"Mystery Photos"

Page 3 ( Photos #21 - #30 )
1 August, 2020

#21      #22      #23      #24     #25     #26     #27     #28   #29   #30

Based on information furnished by diligent U.S.S. Little Rock crew members, as well as other credible sources, below is information we have received pertaining to "Mystery Photos" published on the U.S.S. Little Rock Association Web Site.

Mystery Photo #21
Vatican Visit

1947 Vatican Visit
The photo to the left was generously furnished by Milton "Mike" and Martha Hight.  Mike was an HM3 on the USS Little Rock from 1947 to 1948. While in the Med in 1947 some of the crew went to Rome and visited the Vatican. While they were visiting they were granted an audience with Pope Pius XII.

What we are looking for is input from the old salts that were on CL 92 at that time as to who the various people in the photo are. We've identified the Pope, and we know which of the sailors is Mike Hight, but the other guys (and ladies) that were in the audience are a mystery. (Click on the photo for a larger view.)

If you think you know one or more individuals in the photo, let us know either by going to the Mystery Photo #21 posting on the Message Board, or send an e-mail to the webmaster.

Mystery Photo #22
6th Fleet Medal An alert reader of our website contacted us (probably because of our extensive web data pertaining to the Sixth Fleet) and sent us the adjacent picture and the following inquiry: 

"Hello.  I'm wondering if you could help me identify the significance or historical connection of a medal, the remains of which I found at a Pearl Harbor construction site back in 1971. I found it in freshly dug dirt as I was crossing the naval base from my ship, the USS Midway (CVA-41).

Thanks for any help you can provide".  Charles Paige

(Received from Mr. Paige on 20 Sept 2009)

Click on the picture to get a larger view. If you know something about this medal/coin, let us know either by going to the Mystery Photo #22 posting on the Message Board, or send an e-mail to the webmaster.

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Shipmate Paul Jett FTG3 1963-1965 on Monday, 12 Oct 2009 passed along the following:


Since we know the term "Commander Sixth Fleet" wasn't used until 1950,  the key chain fob has to be newer than that.  If you blow the image up, it appears to have "57" with another numeral preceding that on the superstructure of the carrier.  I would say it's from the 1957 time period when the USS Salem was flagship of the 6th Fleet.


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The following was received Thursday, 11 Mar 2010:

"I am Manuel Conklin. I was an SK on board the USS R. K. Turner CG-20 back in the mid 70's. I was looking through our ships website and seen there was a link to your ship....  When I came to the mystery coin article I decided to ask on another website I frequently visit....  Most of the answers I received were; it is a Challenge Coin, as in the ones we hold on to today....  Please put my name in the hat for the running of the ATTABOY on the mystery coin. I say it is a Challenge Coin. I am sure a more specific answer will surface but for now that's my guess.

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On Sunday, 29 Aug 2010 we received the following response from shipmate Bob Hedgeman:

"Greetings,  (re:) Mystery photo #22.....

It was not a medal per se. It was not a challenge coin.  It was part of a key ring.  I owned one.

It was the emblem of the "Commander Sixth Fleet", who was aboard the USS Springfield CLG 7 when I was aboard.

A patch was also available with said emblem. (It was) circular, about 3 inches..  blue, gold, and red. This patch was worn on a blue light weight coat by Officers and enlisted personnel who were attached to the Admiral's staff.  These personnel were not ship's company.

Also the ships patch was very different.  I still have mine...   SOMEWHERE!

     Bob Hedgeman BM2

     USS Springfield CLG7  1964 - 1967
     USS Little Rock CLG 4  1967 - 1968

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Mystery Photo #23
Mystery Photo #23
This unique view of something or somewhere aboard USS Little Rock was sent to us by Buffalo Naval Park staff member John Branning, AMCS(AW/SW), USN (Ret).

Now admittedly not all of the ship's crew would have had access to this view, but never the less it will be interesting to see what input we'll get.

Click on the picture to get a larger view. If you know something about this space, let us know either by going to the Mystery Photo #23 posting on the Message Board, or by sending an e-mail to the webmaster.

