrating at all times a willingness to work and enthusiasm in any assigned task. His conduct, leadership, skillful application of technical competence, and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
Signed: J.R. Payne, Captain

#24 Sam L. Darr, RD1 15 Apr
1964
"For consistently high performance of duty while serving on board the Talos Guided Missile Cruiser LITTLE ROCK (CLG-4) from 31 August 1962 to the present date. While a second class petty officer, he became the leading petty officer of the OI Division when the division's assigned first class petty officers were transferred. He assumed the job with intelligence and vigor, exhibiting qualities of leadership and understanding that were examples to his peersas well as his juniors. During the 1963 Mediterranean Cruise, he provided timely and accurate assistance which aided greatly in the helicopter rescue of an Italian citizen off the coast of Livorno, Italy. His conduct, leadership, technical competence, and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
Signed: C. Edwin Bell, Jr. Captain

#27
Dennis W.  Rozumek, MM3
17 Apr 1965
"For consistently high performance of duty while serving on board the U.S.S. LITTLE ROCK (CLG4) from 30 November 1961 to the present date.  Rozumek, has by his daily work habits, leadership qualities and knowledge of machinery and repair procedures, demonstrated that he is far superior to the average third class petty officer.  He has on many occasion worked on his off-duty hours to repair equipment out of commission, and it was largely through his having worked for a period of excess of seventy-two hours in making repairs on two main feed booster pumps, that LITTLE ROCK was able to commence the current Mediterranean Deployment, with full power available.  His conduct, leadership, skillful application of technical competence, and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Untied States Naval Service."
Signed: R. O. Middleton, Captain
#33
Hugh Strawn, YN3
07 Jun
1965
"For outstanding performance as a good will ambassador and morale booster during the Mediterranean Deployment from 1 December 1964 to l June 1965 on board the Guided Missile Cruiser LITTLE ROCK (CLG 4). STRAWN has given freely of his time and talent as a member of the ship's band "LITTLE ROCKERS" to entertain both our own sailors and the people of the countries that the ship has visited. STRAWN has performed many times in each USO Club ashore during our port visits and on board this ship while underway, thus providing many hours of fine entertainment to various units of the SIXTH Fleet. STRAWN has participated in concerts ashore for various groups of foreign nationals, creating an atmosphere of good will and friendship with our friends in the Mediterranean through music and personal contact. STRAWN'S performance and conduct ashore has been exemplary and in keeping with the highest standards of excellence in the United States Navy."
Signed: R. O. Middleton, Captain

#34
Glenn Walter, PNSN
07 Jun
1965
"For outstanding performance as a good will ambassador and morale booster during the Mediterranean Deployment from 1 December 1964 to l June 1965 on board the Guided Missile Cruiser LITTLE ROCK (CLG 4). WALTER has given freely of his time and talent as a member of the ship's band "LITTLE ROCKERS" to entertain both our own sailors and the people of the countries that the ship has visited. WALTER has performed many times in each USO Club ashore during our port visits and on board this ship while underway, thus providing many hours of fine entertainment to various units of the SIXTH Fleet. WALTER has participated in concerts ashore for various groups of foreign nationals, creating an atmosphere of good will and friendship with our friends in the Mediterranean through music and personal contact. WALTER'S performance and conduct ashore has been exemplary and in keeping with the highest standards of excellence in the United States Navy."
Signed: R. O. Middleton, Captain
#35
Tony Rothrock, DC3
07 Jun
1965
"For outstanding performance as a good will ambassador & morale booster during the Mediterranean deployment from 1 December 1964 to 1 June 1965 on board the Guided Missile Cruiser LITTLE ROCK (CLG-4) ROTHROCK has given freely of his time & talent as a member of the ship's band" LITTLE ROCKERS" to entertain both our own sailors and the people of the countries that the ship has visited. ROTHROCK has performed many times in each USO Club ashore during our port visits and on board this ship while underway, thus providing many hours of fine entertainment to various units of the SIXTH Fleet. ROTHROCK has participated in concerts ashore for various groups of foreign nationals, creating an atmosphere of good will and friendship with our friends in the Mediterranean through music and personal contact. ROTHROCK'S performance and conduct ashore has been exemplary and in keeping with the highest standards of excellence in the United States Navy."
Signed: R. O. Middleton, Captain



