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One, and the Cornmandinkg Officer of the U. S. S. Eldorado cor-
dially awzfa yaa aboard for fha 1953 cruise into the Oaaaf with
the ozqfcers and men of the amphibious force ffatgship, sailing frorn
North Island Naval Air Station, at two o'cloclc in the afiernoo-n of
January the Hfffh, nineteen hundred and Hfffy three. VL by W
REAR ADMIRAL Wg MOORE
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C74 PTAIN H. N. COFFJN
REAR ADMIRAL WALTER E. MOORE
Commander Amphibious Group One
CAPTAIN GEORGE D. DICKEY
Chief of Staff A
CAPTAIN HARRY N. COFFIN
Having assumed command of Amphibious Group One in mid-October, the Admiral began exten-
sive plans and preparations with his staff and the 'skipper' of the flagship ..... plans and
preparations which would take us through over 30,000 varied and kaleidoscopic miles within the
Little did we know then that we would be in the war-zone when the history-making armistice was
signed ..... that we would participate in the momentous repatriation of Chinese and North
Korean prisoners that came during Operation Big Switch ..... and that we would set foot ashore
in such places as the port of Manila and the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong.
Our eyes were to our homes .... I . to the enjoyment of those last days on leave ..... and
to the thousand and one things which are individually insignificant, yet together go into the making
of a man.
and with it comes a certain sadness....intermingled with the excitement
and anticipation of what lies ahead. Those hasty goodbyes, hurried em-
braces to loved ones on the dock, last-minute visitors leaving the ship
,.....that final view of familiar Point Lonn on the horizon......a11
Those days at sea, long and yet short and finally Hawaii, sunshine
and surf at Waikiki, and liberty again
There are more smiles now, for
that brief hour ashore has made
for happiness .... and the sea-
days pass fast .... and all goes
well until we meet that which
is greater than both man and
the 'ships of sea '--weather.
And our futile hulk of grey and
steel is tossed and twisted,
yet labors on through the storm
"Quarters for Muster and Ehtering Port!"
Our first sight of the islands of Japan, the
submarine nets, and then the Yokosuka Naval
Base, as we pull alongside our sister ship,
the Mi. MbKin1ey, we are jested with bill-
boards and multi-colored signs that read
'7 come 110, WHere's Your Mei1', and 'Tired
of Paying Income Tax?"
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File cabinets, paper work and equipment change hands as the complicated
machinery of the Task Force shifts....and we become flagship of Task
Force 90. As the Mt. McKinley leaves, we stare with wistful eyes,
envious of a day to come.
During the next few weeks we learn many things pertaining to this
land of the rising sun--to take off our shoes when entering a house, to
sit on the floor instead of in chairs....and the names Asahi and Kirin
become more familiar than those of Blatz and Schlitz
we forget the greenbacks and
the jingle of silver as our
medium of exchange becomes
Military Script and wallet-
bulging yen. we take time to
get accustomed to this traffic
'opposite side'....for as we
step off the curb, nonchalantly
looking 'our' way, a myriad of
taxi cabs bears down on us from
And the horns!
we are accosted by hundreds of
'riksha' boys who offer to take
us to any den of enchantment or
to most any point known to man
....all in NF1ve Minutes, JQQN,
And then, we pull away
from the dock and
The 'free mail' and 'no income tax'
....Pusan Harbor, the streets, the dirt,
the 'papasan' with his tall hat and
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, long pipe -- all part of this chosen-land. Vice Admiral Sohn Won
l Il comes aboard to visit the Admiral and we get a look at the only
Admiral in the Korean Navy.
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Our first call at Inchon....
