Squadron Scrapbook Naples

Page Twenty Eight

Additional photos from Vern Christensen' collection. No sailor in the U.S. Navy, who has ever made a cruise to the Mediterranean is likely to forget Naples. It seems a bit unusual that Vern, who was shore based there would find an occasion to not only visit Fleet Landing on the Naples waterfront, but evidently rode a liberty launch out to one of the ships riding at anchor in the Bay of Naples. The photos on this page give some idea of the activity and experience most shipboard sailors had during a typical inport period in Naples.

Anyone who has photos or information they wish to contribute to the VR-24 website is encouraged to send them to
Dick Prather, Webmaster/Editor of the VR-24 website.


USS Salem CA-139 presents a marked contrast to the fleet of Italian fishing boats shown on the previous page. The Salem served for a number of years as Flagship for Commander U.S. Sixth Fleet.


A view of the Norman fortress from Fleet landing.


Sailors stream ashore from boats and barges from the ships anchored in the Bay of Naples.


Busy scene at Fleet landing with liberty boats lined up along the float, and LCVP from one of the fleet transports (APAs) about to join the line up.


A fully-loaded thirty-foot long launch from the USS Salem appears to be heading outbound from Fleet landing.


View of the Uss Franklin D. Roosevelt from a liberty boat. The photo predates the FDR's conversion to an angled deck configuration, which changed the ship's appearance by extending the flight deck well outboard both sides of the hull. The FDR appears to be moored to buoys inside the breakwater sheltering smaller ships, the comercial marine terminal and nearby Fleet landing. Visible in this photo is the USS Massey DD778 moored stern to' along a quay inside the breakwater. The photos on this page were taken between 11 June 1953 and 3 December 1953,the one period of time when FDR deployed to the Med with Air Group One aboard. The fact the sailors are shown in 'whites' narrows the timeframe to the summer of 1953.


At the time of this photo, the USS Franklin D Roosevelt, and her two sisters, Coral Sea and Midway, were the largest carriers in the U.S. Fleet. Close inspection shows a mix of aircraf on her deck, including at least ten F4U Corsair near the stern, Douglas Skyraiders forward of the F4Us, and McDonnel F2H Banshees further forward, including one on the deck edge elevator. Also visible on the water near the stern of the ship are two fifty-foot long liberty launches. Carriers visiting the Mediterranean still haul a number of these personnel boats since there are no port facilities that can accommodate the modern day super carriers. What appears to be a garbage scow is barely visible directly under the ship's stern, and a canvas garbage chute rigged next to the 40 mm gunmount directly above the scow. What looks to the the Captain's gig can be seen below the spar rigged outboard from the starboard (right) side of the ship. The gig is just visible beyond the carrier's stern mooring buoy. When called away, the gig crew will walk the boom, descend a rope adder, and move the gig to the officer's gangway (not visible in this photo) where the ship's CO will board for his trip ashore, or wherever else his business takes him. .


View of the FDR up close. This view shows an officers' launch tied to a boom rigged outboard the side of the ship. When in use the launch cycles between the officer's gangway (on opposite side of ship) and fleet landing. Visible in this photo are three five inch guns mounted on sponsons below the flight deck. These and similar mounts aft, and on the starboard side of the ship were removed when the FDR was given an angle deck. Also visible is the letter T on the tails of F2H Banshee aircraft on the flight deck. That letter identifies those aircraft as part of Carrier Air Group One.

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