Crew Members'

Page last updated: 15 March, 2020

Old Salts

The Stories, Tales and Yarns contained herein are reputed to be mostly true. Only you the reader can decide whether or not this is reliable information received from your esteemed shipmates. Your personal input is solicited for this page. Let us hear about your personal history and related sea-stories.

Linked from this page you will find some fascinating stories about life on the USS Little Rock. Your shipmates have provided us with some insights you are probably not familiar with. You are going to love these guys !  Here are some of the subjects discussed:

CDR John E. Conjura relates growing up in a small town, enlisting in the U.S. Navy and then moving up through the ranks the hard way to become the Communications Officer aboard the USS Little Rock CLG 4 from 1969 to 1972.

RADM (then CAPT) Peter K. Cullins '73 - '75 provides vivid details of what it was like being the CO of the Sixth Fleet Flagship during the era of major changes and social unrest in the U.S. Navy.

RADM (then CDR) Roger O. Simon '73 - '75 relates the trials, tribulations and joys of being the Little Rock's XO during the mid 70's.

S1/c Jimmie Hair '45 - '47.  He remembers with pride serving as pointer in the #3 5" gun mount for a 21-gun salute for President Harry S. Truman when he visited the fleet.  (The pointer actually pulls the firing key trigger on the mount captain's order to fire.)

RDSN Charles Ives '46 - '47.  (In addition to his regular duties, he shared Bugler duties with SN Paul Decosta.)  As part of the navigation team while departing a Scandinavian port, he remembers with some amusement the flap on the bridge when the CO and XO learned that a female stowaway was discovered in the NAN Division berthing compartment.

S1/c Joe Molinaro '47 - '48.  Joe was the appointed "lookout" on a paint chipping detail who watched for the Captain and other supervisory types who were roaming about. He alerted his idling shipmates to resume working with vigor by loudly singing the Mills Brothers' song,  "Do Nothing 'Til You Hear from Me".

SN Walter Nebiker '46 - '47.  Walt remarks on the pride and confidence with which he left the ship and the Navy that launched a pattern of continuing education and advancement.  He completed high school and college, attained a Navy officer's commission and served during and after the Korean War, then returned to civilian life where he earned a master's degree in geography and pursued a teaching career.

HM2 Elmer Oberlander '45 - '49.  "Obie" talks about steaming in a hurricane which resulted in numerous injuries to shipmates.  As a corpsman, he assisted the Doc in suturing wounds with their legs wrapped around sickbay bunk stations to remain steady while the ship rocked and rolled.

SN Ed Caggiano '58 - '62.  (Ed was an Association founder.)  He talks about holystoning the ship's teak wood deck, using a fire brick on the end of a broomstick, scouring with sand - 32 licks per board - pointing out that deck force sailors had very clean feet, as they holystoned barefoot.

SN Jim Kays '59 - '63.  (Jim was an Association founder.)  Assigned to ship's service duties, Jim recalls his favorite job was working in the Gedunk where he was able to meet and interact with many shipmates in a relaxing and pleasant atmosphere while he satisfied their sweet tooth..

RD3 Don Schuld '60 - '62.  (Don was an Association founder.) He fondly recalls spending time on the beach on the French Riviera where you could rent a little lounging mattress and a small side table for your $2.50 split of cold champagne while watching the beautiful French girls selling the New York Herald Tribune.  (ED Note: Don -They were selling what????)

IC2 John Whidden '59 - '61.  John was an avid photographer who snapped over 600 pictures during the Med cruise.  Being enterprising, he bought a slide duplicator and sold copies to shipmates who had squandered all their liberty time in bars.  This allowed them to go home with the slides and say, "I was here!"

CL 92 Sailors
CLG 4 Sailors
CL 92/CLG 4 Marines

Yoder, Allan 
Anderson, Paul L. Cdr. 

Baker, Robert M. 

Berglas, Frank 

Caggiano, Ed

Conjura, John

Cullins, Peter K. RADM (1)

Force, Jack

Karlsen, Gus 

Kays, Jim

Martin, William "Bill" Capt.

We need YOUR'S !

1. The majority of the histories presented here have been recorded at one of the Annual U.S.S. Little Rock Association Reunions. These recordings have been transcribed by the U.S. Navy and copies of the transcriptions and the recordings are now in the Association's, as well as the U.S. Navy's archives. The formal oral history program has been terminated. If you are interested in submitting recollections from your service in LITTLE ROCK, you may wish to use as a guide the script that was formerly used in the face-to-face interviews. Contact shipmate and director George Thomas to get the script and receive submission information. His e-mail address is grthomas@widomaker.com.

2. Names followed by (1) are recollections of life on the U.S.S. Little Rock as related by our shipmates, but not recorded at a Reunion, nor part of the U.S. Navy's archives.. Many of these excerpts and articles were printed in LitComs, the Association's quarterly magazine.

3. Oral Histories indicated by (2) have been recorded at the crewmember's home, or in their hometown.

4. From a transcript done by others.

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