NF1ight Quarters, Standby to
....and Nerine generals come aboard
from the front lines. later we are
granted daylight liberty and we
ventu e into this bombed-out ghost
of a city .... to the red brick beer
hall, walk the littered streets
and gaze into the near empty shop
windows, and some of us end up at
a hill-top orphanage .... Star of
Leaving Inchon we venture
down the coast to a rock-strewn
island with sand-spent beaches,
Tokchok-To, where we observe an
amphibious landing exercise, the
days are full now for there are
war-time regulations to comply
with, such things as 'darken ship'
...Condition III watches....and
the ever present fact that not
so far away the Com unists talk
icily of peace. Watching the
Marine landing exercises, even
though it is only a faint, we
get a feeling of what H-hour
would be likeo
On to Sasebo for our first call to that portg we wander through the
souvenir-stall filled alleys....and become familiar with a town which
we are destined to know better at a later time. The 'padre' arranges
a bus tour to a china factory and a pearl farm .... and we watch tea pots
and oyster-grown necklaces in the making.
From Sasebo, we go through the famed Shimonoseki
Straits, passing the sleepy city of Moji, and enter the Inland Sea
with its scenic beauties. We arrive at Osaka, one of the ten largest
cities in the world and the second largest in Japan. Our welcome is
hearty, concert bands serenade us,
' we host the Governor and the Mayor
l - ....free street car passes are provided
for all who care
to brave the ride.
The Army hosts us to a tour of the nearby city of Kyoto, ancient capital
of Japan and scene of where the emperors are crowned.
Enroute, we discover that our bus
driver is unfamiliar to this city
....two of the ship's photogra-
phers - guidebooks and maps in
hand - conduct a Cook's Tour par
The days are filled with shopping
in the huge department stores,
riding the subways, and hopelessly
wandering in the maze of this
gigantic metropolis, the evenings
we spend in the fabulous Namba -
Osaka's amusement quarter .... .
with its countless 'pachinko'
palaces, neon night clubs, bars
Some of us
entrain for the
neighboring city of Nara,
its deer park
and shrines which we see
in Cherry Blossom time.
A touring USO show comes
aboard an we see stars
Hollywood and New
..pictures are taken
and we receive
Back in our home port
famd1iar....the Fuji, the
air of a city....nautical
away from home'. Some of
the capital city of Japan
e e e ethe music
of shops, the
At Kamakura, we fin the quiet tree-
lined streets, winding about the verdant
hil1s....and the Great Buddha nestled in
a green niche between two of these hills
....as we first see it,
we sta d and gaze....
As we leave Osaka, the dock is
lined with flower-bearing
courtesans - who come to bid
of Yokosuka, we once again fall into the
Grand Shima, Komatsu's....and the vibrant
in nature....which spells a bit of 'home
us take weekend jaunts to Tokyo an visit
- where one can find most anything desired
halls, the far-famed
Ginza with its maze
fine restaurants, the
a hundred other views
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Operation Little Switch is being
completed in Korea .... we are on
our way to Beppu .... home of the
boiling ponds of mud and mineral
waters, of the Rakasans, the
187th Regimental Combat Team.
We are one of the few Navy ships
to visit this spot.i
The Army hosts us in a manner unequaled....and we relax in the oncoming
warm weather and have fun. Our callers include the Governor, the Mayor
and a University president .... as well as one of the youngest Generals
in the Army. we find Beppu to our liking, and when we depart it is with
a certain sadness and a definite hope of return.
Korea bound again, and after two days of steaming we anchor in
Inchon harbor....this time things are a bit different on the horizon.
Among our list of distinguished callers, there comes a persistent VIP
from the North....com only referred to as nBed-Check Charlien. It is
he who causes us to lose countless hours of sleep as we are called
out of our 'beds' in the wee hours with the clanging of the General
Alarm....inconsiderate bedfellow he was!
Again some of us wind up
the path to the orphanage
on the hill, with its
shell-holed walls and
bullet-strafed statue of
the virgin. we get to n
know a jovial Irish nun
from New Jersey, and we
take small gifts to help
these children regain
their faith in life.
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Okinawa, the weather warms ....
we take off our shirtsg our bodies
tan without too many cases of burn
..,.but there are always a few.
