|Edited Photo of
Photo of original
Cigarette Card received from
Sgt. Al Newhouse USMC
|To the left
is a picture of something that was commonly seen on the Little
Rock at one time. (The picture has been altered slightly to mask its function.) The photographed item was furnished by Sgt. Al
Newhouse USMC and will be displayed in the ship's museum.
Q. Any idea as to what this item is?
A. You guys are good (and FAST!). This is a cigarette
ration card issued to sailors on the USS Little Rock (and to other
military personnel as well) in the 1940's. The card allowed the bearer
to purchase 2 cartons of cigarettes per month. Non-smokers it seems,
bought their allotted cigarettes and then sold them to the highest
Years later various items were rationed to help he local economies in
foreign countries. This is still the case today. Here is an excerpt
from a current Navy directive:
After posting the photo to the left, two quick replies
were received. They were as follows:
Because of host nation tax laws, some items are
rationed in the Commissaries and Exchanges. Gasoline is a big one.
Other rationed items include cigarettes, distilled liquor, and coffee.
You will be issued a ration card. You will need your ID card to obtain
the ration card and must present the ration card and ID card anytime
you buy a rationed item. Separate cards are issued for each adult
family member authorized privileges and should be more than adequate
for your needs. DO NOT abuse the privilege. Using your ration card to
purchase items for someone not authorized privileges, except as a bona
fide gift, is a violation of both military regulations and host nation
tax laws. A result of abuse may be loss of privileges, fines, and
On 27 Sep 07 Peter Krill (MM2
67-70) correctly answered: "This is a cigarette card."
Which later the same day was expanded on by Kent
Sears (SH3 73-75):
"Can't see it too well but it is a ration card for cigarette's or
liquor, we were issued these in Gaeta for cigs and liquor. These
were used for sea store cigs or cigs bought out of the waters of
the US where they were not taxed. In port in
the states we paid a cig tax, out at sea we didn't pay that tax.
In the 70's a carton of sea store cigs went for $1.50 per carton. We
were allowed 6 cartons of cigs per month and I think 6 fifths of liquor
on the cards.
On the black market 6 cartons of Marlboro cigs (the cig of choice)
could bring as much as 50,000 lira around 50.00 bucks. That was
the reason for the rations was to keep us from selling them on the
black market. Taxed cigs in Greece and most ports, of Marlboro at the
time, went for about $1.50 per pack. Back then that was high. But
now in the states that is cheap. I wonder what they sell for now over
there? I'd say $10.00 per pack.
Once while we were out at sea off the coast, we ran into a boat
loaded to the gills with cases of Marlboro cigs, 90 cartons to
the case. By law we had to give them fuel as they had run out.
I'm sure they were reported but doubt they were caught. They sure
had a big haul of black market cigs. a fortune. Rayban sunglasses
and Brute were big items the Italians loved."
1964-65 Cruise Book Photo
|Q: The photo
to the left was received from a shipmate. It depicts something that
many of the Little Rock's crew saw or experienced at one time.
(Clue: You would have had to make a Med Cruise.)
A: This is a tile picture outside of the RESTAURANTE
LOS CARACOLES in Barcelona, Spain .
Here's what we heard from our readers:
Frank Berglas on 11/20/07 said "I'll kick off the replies
by saying I haven't the slightest idea, and I did make one Med cruise.
(However, I don't think it is a picture of the officers' mess
I look forward to someone coming up with the correct answer.
Ralph DeWoody on 11/26/07 gave us our answer with: "Photo
#12 is from RESTAURANTE LOS CARACOLES in Barcelona, Spain.
My favorite place to eat in Spain."
Art Siehl on 11/29/07 added: "The photo reminds me of the
hand painted murals I often saw. This one is reminiscent of the
traditional holiday dinners or feasts."
|Q: There were two of
these on the Little Rock and they were used almost
daily. However, your
chances of seeing this were better if you worked on the Deck Force.
Any ideas as to its name and/or function?
A. This is a Missile
Transfer Cart (sometimes referred to as a "Missile Transfer Dolly").