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Jimmy Reeves (GMGSN 1974-1975) on 01 Mar 2011 at 09:14 PM suggested
"Mystery Photo #23 looks like the ladder going down to the warhead storage area.  1974 was a long time ago but I had to go down into the space to take temps and just look around. It was in the bottom of the ship below the missile house. This may not be it but it sure is close."

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To which the Moderator replied on 02 Mar 2011
Good to hear from you! I've been down to the Missile Warhead Magazine a couple of times too. It was a L-O-N-G way down. About three decks as I recall. From the 3rd deck to the second platform. And there was nothing to stop your fall if you lost your grip on the ladder!

However, if you remember, the trunk to the WH Magazine was square. The space shown in Mystery Photo #23 is round.  Sorry.  Close, but no cigar!

Hope to see you in Buffalo at the 2011 Reunion!

Best Regards,

         Art Tilley

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We then received via email the following from Lewis Walker
(BM2, 3rd Div, 1971-75):

"Hi Art.

This photo #23 is Aft Steering located just outside of third division on the port side one deck down from the main deck.  This is one of the times that I have seen aft steering with its hatch closed.

Underway time I either trained or ran a watch in Aft Steering.  As Boatswain Mate of the watch I was responsible for making sure the Aft Steering watch was properly maintained and properly manned.  We usually had an Aft Steering watch drill in the 0000-0400 or 0400-0800 night watch while underway.

I recall entering Newport sound once and we lost steering to the Little Rock before coming under the Newport Bridge. As I remember I was in Aft Steering at the time on watch.  Captain Nagler was CO at the time.  We got the ship docked port-side to and I was instructed to file a report.

All I know Art is that all the drills that I went through paid off that day.

I hope this is the correct photo that I am remembering about.  If not, it sure looks like the down tube I entered every time I went on watch in after steering.

Thanks for sharing the photo. It brought back many night time memories."

      Lewis Walker

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Moderator's Note:

Lewis' recollection of access into the Aft Steering and especially the use of Aft Steering during a docking maneuver is really interesting. However, the access to those spaces is via a trunk that has a rectangular shape. Mystery Photo #23 shows a space that is round in shape.

- - - - - -

Shipmate Harold Beers (MM1 1964-67)  on March 02 called me and said he thought that the photo was the access into the Nitrogen Reducing Station.

He admitted that after having served on seven different U.S. Navy ships (!) that his memory of details was a little vague.

He recalled that the Nitrogen Reducing Station was extremely cramped and that two guys could barely be in there at the same time.

Mystery Photo #23 is not of this space however.

         Art Tilley

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Jimmy Reeves (GMGSN 1974-1975) took another shot at it  on 03 Mar 2011 and suggested:

"I'm going to give it one more educated guess on Mystery Photo # 23.

My first GQ station was just under the 5in. gun. Everything in that area is round.  So with that in mind, is this photo leading down to the area where powder or shells were stored?

LOL!! Now if I'm wrong this time I'm leaving it to someone else to figure out."

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The Moderator responded on 04 Mar 2011


Your "educated guess" was correct. Mystery photo # 23 is indeed the trunk located two decks below the 5" gun. The space, as seen in the picture, is round, and that is what sets it apart from the other trunks mentioned in previous answers.

I think this space is in fact left over from when the ship, as CL 92, had two 6"/47 turrets. As you know, CLG 4's sole 5"/38 mount is mounted on the 01 level, pretty much where CL 92's  #2  6"/47 turret was previously located.

When in use, the 5" mount had its ammo fed from the Handling Room directly below on the Main Deck. Projectiles and powder were brought up to the Handling Room by two hoists, fed from the magazines on the 2nd platform four decks below.

Perhaps you, another Gunners Mate or one of the Marines who typically manned the 5" mount can add some clarifications to the actual use of this trunk. Perhaps it was an "Escape Trunk" ?