B. Letters of Commendation

Thomas Santella BMCM
May 1976
For his role "in the difficult repair to the lube oil cooler" after a casualty with same on 30 April 1976 while enroute to Izmir, Turkey.
Charles Sims MMC
May 1976 For his role "in the difficult repair to the lube oil cooler" after a casualty with same on 30 April 1976 while enroute to Izmir, Turkey.
Graham Boysen BM1
May 1976 For his role "in the difficult repair to the lube oil cooler" after a casualty with same on 30 April 1976 while enroute to Izmir, Turkey.
Donald Zurbrick RM2
Sep 1976
COMMANDER SIXTH FLEET
(Seal)
LETTER OF COMMENDATION

The Commander Sixth Fleet takes pleasure in commending
DONALD R. ZURBRICK
RADIOMAN SECOND CLASS
UNITED STATES NAVY

for service as set forth in the following
 
CITATION:

Petty Officer Second Class ZurbrIck's performance of his duties while serving as Communications Watch Supervisor in USS Little Rock (CG 4), flagship of Commander Sixth Fleet, from 6 August 1974 to 31 August 1976 was commendable. Petty Officer Second Class Zurbrick was instrumental in supporting communications under arduous conditions during the evacuation of Lebanon during June 1976 and July 1976. Through his dedication, zeal and exceptional leadership ability, Petty Officer Second Class Zurbrick provided subordinates with the inspiration and guidance necessary to efficiently and properly process an unusually large volume of message traffic, despite a shortage of personnel. His aggressive and selfless action was a significant contribution to the successful completion of each mission. His professional conduct, technical proficiency and farsightedness contributed immeasurably to reliable communications for the Fleet Commander.  Petty Officer Second Class Zurbrick's professionalism and loyal devotion to duty reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Sixth Fleet.
                    s/s
                    Harry D. Train, II
                    Vice Admiral, United States Navy
                    Commander Sixth Fleet


  C. Dean B. Zaharis FTM2 - "
Sailor of the Year - 1974"





Dean Zaharis received Sailor of the Year Award

Dean Zaharis FTG2 receives the "Sailor of the Year" award for 1974 from USS Little Rock Captain Peter K. Cullins.




Dean Zaharis as Boy Scout Leader

Dean Zaharis FTG2 in his Scout uniform.


1974
FTG2
Dean Zaharis received the "Sailor of the Year" award for 1974

Commander in Chief
United States Naval Forces Europe

The Commander in Chief, United States Naval Forces Europe takes
pleasure in commending

PETTY OFFICER SECOND CLASS DEAN BRIEN ZAHARIS
UNITED STATES NAVY

for service as set forth in the following:

For professional achievement in the superior performance of his duties
which merited Petty Officer Zaharisi' nomination for Sailor of the
Year, while serving aboard the USS LITTLE ROCK (CLG-4). Petty Officer
Zaharis' exemplary professionalism and dedication to duty provided an
example for all to emulate.  His initiative, resourcefulness and contri-
bution of many off-duty hours proved to be invaluable in the successful
accomplishment of the command's mission. Petty Officer Zaharis'
outstanding leadership, professionalism and loyal dedication to duty
reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest
traditions of the United States Naval Service.

ss//
W.H.  BAGLEY
ADMIRAL, UNITED STATES NAVY
COMMANDER IN CHIEF, UNITED STATES NAVAL FORCES, EUROPE


Click HERE for additional information and photos regarding Dean's award.



  D. 
N.E.S.E.P. Awards to USS Little Rock Crew

This section contains the names of LITTLE ROCK crew members who,  while on board LITTLE ROCK were
selected to participate in the Navy's N.E.S.E.P. program. The "Navy Enlisted Scientific Education Program".
N.E.S.E.P. provided a qualified enlisted Navyman a four-year college education free of charge. The selectee
would attend college year-round and would graduate as an Ensign (USN) or Second Lieutenant (USMC).
If you were a N.E.S.EP. selectee from LITTLE ROCK, let us hear from you.

Zradicka, Mark C. FTM3
1961-62 Mark was the first NESEP appointee from the LITTLE ROCK


  E.
Awards not earned aboard USS Little Rock

This section contains the rare exceptions to the "earned while on board the LITTLE ROCK" rule.
The exception(s) taken are noted in the details of the award.


