U.S.S. Little Rock CL-92
New York City, NY (!!)
21 Dec 1946
From an abbreviated log of CL 92's post-WWII activities we know that the ship was moored at Pier 26, North River, in New York City during the 1946-1947 Christmas holidays. She arrived at Pier 26 on 13 Dec 1946 and departed on 06 January 1947. (See U.S.S. Little Rock's chronologies for 1946 and 1947.) From the same log we also know that the ship "hosted a party for underprivileged children" on the 21st of December. Other than some anecdotal information, which follows below, we know nothing else about this event.
About the Photos:
In November 2008 the Association received an e-mail with two photos attached (see below) from Mr. Dave Sulmonetti, President of the Pronto Pup Co., Inc. of Portland, Oregon. Mr. Sulmonetti's e-mail actually was forwarded to us by shipmate Paul Dunlap (EM-2 1965-68). Paul has a website pertaining to things Little Rock and had initially received the e-mail from Mr. Sulmonetti.
Mr. Sulmonetti's e-mail stated that he "came across these old pictures the other day!" He goes on to tell us the "Santa" picture has a caption on the back which reads: "Taken at Pronto Pup Christmas party aboard U.S. Little Rock, New York, Dec. 21, 1946. Santa Claus is William Treadwell, Author and editor". And the second photo reads: "Sailor is one of Navy "Hosts" to underprivileged children". Mr. Sulmonetti concludes "I hope these photo's can find a "home" on your web site for the USS Little Rock."
In a subsequent e-mail Mr.Sulmonetti gave us permission to use the photos of the "Pronto Pup Christmas Party" aboard the US Little Rock. He also said: "..... in the 40's, the inventor and owner of the Pronto Pup Co. at the time, George Boyington, was actively selling "Pronto Pup" Franchises. I'm guessing that he probably took part in this party partly for publicity along with joining with the folks aboard the USS Little Rock to add to the festivities of the party. Pronto Pups were new! There were no "corn dogs" back then. Pronto Pups were the original "corn dog" - before "corn dog" was even thought of as a name. At the time of this party, there were Pronto Pup restaurants located throughout the country."
"Santa Claus is William Treadwell, Author and editor"
"Sailor is one of Navy "Hosts" to underprivileged children"
We've received information about two newspaper articles regarding this event:
THE NAVY PLAYS SANTA CLAUS
New York Times - Dec 22, 1946
"Bonnie Byrnes telling her wants at the party held for children
aboard the U.S.S. Little Rock here yesterday."
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ORPHANS AT PARTY ON WARSHIP HERE
(News source unknown)
December 22, 1946, Sunday
"250 Have Best Yuletide Fete of Their Lives Aboard the Cruiser Little Rock"
"They were dreaming of a white Christmas, but the Weather Man
changed it for them, so 250 children had to be content with a rainy
Christmas party yesterday aboard the United States light cruiser
Little Rock. The cruiser was at Pier 26, North River, at Moore Street."
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We Need YOUR Help !
It would be nice to know something about the folks in these two photos So. . . . .
1. If you were a U.S.S. Little Rock CL 92 sailor, aboard during the 1946-1947 Christmas holidays, we'd love to hear from you with regards to your memories of that particular time in the ship's history, and specifically about what you remember about the Christmas party.
2. Do you know anything about our Santa "William Treadwell, Author & Editor"?
3. Do you recognize the Sailor standing in as "one of (the) Navy "Hosts" to underprivileged children"?
4. Do you recognize any of the children in these pictures? They would probably be somewhere in their mid-late 60's. It would be great to hear of their memories of this special event.
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