       Art Tilley - Moderator

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On 20 Aug 2017 GMG Joe Russell left the Moderator the following information in phone message:
Mystery Photo #23 is the Escape Trunk hatch from the Lower 5" Handling Room.  It is located under what was the 1st Division Berthing Space.  Back in the days of CL 92) this was the location of the barbette for 6" Gun Turret #2.

Joe...  "Thanks for rounding out the history of this space!"  Ed.

Mystery Photo #24

Picture  #1

Mystery Photo #24

Picture #2

Mystery Photo #24B

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Picture #3
Wardroom Napkin Holder #2

Picture #4
WR Nap Holder #2

Here are a couple of souvenirs that most of us would like to have. The item in the lower-left is obviously one of the cherished Talos style Zippo lighters, but what is the other item?

You can click on the picture to get a larger view. If you think you know something about this item, let us know either by going to the Mystery Photo #24 posting on the Message Board, or send an e-mail to the webmaster.


It took awhile to get some answers on Mystery Photo #24. This is probably because not many of the crew ever  had a chance to see one of these. The item at the top of the photo is a Napkin Holder, used in the Wardroom. So, unless you were an officer or a Steward's Mate, you most likely wouldn't have come across one of these.


Here's a quick summary of the correct answers we received:

  • "a wardroom napkin holder - I have one."  Frank B. Gates - ENS, OPS, 70-75
  • "a Napkin holder for the Wardroom?" Larry Wallace, SKSN, 59-62, S3 Div.
  • "the 'other item' is a napkin ring from the wardroom." Bob New, LTJG, 1966
  • "I believe that the item in question is a Wardroom Napkin Holder." Joe Wheeler, CAPT, 65-67, MarDet
  • "Photo #24 shows the great "Bronze Man" lighter, and also a napkin holder from the wardroom. If you stuck around long enough on board, and got lucky, you might possibly get your name and grade engraved on the other side." Gus Karlsen LTJG, 61-64, OI Div.
    (Gus not only got it right, but added an important detail.)

See Picture #2.

Note:  Photos #1 and #2 were graciously furnished by John R. Roberts, LTJG, 60-62, M Div. Officer


Pictures #3 and #4 (at the left) show what we believe is another version of a USS Little Rock Wardroom Napkin Holder.

These two photos were sent to us by Curtice J. Quickel LTC  USAR (Ret) who purchased the "napkin holder" at a militaria show in Louisville, KY in Feb 2017.

So far the concensus is that these photos depict a different version of the Wardroom Napkin Holder, although no one seems 100% sure.

One suggestion was that the item could be a "Money Clip", although the number "12" stamped on one side begs the question "What does the number 12 signify?"

Your input will be appreciated.

Feel free to contact the webmaster.

Mystery Photo #25

USS Little Rock Underway.
Location Unknown !!

(Click photo for a larger view.)

To the left is a recently acquired photo that has also been added to the CLG 4 Photo Tour page. However, even though the picture has been placed on the website, we still need to know something about it. Specifically, does anyone know where the photo was taken? (No, the Webmaster doesn't know either!)

The picture shows USS Little Rock underway and moving slowly. The deck canvas is rigged and there appears to be crew standing by ready to anchor or tie-up at a pier. There are no buildings in the background that help identify the locale.

One thing that might help in identifying the locale is the odd structure on the hill directly behind the forward mast. It appears to be a large wall that is constructed in a zig-zag pattern. You'll have to click on the picture to get a larger view.

If you think you know something about the location of this picture, let us know either by going to the Mystery Photo #25 posting on the Message Board,, or by sending an e-mail to the webmaster.


Answers we've received:

Roy Roediger, ET2, 62-66, OE Division on 12 Mar 2012 passed this on: "the pix of the Rock was before the SPS 42 was installed on the center mast, the SPS 30 is there, and the SPS 17 forward. This should help with the date!"

On 12 Mar 2012 Paul Jett, FTG3, 62-65, Fox & G Divisions relayed this: "Art, It seems like the only terrain I remember like that was at Gitmo. The zigzag wall might be the "no man's land on the base perimeter.  The only other place that was sorta semi-desert, that we got very close to, was Malta, but there wouldn't have been a need for the zigzag there.