McNair A. Lane, 
RM3

Navy Commendation Medal

McNair Lane receives Navy Commendation Medal

Vice Admiral William I. Martin pins the Navy Commendation Medal on McNair Lane RM3, US Navy, during award ceremonies aboard the Sixth Fleet Flagship USS Little Rock, CLG4. (US Navy Photo)

1967
The news article in the Balboa, Canal Zone newspaper read:

Balboa Boy Wins High Navy Award

WITH COMMANDER, United States Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean - Radioman Third Class McNair Allen Lane, USN, was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal at award ceremonies onboard the Sixth Fleet Flagship, USS Little Rock (CLG4), in homeport Gaeta, Italy, recently.

The medal was presented to Lane for his courage without repect for personnal safety as he rescued a drowning US sailor in dangerous surf 150 yards off the coast of Vietnam. After helping the man to shore, he proceeded to revive him with artificial respiration. Lane was then serving aboard a Navy Swiftboat off the South Vietnamese cost.

Presenting the medal on behalf of the Secretary of the Navy was Vice Adm. William I. Martin, commander Sixth Fleet. Also attending the morning award ceremonies were military dignitaries, Flag Staff officers, Flag Allowance personnel, the Little Rock Marine Detachment, and the Sixth Fleet Band.

Lane is the son of Mr. and Mrs. McNair Lane of Balboa, CZ.

- - - - - -

Shipmate Lane passed on this interesting story:  "My father McNair C. Lane received the same medal for saving a fellow sailor's life. He was on a Destroyer out of Iceland when on patrol in very rough seas they had a collision with a merchant marine ship. My father's best friend fell over board, and my dad jump in and saved him.

The irony is they were picked up by the merchant marine ship, which was going to the Rodman Naval Station in the Canal Zone. (There) he met my Mom, who was a senior at BHS, at a USO dance, and that was that."



Certificates (Official)
Course Completion Certificate
A. "Course Completion". "Course Completion" certificates were issued to US Navy personnel who had sucessfully completed a course (or class) in a specific subject. Many of these certificates were a required part of the qualifications necessary to advance in rate. The certificate shown at the left was one such certificate. This certificate was required for advancement to Seaman 1st Class and for Petty Officer Third Class. It was issued to:
 "R. (n) Ellis" on 25 July 1947.

Certificates (Non-official)
Plankowner Certificate
A. "Plankowner" Certificate.  This certificate was issued to USS Little Rock crew members who were on the commissioning crew of the USS Little Rock when the ship was commissioned on either: 17 Jun 1945 (as CL92),  or  03 JUN 1960 (as CLG4).

Last Cruise Certificate
B. The "Last Cruise" Certificate. This certificate certifies a USS Little Rock crew member as being on the decommissioning crew of the USS Little Rock when the ship was decommissioned on either: 24 Jun 1949 (as CL92),  or  22 NOV 1976 (as CG4).

Spanish Main Certificate
C. The "Spanish Main" certificate commemorates cruising the Caribbean Sea. It does not appear that this certificate was ever issued while the Little Rock was in service, although tradition has it that all crew members who were deployed anywhere in the Caribbean are eligible.

Equator Crossing
D. "Equator Crossing" Certificate. The "Neptuni Regis" certificate is issued as a means of com- memorating the crossing of the Equator either north-bound or south-bound. Eligible crew of  CL-92 during the South America cruise. Eligibility dates are: 05 November 1945, or 09 March 1946.

Mossback Certificate
E. "Rounding Cape Horn" Certificate. Sometimes called the "Mossback" certificate commemorates rounding (or "doubling" Cape Horn, South America.  USS Little Rock CL92 crew on board on 23 Jan 1946 received this certificate.
(See Note 2. below)

Panama Canal Certificate
F. "Panama Canal Transit" Certificate. Referred to as the "Order of the Ditch" certificate commemorates a crewman's transit through the Panama Canal from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean (or vice versa). Eligible date for CL-92 crew is 15 Mar 1946.

Gibraltar Certificate
G. "Strait of Gibraltar Transit" Certificate, frequently referred to as the "Order of the Rock" certificate is issued in commemoration of a sailor making a transit through the Strait of Gibraltar. The transit only needs to be made in one direction, ie: from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean or from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic.

The known dates of transit by USS Little Rock CL 92 and CLG 4 / CG 4 are listed in Note 3 below.