Here's the input
we received from the crew:
Frank Berglas (YN3 60-61)
On 01/19/08 suggested: ".......looks like a vehicle of some sort
to transport the missiles? But why would it be used every
day? So, not sure at all. I'll wait for someone smarter to
identify it correctly."
01/22/08 Al Yoder (FC2c 46-49) added: "Photo not on CL 92,
probably a missile storage and or handling unit."
then on 01/29/08 Joe Stine (GMM3 66-69) gave us
the straight scoop with: "I worked in the missile house from 1966 thru
1969 as a GMM3 . The photo is a missile dolly used to move missile,
we used it daily to move missile(s) and the booster rockets to perform
maintenance .There were two of these, one on each side of the missile
house. I do not re-call the right name of dolly at this time."
Finally, on 01 Feb 08 Alton Sogard (GS3 59-62)
confirmed: "I also worked in the missile house from 1959 to 1962 as a
missile tech, and thought that was the missile moving dolly also."
As Joe Stine pointed out, two of these devices
were used in the Missile House to move missiles and boosters between
the Missile House's Magazine, Ready Service, and Checkout Areas. On
rare occasions s dolly traveled out onto the Main Deck, to an area just
forward of the Missile House, to transport a missile to the fueling /
defueling area. This would be the only opportunity for non-missile
house crew to see one of these in action.
|Q: A shipmate recently sent in
this great photo showing the arrival aboard the Little Rock of a
special guest. We'd like to identify ALL of the men in the photo, but
our Mystery Photo "Attaboy" award will go to whoever correctly
identifies the distinguished looking Four-Striper.
Once identified, we'll be adding this gentleman to the "Famous
A: We promised an "Attaboy" award
would go to whoever correctly identified the distinguished looking
Four-Striper in this Mystery Photo. Well, here are the responses we
Jerry Hall (MM2 68-72) on 28 Feb 08 offered:
"How about Douglas Fairbanks? Check the Cruise Book from 1970."
Then Bob Baker (RM2 69-72) on 06 Mar 08 said: "Concur
with Jerry.....a cropped photo appears in the 1969 cruise book and
identifies the visitor as Captain Douglas Fairbanks, Jr."
Well, with that we have a winner! I'm probably going
to be accused of splitting hairs, but the "Attaboy" award goes to Bob
Baker. The runner-up "Close-But-No-Cigar" award goes
to Jerry Hall.
Jerry said the four-striper was Douglas Fairbanks, and that is almost correct. However, the gentleman is Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (the
son). Since I don't have a copy of the referenced Cruise Book, I
assume from Bob Baker's answer that the full name is given in the
As it turns out, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was a significant player in some
of the WWII invasions in Europe. I have posted some of his
bio on the "Famous Visitors" page.
FYI: The Marine who is standing on the left to the rear of
the "welcoming committee" is none other than Rick Materna L/Cpl
USMC (67-69). Rick furnished the photo used. The other Marine (facing
Capt. Fairbanks) is Rich Wallace L/Cpl USMC.
We'd like to know who the sailors are, and why Capt. Fairbanks was
aboard Little Rock. Any ideas?
On 14 Aug 11 we received the following additional
info from Kenneth
Thomas (Feb 67 - Jan 69):
"I have info on Mystery photo #14. It is indeed
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
The photo was taken during the 20th anniversary of NATO. This took
place in late June 1968. He flew aboard by helo, and was given
sideboy honors amidships. I have an uncropped copy or a different photo
I was one one of the sideboys (cropped out of this copy). Sorry I can't
help with other names.
The ships photographer was a friend who gave me
lots of photos I was
in. At the same time, we greeted SecNav (Paul R. Ignatius), General
LeMay CO of NATO,
and many others. A reviewing stand was set up on the foredeck to watch
the parade of ships as well as a display of naval armaments in action."
(Ed: Citations needed)
For more info on Captain Douglas Fairbanks Jr. please refer to our "Famous Visitors" page.
The ship in the background is the USS
Little Rock, but what about the ship in the foreground?
Q: Can you tell us:
(1) What the name of this square-rigger
(2) Where is it located? and
(3) What was the occasion of the two ships
being at the same place at the same time?