Dave Reid, CT3, 66-67, Flag Div. said this on 12 Mar: "In looking closely at the photo, the ship is rigged with canvas covers on the main deck, so I doubt she is underway for any distance or speed.  She may be changing moorings.  I'm racking my brain trying to think where she is - the hillside with those terraced walls isn't familiar; and there weren't too many ports that we visited during my time aboard (67-68 w/6th Fleet Staff) that I can remember hills like that.  Perhaps the Italian coast somewhere - or Monaco from a different angle.... I'll share the photo with some other shipmates and see what they think.

Bill Carroll, RM3, 65-67, OR Div. gave us the following input: "Gibraltar is a possibility, don't see the big rock, but might be to the right. With the deck layout and the acq or track monster on the after section, it was after the '65 yard period where they added the 2nd bridge level for flag use, enlarged the Comm. Center and refurbished the boat prior to a Med deployment when they took on CTG60.2.... Just a guess....

Art "Butch"Siehl, SN, 67-69, OL Div. posted the following on the Message Board: "With help from the last message posted about the photo, I did a little research and think I've got the answer. Not from actual knowledge, but by comparing photos. In the"Google" bar at the top of most home pages enter Rock of Gibraltar, and click on "images". At the bottom of the 2nd page of photos, there is a oblong and narrow pic of the rock. Look at it closely, and you can seethe land formation is identical to background land formation in the Mystery photo. Including the angled walls going up the side of the hill........


It looks as if Bill Carroll and Butch Siehl had some 4.0 intuition working for them. As it turns out the locale is indeed Gibraltar. Here's a way to see for yourself:

  1. Do a Google search for "Old Queens Road, Gibraltar"
  2. On the page generated by Google, in the "Search" column on the left, click "Maps".
  3. When Google generates a map of Gibraltar, if necessary, click on the "Satellite" option to get a sky-view of the area.
  4. The satellite view should show a red marker labeled "A". Note that just below and to the right of the "A" is a horizontal light brown band (of dirt). This is the area that encompasses what we've referred to as the "Zig Zag" wall.
  5. Using your mouse, "Click and Drag" the area with the light brown strip of land to the center of the map. Then zoom in to see a closer view of the wall.

***   I believe the real name of the "Zig Zag" wall is in fact "Charles V's Wall".

Here are two great shots of the "Charles V Wall" found at Panoramio, and Wikimedia.

***   For more wall info check out these links:

               (1) "The People of Gibraltar",  and
               (2) click HERE for larger drawing of "The Rock".

Finally, we need your help in determining when the photo was taken. The fact that the ship is underway with her canvas rigged is unusual. From our 
Chronological History we know that the Little Rock stopped at Gibraltar a number of times. They were:

14 Dec 64 To relieve USS SPRINGFIELD CLG-7.
Little Rock departed the same day for Naples, Italy.
27 Feb - 02 Mar 70 On 27 Feb 70, after a two hour trip from Tangier, Morocco, Little Rock arrived at Gibraltar. Little Rock remained at Gibraltar through 02 Mar and hosted 1400 visitors.
16 - 19 Jan 74 At Gibraltar.

I expect that the photo was taken as Little Rock arrived at Gibraltar on 27 Feb 1970. Any help YOU can provide will be appreciated. Ed.

Mystery Photo #26
CLG 4 Stern. Amsterdam 1965

Trash Chute w/"E"

Not "What?", but "Why?"

The first photo (upper left) was taken while the LITTLE ROCK was visiting Amsterdam in September 1965. The second photo (lower left) is an enlargement of the trash chute portion.

Here's the problem....  We are looking for an explanation
of the painted "E" (for "Efficiency") and the three hashmarks that adorn the trash chute.  Do you have any knowledge of what this is all about?  As far as the webmaster knows, there was never an "Efficiency" E  award for excellence in trash disposal, much less any instance where a ship would have won the award four (!) times.

Could this have been a joke? If so, who did it?  And... did they ever get caught?