If you can help us with specific dates, please contact the Webmaster.

Suez Canal Transit
H. "Suez Canal Transit" Certificate, usually referred to as the "Safari to Suez" certificate commemorates a transit through the Suez Canal. USS Little Rock CLG-4 crew members who were aboard for the re-opening of the Suez Canal ceremonies on 05 June 1975 are eligible for this certificate.

Arctic Circle Crossing
I. "Arctic Circle Crossing" Certificate. This certificate, sometimes referred to as the "Blue Nose" certificate commemorates the crossing of the Arctic Circle at 66 deg. 32' North latitude. Eligible "Blue Nose" LITTLE ROCK crew members would have been on board for crossings on any of the following dates:  30 Nov 1946,  03 Dec 1946,  29 Sep 1965 or 14 Sep 1972.
(See Note 1. below.)

Helohopper Certificate

"Salty Helohopper"
Certificate

(Click image to
enlarge.)

J. "Order of the Salty Helohopper". This certificate was awarded to individuals who flew as passengers in the Little Rock's helicopter. The certificate reads in part: "Be it known by all these present that (passenger's name) sucessfully and with suave (nay, foolish !) intrepidity did transfer by HELICOPTER from USS Little Rock at sea, to (place or ship name).... "

Although mutiple individuals most likely received an "Order of the Salty Helohopper" certificate, only one has been thus far identified.....  On 28 Dec 1964, ETR2 Joseph E. Cislo received his for making a trip to the USS Stickell DD 888 on 07 Jun 64. Here's what Joe had to say about it:

"I took the helo ride over to the Stickell to repair their crypto receiver, but I did come back after 3-4 hours or so.  While I really was a "radar" guy, I attended a crypto repair school in Portsmouth while the ship was in Norfolk earlier in 1964.  I did luck out that they had all of parts and was able to fix their gear--it wasn't a wasted trip.  I think that was why I was given that joking award for the helo ride. I hate to think what would have happened if their receiver was beyond repair."

Honorary Crew Member Certificate

"Honorary Crew Member" Certificate

(Click image to
enlarge.)

K. The "Honorary Crew Member" Certificate shown at the left (click image to enlarge) was issued to Lynn Olsen, wife of shipmate Stephan Olsen RM1 1967-1970. The text on the certicate reads:

KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS: THAT
Lynn Olsen
SAILED THIS DATE 18 August 1967
ON THE
GUIDED MISSILE CRUISER
USS LITTLE ROCK CLG-4
AND IS HENCEFORTH TO BE RECOGNIZED AS AN
HONORARY CREW MEMBER
Signed:   John  J. Mitchell
CAPTAIN U.S.N. COMMANDING

Lynn Olsen is the wife of OR Division shipmate Stephen R. Olsen RM1 1967-1970.  Do you or a member of your family have a similar certificate?  If so, let us know. We'd like to get a list of as many recipients of this "award" as possible. Please contact the Webmaster.






1975 Decommissioning Certificate
L. The certificate issued for the final cruise of USS LITTLE ROCK CG 4, as shown at left, was issued to ETN2 Ronald R. Hosle. This such certificate is technically the last "official" certificate to be issued from the LITTLE ROCK. The certifcate reads as follows( click image to enlarge)"

A BICENTENNIAL DECOMMISSIONING CREWMEMBER

NOW HEAR THIS:

ETN2  R. R. HOSLE

HAVING SERVED ON-BOARD USS LITTLE ROCK (CG-4) DURING HER FINAL CRUISE FROM YORKTOWN, VIRGINIA TO PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA IS HEREBY AWARDED THIS CERTIFICATE IN RECOGNITION OF HIS EFFORTS IN BRINGING THIS PROUD LADY TO HER LAST PORT.


Note 1:

We have found that the ship issued "Blue Nose" certificates for the 30 Nov 1946, 29 Sep 1965 and 14 Sep 1972 crossings. We have no record of a certificate issued for the 03 Dec 1946 crossing. If you did in fact receive one for this crossing, please contact the Webmaster.