Waiting for the landing exercise to
start, we have liberty at White
beach .... and we languish in the sun
and drink canned beer and smile at
the future. Following up the adage
that all roads lead to Rycom .... we
ride in Army trucks to the heart of
the islan .... and see the life of
American occupation on this lonely
trip to the
The landing takes place on a cool morning on the east side of the islandg
we gaze into this beach where one of the greatest amphibious operations
in history occurred, where countless men died for their country and for
and we wonder
in the middle of May -- after
lengthy weeks of operation and
some of us manage R and R trips to
the Fuji View Hotel near a lake on
the slopes of this famed mountain.
Those of us who go, relax in the
resort atmosphere, enjoy the fine
food and entertainment. we look
at this beautiful mountain .... but
can't seem to find the energy or
courage, whatever it takes, to
make the climb.
We return to the ship with glowing eyes..f.
and a tall tale of a sailor and a mountaino
One Sunday, a Japanese girls
choir comes aboard to sing
High Mass .... afterwards, we
take them on a tour about the
ship, replete with cookies
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In early June, we land at the city of Nagoya the Governor and
the Mayor, and a Major General of the Air Force are guests of the
Admiral. The days are full - as we host over 1000 Jap nese men,
women and children who come aboard to visit a U.S. Navy ship.
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The dock is filled with dozens
of 'boysan' artists....they
paint watercolors of our ship,
which nonchalantly poses for
We visit the Noritake China
factoryg and see the moat
and turrets of Nagoya Castle.
On Sunday there is a jam
session in the Airmen's
Mess and the Eldorado is
out with a strong show,
including a nervous horn
and a frantic maestro of
the 88 keys.
ef? with a tentatively planned
itinerary including Manila and
Hong Kong, we start out for
Inchon - half way we divert to
Pusan as the 'News' was out
that the Powers and their
prolonged talks of peace are
nearing an armistice. '
In Pusan, our trip to the south is cancelled....and we sit and wait.
Finally we go to Sasebo for a few welcome days ashoreg yet we remain on
call....and then back to Pusan, and more waiting....
later, we anchor off Fukuoka for liberty....
surprise rains come and we are called upon to assist in rescue work
du ing one of the worst floods in the history of modern Japan. we
provide emergency communications for the stricken area. Later we are
dispatched to Kokura to pick up stranded allied personnel a d take
them to Sasebog included among them soldiers, sailors, marines, an
Admiral's wife and a small dog.
The Fourth of July in Sasebo with a holiday mealg skyrockets, gun
salutes an flares....many of us go to the place of 99 islands - to
swim and sail and drink the cold Asahi in the vibrant sun of su mer.
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in the event of the oncoming armistice....groups of us go inland to the
R and R hotels for days of re1axation....only to return and wonder why
it is termed rest.
Toward the end of the month we return to the seas....an we
are almost to Pusan when the historic armistice is signed in the Peace
Pagoda at Panmunja .
Man plans are in the mill .... for Task Farce 90 ships are to carry
the Chinese and Na th Korean POWs from Gheju Do and Koje Do to the part
of Inchon for repatriation at nearby Mnnsan. The first part of August
we visit the island camp of Koje Do .... and watch ships leading with POWs
for the water lift to Inchcn.
By now Operation Big Switch is
....and we are in
the war zone to coordinate and
supervise this unp ecedented
During these nine weeks near 100,000 POWs are transported on Task Force
90 ships, including 75,000 Chinese and Korean repatriate POWs, 14,000
non-repatriates, and 7,000 retu ning South Koreans. Over ninety percent
of the task force labors in this joint operation. .