Can you shed some light on this?  If so, contact the Webmaster,  or you can add your input via the USS Little Rock Association's  Message Board.

Here are some of the responses we've received about Mystery Photo #26 via email and from the Message Board:

1. An email from Art Siehl posted Nov 10 at 07:09 PM:

     "We used it as an "under-way" trash chute.
Rather than having debris flying all over the place, it directed it straight into the water churning below."

2. And followed up by another email from
Art Siehl posted Nov 10 at 07:12 PM:

     "Guess I should have read the entire message before thinking I knew it all huh ?  The "E" with hashmarks...............  NO CLUE AT ALL."

3. On Nov 9, 2012, at 4:38 PM, Greg Knowles ETN3, 67-69 wrote:

     Art,  If memory serves, the first time I recall seeing the E with hashmarks on the Rock's trash chute (she) was moored in Gaeta. Since I was available, I had helped a radioman lower the antenna mast for the landing of an incoming chopper, and we were hugging the starboard edge of the fantail to be out of the way. We leaned over the side, and there was the E.

     We also figured much of the crew didn't see the E on the chute because it was on the starboard side and the ladder to the U-boats was on the port. And while the captain's and admiral's barges would use the Captain's forward starboard ladder, those boats would most often approach from the bow and not the stern, so the brass may not have been aware of the E, either!

     What we heard is that a Chief (or first class?) Boatswain's Mate directed the painting on the chute to incentivize his division to do better, as their performance was below even the mess guys tossing garbage overboard.

     I even sent an anecdote to the Reader Digest's "Humor in Uniform" column explaining the trash chute efficiency E, and was informed they couldn't print it because I was on active duty.

4.  On 11 Nov 11 2012 at 0719 an email was received from Harald Wolfl CTM2 1972, which has been edited
     for brevity: 

Hello Art,  Thanks for sending your New Mystery Photo!  Really appreciate that.

Here are questions we must first answer.
1.  This CHUTE had what advantages?
    a. Gives a one point starboard aft quarter location for all discarded trash while underway.
    b. Prevents trash from blowing back onto fantail while underway.
    c. Saves trips up and down Ship's Ladder, freeing up ladder for ship's crew & visitors.
2. Under what Conditions was this CHUTE used?
  a. IN PORT-with another barge or vessel below
  b. AT SEA-beyond the 12 nautical miles limit from shore
  c. IN DRY DOCK-where bottom of chute is connected to...  another garbage collection unit.
3. Disposal put into this CHUTE?
  a. Mess decks food & trash
  b. Officers mess* food & trash
  c. Shredded confidential, secret, top secret messages.
       * Officers' Mess is called the "Wardroom" in Naval establishments, as Officer's do not
           make a mess.

4. How was this CHUTE used?
  a. Place something in top opening and gravity should make it fall out the bottom
  b. As a solid and liquids disposal mechanism. (Note paint discoloration from liquid wastes drying on stern!)
5. Calling it a "TRASH CHUTE" may be the most common assumption.
    (Could it also be used for burials at sea/not necessarily human remains...?)
    (or perhaps as quick marijuana & drugs disposal mechanism...?)
6. Who would use this CHUTE?
  a. Mess deck/wardroom sailors in cleanup duties
  b. Radiomen-disposal of shredded classified traffic
  c. Marine detachment?  Flag Staff personnel? Sick Bay personnel
7. When was this CHUTE used? Daytime, with night restrictions?

8.  Why was this CHUTE used?  The chute designer may best answer this question.

9. Who designed/built the CHUTE?  On-board metalshop?  Naval Station Public Works?

On Nov.  11, 2012 Joe Russell GMGSN 71-73 suggested that the painting of an "E" (with hashmarks) could have been simply a bit of "tongue in cheek" artwork done by one of LITTLE ROCK's  side-cleaners.

Ed: Joe may be closer to the truth than we realize!

Editor's Note:

We are hoping to establish why an "Efficiency E" with three hash marks was painted on the trash chute.  If our readers wish to add comments to why we had a trash chute, or when it was installed / removed, please feel free to do so.