To see a copy of the certificates we have in our archives, please click below:

       30 Nov 1946 crossing certificate issued to James M. Hall RDM3
       29 Sep 1965 crossing certificate issued to Dennis E. McAllister CS3
       14 Sep 1972 crossing certificate issued to Charles H. Kensinger PN3

Note 2: USS LITTLE ROCK on the 23 Jan 1946 reached South Latitude 56 deg 06.5'. However this is NOT sufficiently far south to qualify for the "Red Nose" certificate. The "Red Nose" is reserved for sailors who have crossed the Antarctic Circle at 66 deg 32' South latitude.
Note 3:
Listed here are the known dates of transit through the Strait of Gibraltar. The dates show are typically accurate +/- one day. If you have verifiable information that would alter or add to the dates shown, please contact the Webmaster. The letter "E" or "W" following the transit date indicates the direction (East or West) that the ship was headed at the time of the transit. The destination of the ship on that date is also shown.

                As CL 92
              1946 - 1949

16 Jun 46 (E) Gibraltar
17 Jun 46 (W) Portsmouth, Eng.
22 Aug 46 (E) Gibraltar
19 Sep 46 (W) Norfolk, VA
20 Nov 47 (E) Gibraltar
02 Mar 48 (W) Newport, RI
23 Sep 48 (E) Gibraltar
14 Jan 49 (W) Newport, RI
 
( CL 92 decommissioned 24 Jun 49 )

                 As CLG 4
                1961 - 1969

18 Feb 61 (E) Palma de Mallorca
14 Apr 61 (W) Rota
30 Apr 61 (E) Cannes
18 Aug 61 (W) Norfolk, VA
09 May 63 (E) Toulon
15 Dec 63 (W) Rota, Norfolk, VA
14 Dec 64 (E) Gibraltar
02 Jun 65 (W) Norfolk, VA
02 Feb 67 (E) Gaeta
01 Feb 68 (W) Lisbon
12 Feb 68 (E) Tangier
19 Oct 68 (W) Rota
24 Oct 68 (E) Gaeta
30 Jan 69 (W) Casablanca
09 Feb 69 (E) Barcelona
01 Aug 69 (W) Rota
05 Aug 69 (E) Gaeta


            As CLG 4 (con't.)
          1970 - 30 Jun 1975

27 Feb 70 (W) Lisbon
08 Mar 70 (E) Barcelona
26 Aug 70 (W) Rota, Newport, RI
10 Dec 71 (E) Naples
14 Apr 72 (W) Rota, Norfolk, VA
27 Aug 73 (E) Gaeta

19 Jan 74 (W) Lisbon
01 Feb 74 (E) Malaga


                  As CG 4
           01 Jul 1975 - 1976


?? Oct 75 (W) Rota
?? Oct 75 (E) Izmir
11 Sep 76 (W) Azores, Yorktown, VA

( CG 4 decommissioned 22 Nov 76 )

What is a "Transit through the Strait of Gibraltar"?


Strait of Gibraltar Map

Click map for a larger view.

The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Strait of Gibraltar as follows:

       On the West: A line joining Cape Trafalgar to Cape Spartel.
       On the East: A line joining Europa Point to P. Almina

The map to the left shows the western line as a yellow line near the bottom of the map. The eastern line is shown as a yellow line near the top of the map.

To make a transit of the Strait of Gibraltar, a ship would have to cross both lines, either by sailing from west-to east (from the Atlantic Ocean  into the Mediterranean Sea), or
from east-to west (from the Mediterranean Sea  into the Atlantic Ocean). Whether the ship makes a stop at a port between the two lines is irrelevant.



U.S.S. Little Rock's Helo Detachment

(ca. 1963)

Helo Detachment

USS Little Rock's Helo Detachment 1963
(Click photo for a larger view.)

Elstad's Helo Crew

Helo pilot Lt(jg) Leif A. Elstad, with crewman Charles R. Adams ADR3 (rescue swimmer), and crewman G.C. Woody ADJ2.


U.S.S. Little Rock Helo Pilot Lt. Leif A. Elstad...

had a special knack for finding rescue opportunities.
Below are several articles pertaining rescues in which he was involved:


I.   Helicopter Utility Squadron Two (HU-2) played a major role in the rescue operations (by rescuing 8 people) following the collision between the Israeli liner SHALOM and the Norwegian tanker STOLT DAGALI early Thanksgiving morning 26 November 1964.

