In addition to the video below, an album of slides taken in 1954 aboard the USS Rochester (CA-124) by an unknown sailor is available on flickr. They cover the entire cruise undertaken in early 1954, from Hawaii, to various ports. The link was sent by Douglas Price.

Movie Shot by Ted Hobson


Outline of video

  1. Opening title
  2. Quartermasters in action:  sextant, semaphore and signal light
  3. Holiday routine:  Crew relaxes on deck during a Sunday afternoon in transit to Hawaii
  4. Several pans of leeward Oahu (including Diamond Head) as the Rochester approaches Pearl Harbor.  Entering the channel, the ship passes Hospital Point with Ford Island ahead, and then a carrier moored at Ford Island is passed upon entering the inner harbor.
  5. Sailors pick pineapples during drive around Oahu
  6. Sailors on a rocky shore of windward Oahu managed to get thoroughly soaked, but get even wetter with a dip in a tide pool
  7. The drive continued, with a stop at a windward beach (Kahana Bay)
  8. Windward Oahu is viewed from the Pali lookout, with the sailors getting a bit too close to the precipice.
  9. Driving through Waikiki
  10. Rochester enters Manila Bay and approaches dock
  11. Competition among taxis that refused to accept the notion that sailors preferred to walk
  12. Visit to ruins of old Spanish fort
  13. Downtown Manila
  14. When Rochester crossed the equator south of Singapore, the ship’s pollywogs were initiated into the Sacred Order of the Deep.  As more pollywogs become shellbacks, they joined in to initiate those following them
  15. Singapore:  Views of the city and sailors handling snakes
  16. The approach to Thailand encountered shallow water, so a small Thai naval vessel transported the liberty party up the river to Bangkok
  17. Sailors visiting Bangkok temples.  City streets adjacent to the temple grounds were slums.  Sailors climb wall to get bananas
  18. Up Saigon River to the city.  Rochester nudged her bow into the the river bank above the city in order to turn around.  Short, overexposed scene of downtown Saigon
  19. Rochester entered the fringe of a typhoon during transit toward Japan
  20. As Rochester entered the harbor of Yokosuka, a message is received by signal light from a ship near shore.  Rochester approaches a pier next to a carrier, shared by another cruiser and is greeted by dancers
  21. Scenes of downtown Yokosuka with cherry blossoms in bloom
  22. Riding a bike during a visit to the Great Buddha of Kamakura
  23. Tokyo and Palace grounds
  24. Operation Flag Hoist, a joint US/British operation, was an amphibious landing on Iwo Jima.  The dominant feature ashore is Mount Suribachi.
  25. Ships come alongside, first a destroyer (USS Stormes DD-780) to receive mail, then the oiler to refuel.  Rochester’s helicopter approached to land on deck during the second operation
  26. The harbor at Sasebo, Japan
  27. From Sasebo, some of the crew traveled by train to the ancient city of Kyoto, where they visited old temples and shrines.  Two were challenged to strike a sacred gong in a locked tower, which they did after scaling the wall.  The Japanese were remarkably tolerant of such obnoxious behavior
  28. Hong Kong harbor.  View of the city and surroundings from Victoria Peak
  29. An afternoon at Hong Kong‘s Tiger Balm Gardens
  30. Homeward bound in company with the USS Los Angeles, which comes alongside off Oahu.  The two vessels continue into Pearl Harbor
  31. Hula dancers perform for the crews of the two cruisers, with the Los Angeles moored outboard of the Rochester
  32. Brief shot of a blow hole on Oahu
  33. Continuing homeward, Rochester enters Long Beach harbor and approaches a dock where friends and families wait to welcome the crew home
  34. Closing title