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. we make infrequent jaunts to Sasebo from Korea....to replenish stores
and to set foot ashore for a brief hour in the liberty-lanes of Sasebo....
on cur return to Korea, we sit in the humid sunshine of Pusan harbor in
August and wait for the liberty curfew to be lifted. Hrrancis the Talking
Mulen, along with his guiding light Cliff Rogerson, and a group of comic-
strip artists, come aboard....part of a USO show touring Korea....we are
entertained with jokes, charcoal drawings, and caricatures of ourselves by
the fourso e. When the liberty ban is lifted .... we go ashore in Pusan and
visit the 'barn-like' corrugated beer hall....and enjoy the tasteless beer
in this land of war and peace.
' One Saturday morning
we line up for Captain's inspection
it is a bright and beautiful dayg
the Captain presents a commendation
to one of us.
A Inchon and we watch 'Big Switch' from the other end....the weather
is stiflingg we wear only T-shirts now, and still we are hot.
On one of our treks to Sasebo, our flagship
has acquired a mascot - a Japanese
dog, or rather, puppy. He is seen
strolling, quarterdeck to forecastle,
at most any hour of the day or night
....he readily takes to this life at
sea. And then one day, we find that
he is nameless .... and as this will
never do .... we rack our brains .... in
the end .... he's called just plain 'Jug'.
we move to the southermost port of Japan, Kagoshima, a city seldom
visited by a Navy ship .... and we chance to gain a rare insight of the
unchanged traditions of Japan. As our ship anchors with a hackdrop of
lofty Sakurajima volcano, we take along Japanese-English phrase books
to aid in ou quests of the city.
Shimazu castle villa,
the Satsuma China
factory, and watch
the bamboo artisans
we drape the flight deck with bunting and hold open house to 1,000
school children and their teachers....refreshments are in order on
the fantail. The ship's Chief Master at Arms organizes swimming
parties....and we cross the bay to a beach at the foot of the
volcano. we are amazed at the 'floating lava rocks'....
as we leave this port we feel
a certain success in our visit
....and know that our shining
white uniforms have undoubtedly
b1'011ght many second looks.
Returning to Sasebo....we walk the
streets in the warmth of su mer....and
readily find refuge in the coolness of '
the cabaret. As we cross a bridge on
our way into the city, we never fail l 7 ,
to meet a certain indigenous clown,
rather unusually dressed .... with an
'eat at Joe's' placard around his neck
. .... he hands us a card which brings
forth a free drink at some place along
the road, somehow or other we never
seem to get that far....
most of us head for the beach or poolg
those more athletically inclined, climb the diving board, while some
can do no more than lie in the sun.
A last look at Pusan before we start our trip back home to Tokyo
Bay .... then we tie up to our familiar pier....and when liberty begins,
we are off in a thousand different directions .... we reminisce in the
familiarity of a city we know so well .... and as we hear the strains of
a certain song, we decide it's not such a long time from 'May to .... '
....some of us take off for
Nikko and Yaruizawa....and enjoy the early falliin the moigtains' our
return seems natural after the many warm WGGICS LU the SCU '-
Rumor has it that we are soon to be on our way to Hong Kong and
Manila .... and the views are both pro and con....until that official
'word' is out .... and we knowg but before we depart ....
a typhoon is in the area
and we move out into the harbor
to spend a night of watchful eyes
as we ride out the winds.
Underway....the days are rough....waves come over the forward well
deck....many of us are feeling the effects of a certain mariners' malady.
But the thought of what lies ahead, the mystery and the excitement of
our destination....the Polling of the sea
we pass Chiang Kai-shek's
bastion of Formosa to our
right .... it is only a group
of lights in the dark.....
and then we see the green
of the Philippine islands
....as we pull into Subic
Bay and are saluted with 13
guns. Our visit here is
not only of interest to us,
but also a return visit to
a past command for Admiral
Moore. We enjoy the cold
San Miguel and walk the
streets of Olongapo .... on
our first Filipino liberty.