Mystery Photo #27
Little Rock 1974
Where in the World is this?

This is not a "Trick Question", but a search forsome information....

We'd like to find out where the LITTLE ROCK was moored when this photograph was taken. The photo was probably taken in 1974, but may have been taken any time between 1973 and 1975.  If you recognize the port, please let us know.

Click on the photo for a larger view.

Senior Sleuth John Meyers has this to contribute:

"I was looking at Google Earth and present day pier configurations (I would think the dock areas don't change much) and it seems that Palma looks like a potential fit. Rota seems close, too.

The ship never went pier side at Monaco that I remember, so that city is out. Barcelona is not a likely fit. Pier configuration for Gibraltar is out. Anchored out at Lisbon, Venice and Dubrovnik.

I'll check a few more as time permits.

Take a look at Google Earth and check out the Palma pier area."

Mystery Photo #28
Mystery Photo #28
Who? What? Where & When ?

This photo was sent to us by John Branning AMCS(AW/SW), USN (Ret) .

John tells us that it is a picture of a painting on the

Here's a couple of things we do know....

"Grampaw Pettibone" and he's been around the U.S. Navy since 1943.
2. He is a cartoon character whose emphasis is on safety, with an additional emphasis on Naval Aviation.
3. Grampaw Pettibone was created by Lt. Robert Osborn.
4. There is an annual Grampaw Pettibone Award.  (LINK)

What we don't know is.....

1. WHO painted the
Grampaw Pettibone character on the bulhead of LITTLE ROCK's Forward Engine Room?
2, WHEN was the painting done?
3. Did YOU see it when you were on board LITTLE ROCK? (What years?)

If you can help, contact the Webmaster. Or feel free to post a message on the Message Board.

Mystery Photo #29

Helo Wipedown

USS Little Rock "Wash and Lube"?

At first this photo seems straight forward, but for the uninitiated (which includes the Website Team) the photo raises a few questions.

Such as:

    1.     The gentleman in the photo is: ADJ3 G.M. Kelton

    2.     WHAT is he doing? (Click on the photo for a somewhat larger view.)
            Is this:

            a.    a "washdown"?
            b.    a "wax job"?
            c.    a check for dents? loose screws?
            d.    ‚ÄúProbably all of the above!"

    3.    WHERE did the "Snoopy" design come from?
           We know it's Charlie Brown's pet, and that it is the creation of Charles Schulz.
           But how did it end up on the helicopter?

    4.    WHY does Uncle's NAVY do these things?

If you know anything about this, contact the Webmaster. Or post a message on the Message Board.
Mystery Photo #30

CL 92 Bow Portside

CL 92 Portside Aft

USS Little Rock
"What, Where and When"?

The two photos at the left show LITTLE ROCK at a time and place unknown.

It would seem that the photos were taken after her return from the Jun - Dec 46 Med cruise, but before her Nov 47 -  Mar 48 Northern Europe cruise.  

Here's a couple of questions:

Where (and when) was this picture taken?
What is with the paint "scheme"?  It appears to be a combination of the "Measure 22" scheme adopted during WWII and the non- camoflage scheme used after the war.

Also, during and right after WWII ship hull numbers were 24" at the bow and 12" high at the stern.  (Here the bow version seems to be about 24" tall,)

In 1946 the USN started using the shaded numbers 96" tall at the bow and 24" at the stern.
Finally, any ideas on the ship's flags? 

The "regs" say: The US Navy "jack" (or "Union Jack") is flown from 0800 to sunset from the jackstaff at the bow of vessels that are moored or at anchor.  (Here it is shown with the jackstaff lying down.)

When moored, the national ensign is flown from the stern during the same hours. (Here it is shown being flown from the masthead.)
If you can contribute anything about this, contact the Webmaster. Or post a message on the Message Board.
Mystery Photo #31  (Future)

? Photo ?
This space is
Reserved for
YOUR Mystery Photos!
Contact the Webmaster.

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