Before day break HU-2 had a plane in the air and on its way to the scene of the collision. By day break LT George Gilpin, his crew consisting of LTJG Philip Lehrfeld, Charles Beasley AMH1, and John Pelto AE3, had spotted a partly submerged life boat in the choppy seas off the coast of New Jersey. An approach was made to a hover and four survivors were hoisted into the helicopter. The men were taken to NAS LAKEHURST for examinations at the hospital. The helicopter was immediately refueled and returned to continue the search for survivors.

By this time three other squadron helicopters were launched and they too joined in the search.

A cluster of people were seen on the bridge of the STOLT DAGALI and the helicopter crew of LTJG George Benoit, LTJG Leif Elstad, Christopher Valentine ATN3, and Clyde S. Harting AD3, motioned for the people to walk to the ship's bow. Two of these people were then picked up by LTJG Benoit and his crew.

From: THE WHIRLYBIRD of HC-2, NAS Lakehurst, NJ
http://twaintimes.net/hu-2/wbdec64.html
- - - - - - -
II.   While on a practice instrument approach to Lakehurst NAS West Field Tuesday August 31, 1965, LT Leif Elstad, flying as co-pilot, of a UH-2A Seasprite, spotted a Navy A-4 Jet about to crash after its engine quit just after take off. The plane came to a stop in a marsh a few hundred yards off the end of runway 24.

By this time, the pilot Howard Cobb who had been on instruments and the air crewman, Howard Humphrey, ADJC and a passenger LTJG James Hitch who assisted as an air crewman, had the plane in sight and the crewmen were preparing the hoist and rescue equipment. The helicopter was on the scene in seconds hovering over the downed airman, LT J. S. Bull, from Naval Air Test Center, Patauxent River, Maryland. LT Bull climbed into the rescue sling and was hoisted into the helo. At 2:10PM, just 3 minutes after the plane crashed, LT Bull was discharged from the Helicopter at Lakehurst West Field, put aboard a waiting ambulance and taken to the Station Hospital

From: THE WHIRLYBIRD of HC-2, NAS Lakehurst, NJ
http://twaintimes.net/hu-2/wbsep65.html
- - - - - - -
III.   On 28 December 1965, aircraft from Enterprise CVA(N)-65  and carriers Hancock (CVA-19) and Ticonderoga flew missions in I and II Corps areas against VC supply and rest areas, and against company and battalion-strength troop concentrations.

As many as 80 structures, including seven bunkers, were reported destroyed, and heavy bombing caused the collapse of at least four tunnels, together with numerous fox holes and fire positions. Aircraft from the "Big E" flew 31 of these sorties, including 27 Skyhawks and four Phantom IIs, receiving small arms fire from the area of 14 deg 58 min N, 108 deg 53 min 40  sec E, but the aircrews "silenced" the enemy on their first bombing run.

At approximately 0150 on the 28th, Show Time 607, an F-4B (BuNo 151438), Lieutenant Dean H. Forsgren, pilot, and Lieutenant (Jg) Robert M. Jewell, RIO, VF-96, while landing on board Enterprise following an armed reconnaissance over Laos, was waived off for being too low. Coming around for a second pass they reached "bingo" fuel status - which was 0 at the time of flameout - and ejected, disappearing from radar about 15 miles from the ship. The crew of a Douglas KA-3B Skywarrior marked the area of ejection, the ship giving "a good vector" toward 607's last known position, 350 deg. Angel 4, a UH-2A (BuNo 149769) from Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC)-2 Det 65, Lieutenant Leif A. Elstad, pilot, Lieutenant (jg) Michael A. Johnson, co-pilot, ATN3 D.A. Larson and Airman M.P. Laws, were flying plane guard approximately 10 miles from the ship when they received the message announcing the crash.

Coming about, they flew to the scene, "easily" locating the survivors in the water by visual sighting of .38 cal. tracers and Mk-13 Mod 0 distress signals, barely 30 minutes into the search. Although both of the Phantom II's crewmembers were carrying PR 49A radios, they were unable to "home in" accurately on their signals, most probably due to the two-three miles separating the survivors. The sea state was greater than initially reported (four foot swells), the rescue being "complicated" by high seas and gusty winds, as well as the reluctance of the two officers to leave their respective life rafts, but both were brought back on board via the rescue sling.

Above is from the Department of the Navy - Naval Historical Center:
http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/e4/enterprise-viiia.htm


What's Missing?  Do you know of an award, or special recognition, presented either to the ship or to one or more of her crew?
Send us the details and we'll see that it gets added.


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