A. Bob Hedgeman (BM2 67-68) gave us
the "most complete" answer. This is the HMS Victory,
a 100 Gun Ship of the Line located in Portsmouth,
England, a port of call in 1964
Here's what we received:
On 03/13/08 John Meyers checked in with: "Try HMS Victory.
Followed on 4/01/08 with Bud McLean suggesting...... "Square rigger ? USS CONSTITUTION Boston Harbor 1972
Little Rock in dry dock I believe."
Then on 04/03/08 John L. Burnham (LT 65-67) elaborated with: "Looks like the HMS Victory
which is located at the Portsmouth Royal Navy Dockyard in Portsmouth,
England. As for when, I haven't a clue as it did not happen during my
On 04/04/08 John Meyers added:
"The disk and arm radar antenna on the rear mast (SPS-30?) is still
haze gray in this picture. I believe it was installed in late
1962, or early 1963. It replaced the grid antenna (SPS-2?). The
rear mast antenna is black in later pictures of Little Rock. I
antenna turned black from stack smoke and soot while the ship was
If this picture was not taken during the '65 to '67 time period as John
Burnham remembers, it was probably taken 1963 to 1964. I would
Can someone confirm that the SPS-30 and SPS-2 antenna are
correct? I was trained to work with crypto and radio
communications and had little knowledge of the radar systems."
(Ed: John is to be commended for picking up the time frame
based on the Little Rock's appearance.)
On 05/16/07 Dan Murphy gave further
"Indeed, if you go to http://www.portsmouthvideos.co.uk,
you'll see the Victory at the dock yard."
Bob Hedgeman (BM2 67-68) on 04/15/08
"Mystery photo #15 is the HMS Victory, a 100 Gun Ship of the Line.
Location : Portsmouth, England Portsmouth is the Permanent Berth
for the Victory.
Portsmouth was a Port of Call for the U S Navy when I was in the 6th
Fleet 1964-1968, so I believe that's why the "Rock" is in the Photo."
Ed. Bob is correct. The facts are as Bob stated them, and he
wins the "Attaboy" Award. The picture was taken in the summer of 1964
while the Little Rock was on a North Atlantic / Midshipmen Cruise.
||We need input from CL 92 sailors to
determine what this picture is all about. This picture comes from
U.S. Navy photo archives and has very little in the way of a
Q: Can you tell us:
(1) Where this is?
(2) What is it that we are looking at here?
A. This was a puzzler that only CL 92 sailors
could answer. And guess what? Al Yoder nailed it.
From: Allan Yoder FC2/C 46-49
Subject: Mystery Photo # 16
Port: Naples Italy, 1946
Moored next to sunken ship used as
gangway to beach.
Thanks Al. I have been trying to come up with a "story to go with
this. So far here is all I know...
1. From 1946 Chronology page we know that USS
Little Rock CL 92 was only in Naples once, and that was 27 Aug - 03 Sep
2. There was a massive
cleanup effort by the US Navy of the harbor in Naples, Italy
others) after the conclusion of WWII. The Germans had scuttle a large
number of civilian and military vessels to prevent the harbor being
by the Allies.
|Q. Does anyone know what
Rate this represents? I assume it is a Chief, but of what?
A. Got some quick responses on this
one. All zeroed in on the fact that this is a "Specialist" or
later "Emergency Service" Rating Badge as indicated by
the "diamond". It's exact designation depends on the date
it was used. Confused? Here's the skinny extracted from
Bluejacket.com ( www.bluejacket.com
The rating of Specialist was created at all four
petty officer grades just prior to World War Two.....to accommodate the
rapid expansion of the Navy and the need for special
skills.....Emergency rating badges are distinguished by a diamond with
a letter of the alphabet inside the diamond which is below the
eagle. One example is Welfare
& Recreation Leader, a "W" inside a diamond. Additional
letter designators were added with the total for the Navy reaching
twenty-two Specialist categories most with subcategorizes.....
Service Rating 1948-1957
A major revision of Navy ratings in 1948 replaces
the Specialist with Emergency Service Rating (ESR). Although,
many changes are made in the new ESR structure, the diamond with letter
retained.....All personnel holding an ESR are to be members of the
Reserve subject (to) activation only in
of nation emergency.
Letters are reused as needed. In example,
the diamond B, a Master at Arms (Shore) from 1948 to 1954, is a
from 1958 to 1965.
...."S" indicates one of the following, depending on date used:
Shore Patrol 1942-1943,
Patrol and Security 1943-1948 (changed to ESS Shore Patrolman),
at Arms (Wave) 1943-1943,
Supervisor 1943-1948 (changed to PN Personnelman),
Full details can be found at: http://www.bluejacket.com/usn_ratings_emergency.html#navy
Here's how the answers came in:
John Meyers 06/02/08
"I believe the diamond indicated a "specialist" rating -- for WAVES and
men? A diamond with a "P" stood for photographer.
Someone from the 1940 period should have more information about the
meaning of "S" inside the diamond."
Frank Cherwin LI3 (66-68) on
"I did a Google search and found this. From the Bluejacket's Manual
12th. ed. - 1944 Specialist S Shore Patrol or Master at
On 06/08/08 Bob Baker RM2 (69-72) added :
"It is an ESR (Emergency Service Rating) insignia for a Shore Patrol
Chief. Twenty-two emergency service ratings (distinguished by a
letter in a diamond) were formed during and shortly after WW2; the last
one was discontinued in the early 70's."
Finally, John Meyers on 06/08/08 added this additional bit of info:
"Check this link. http://www.bluejacket.com/usn_ratings_emergency.html It appears the Navy used the diamond "S" to designate an
Entertainer in 1942. Where is the logic with that?"
|This photo of the U.S.S.
Little Rock has an interesting detail. It will require that you click
on the photo to see a larger view. An arrow has been added to the photo
point out two (2) round black dots in the rigging.
Q. Has anyone any idea as to what these "dots"
A. Here's what we heard from our shipmates:
Tom Hallinan LTJG (66-68) on 26 July 08 said:
"Art, I believe the Rock is displaying two black balls indicating she
is not under command and is being towed."
On 27 Jul Bob
Baker RM2 (69-72) added:
Concur with Tom. The black balls are visual dayshapes (1 ball
indicated ship was anchored; 2 meant not under command (unable to
own power); 3 meant the ship was aground. There were others to
indicate other information to ships in visual signaling distance.
On 28 Aug Al Yoder FC2/C
Hi, Art, both commenter's are correct, the ship should have been showing three black balls. She was in fact aground.
Time period was either 4-6 January, 1947 or 2-6 Feb, 1947, arriving or
leaving the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Location East River , New York., Captain Henri
Smith-Hutten. Tugs attempting to pull her off.
Art Tilley (Moderator) concluded on 29 August
It certainly looks as if the ship is getting a big assist from at least
three tugs. Two can be seen working mightily at the stern, and then
there is a line attached to the bow that looks like it is under a heavy
strain from at least one other tug. Also the ship looks as if it has
been lightened significantly... notice the waterline. If she's in
fact aground, then three day shapes are in order.
However, here's something to ponder... there is no Union Jack on
the jackstaff, nor is there any US Ensign flying. Is it possible that
the photo is of the Little Rock BEFORE she was commissioned?
being moved from one berth to another? That would explain the high
(ie: no ammunition, no fuel oil, no stores, and no crew). If she's
moved before commissioning then she is not under command, in which case
two day shapes are in order.
Al Yoder is correct regarding the ship being in New York in early
January 1946. The ship returned from exercises in the North Atlantic in
December of 1945 and spent Christmas in New York. She was in Newport on
05 February 1946, and was in Charleston on the 8th of that month. We
don't have any
further information as to events on dates in between those.
On 30 September we sort of came
to the conclusion that the photo is of the USS Little Rock being towed,
probably on her way to conversion in January 1957
Regarding the grounding, here are some recollections
provided by Fred Hoeppner (LCDR (45-47):
remember this very well. I was Navigator at the time.
We were proceeding up the marked channel with a yard pilot at the conn.
A tug and tow was crossing our bow so we had to stop to give way. I was
keeping a plot of our position and suddenly noticed that we were
drifting on to a shoal to stbd. I informed Capt. Smith-Hutten and the
pilot immediately. A couple of minutes later my plot showed that we
were not moving! A visual on a buoy close aboard confirmed same. The
pilot tried to back off, but the falling tide caught us fast.
The grounding was so soft that no one even felt it.
The pilot then called the yard for tugs that pulled us clear and then
we proceeded to the yard where we were dry-docked for inspection. No
damage was found and the matter was closed.
I think that having the pilot at the conn determined the decision. If
it had happened without the pilot I am sure the Captain and I would
a courts martial."
|We recently found the above photo in a
pile of old USS Little Rock archives.
There must be someone out there who can add to the information on the
The text on the photo reads:
Play-Mate of the Month
Lovely Lisa Alpa - Genoa's main attraction for Sixth Fleet sailors for
some 20 years - keeps the New York Club jumping with jokes and antics.
Her ambition? To have her own Career Counselor's badge . . . . She'll
probably get it too!
Q. Does anyone remember Lisa? And can you
contribute to the story? If so, go to the Mystery Photo #19 topic
on the Message
Board to give us your input.
A. On 22 Sep 08 Frank Berglas YN3
(60-62) provided the following: "I remember Lisa Alpa very well.
She was a stand-up comic at the New York Club, which was a bar in
In 1961 Lisa became the first Italian female to do simultaneous
impersonations of Jackie Kennedy and Sophia Loren. I am sure you
can see the physical resemblance.
Signorina Alpa also would visit the ship during her off hours and
practice her deck skills as a boatswain's mate apprentice. She
was advanced to BM 1st Class, after she mesmerized Captain Chenault
her ability to tie intricate seamens' knots in his shoelaces.
took her turn piloting the Captain's Gig and also prepared wonderful
of lasagna and her own, Sicilian breakfast version of SOS.
Later on, long after her brilliant comedic career ashore, she was
exposed as a Russian NKVD agent and deported by the carabinieri to
Brooklyn - where she still lives and runs a pizza parlor on Bushwick
(Ed: I'm a bit skeptical about Frank's story. He'll
need someone to verify it before I will buy it! Art T.)
||This Mystery Photo isn't so much a "What
Is It?" question, as it is a "Tell Us What You Know"
This piece of equipment, as well as several more like, it were
commonplace on the Little Rock in the 60's and 70's. However, when I
was aboard in 1962-1963 this was not aboard. It apparently came
If you know any details about this neat looking piece of hardware, give
us your input on the Message Board under
the Mystery Photo #20 posting.
(Click on the photo to get a slightly better view.)
Larry Wallace, SKSN 1959-62, on 11/29/08 correctly stated: "The mystery photo is
the Drone. They were aboard in 61 as V-2 Drone
Detachment. The drone was used as target services for AA gunnery during
the med cruise of 61."
YN3 1960-61, on 11/29/08 added "Art - Larry is right on the
button. A drone - and we did have them and their handlers aboard
on the 1961 Med cruise.
I remember being at GQ, when the firing practice would occur. As
phone talker for Captain Chenault I would get to relay info from the
drone detachment to the Skipper. Many were the times I would pass
the word, "Captain, drone's in the air." Within a minute or two
inform him, "Sir, drone's in the water!" He'd just roll his eyes.
Actually, the drone did fly much more often than not - but those very
short parabolas were what I recall most."
Paul Jett, FTG3 1962-65,
on 12/01/08 submitted: "All I remember shooting at was sleeves for 5"
AA practice and sleds for 6" surface engagements. The missile
guys may have shot at a drone, but I don't remember it. "
Maybe the drone pulled the sleeve? Something had to pull it and I
think it was tracked with an offset for the sleeve. I don't
think we were actually supposed to hit anything, but that whole
scenario sure taxes my memory."
- - - - - -
We will add the Drone to
the Armaments and Weapons page. Additional information pertaining to the Drone and its support
personnel will be added to that page as it is received.