The next day we sa1l lnto Manila Bay, passing the numerous rusty and
corroded bows or masts of sunken ships Wh1Ch brings to mind a day when
in this tropical land of sun and shade.
f we tie to a pier
across from a liner....and when
we go ashore....we find an air
conditioned bar and sit with a
beer or gin and wait for the
cool of evening....
when it comes we venture out
to such places as the Riviera,
the Here's How, Manila Hotel,
the Sky Room....or to the more
decadent throes of the Yellow
Bar or Norma's in Pasay City.
we find in M nila a composite
mixture of people and things,
both Oriental and Occidental '
....and a color of spice which '
comes from its conglomerate
culture of 400 years of Spanish
rule, 50 years of American....
all with a modern Filipino
we find this a city of parks
and plazasg of great wide
boulevards crossed with small,
seeming cow-trails, impossible
traffic jams of jeepneys, cars,
buses, blaring taxis, and horse
drawn calesas....we see
ruins of the old walled
as we pass hurriedly in
headed for the coolness
'cantina'....and we see
tropical splendor side by side
with utter poverty....
but when we return to ou ship
we know there will always be a Manila
And then we pull into
Hong Kong, an international
port city, which can be a
Ntough and dangerous place'
so explained a division
officer at quarters that
morning. The city of
pickpockets, ricksha boys,
dancing girls who are Red
agents, and dark alleys
where a guy might easily
get himself killed.
As our ship anchors, it is converged upon by all manner of
small boats, 'sampans', and walla wallas .... bearing the local merchants,
cards in ha d. A d small diving boys, who clap their hands like monkeys,
are wrestling with the waters to retrieve the shiny coins. One sailor
yells nSing us a songn - an so they sing too! All the other people
yell from the boats .... ,
' Hey Joe
Finally liberty com ences, and we pour ashore in ship's boats,
borrowed boats, water taxis or any other means in sight .... where we
are greeted by droves of tailors' representatives who attach themselves
as unofficial guides. later we meet a tiny girl who shoves a wilted
flower into our pocket, and demands WTwo bits, Joen '
....and our shoe shines suffer from the consequences of not
wanting them shined by one of the street boys.
Some of us go out 'bo the fantastic
Tiger Balm- Gardens....to stare in
vonderment at the maze of color and
we find a beautiful white pagoda
bedlam of color.
a. British Naval Commodore comes aboard
and a Sandhurst General
uhm we add 'bo our roster of steadily
increasing visitors .
And then one night
there is a get-together on the
far side of the islan .....
after swim ing at Repulse Bay
....a seafood dinner at A
one of the 'floating restaurants'
we ride the peak tram....an look out over this beautiful
colony, and across the bay to the Bamboo curtain....the
not too distant mountains of Red China.
we buy an buy....tailored clothes, Silks, camphor
and teak chests, and everything imaginable. s
Our eyes take to the
mode of' the day here .... where
the women wear a provocative
style skirt, which has a slit
On either side to about six
inches above the knee.
After all too few days, we steam out of this harbor,
past the patch-sailed junks with purple hues....and we find
it is somewhat disillusio ing to note that not a single one
of our crew was killed in this city of contrasts.
....the Governor and the Mayor
are piped aboard in a flurry
....as an honor guard of Marines
On to Hakodateg it is
still cold .... we go ashore to
enjoy a familiarity of a people
who are not accustomed to the
Once again in the north, we
shift into blues as the weather
cools off. After a short stay
in Yokosuka, we leave for a last
look at Korea, but only for a
few days .... again we stop by at
Tokchok-To. Back in Japanese
waters, we go north to the isle
of Hokkaido. we visit Otaru,
and the leaves swirl and the
winds blow - announcing the
arrival of winter....and then
the snows come, and we see the
flagship with a coating of white
and finally we return to Yokosukag our last visit
to that port before we get underway over the seas....
for H lengthy and purposeful voyage....
one that takes us home...
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layout ..... P .
camera work ....
plate work. .
pre! fork. .
lt. r.w. seiwert - lt. Cjgl w.d. gilmore
. . . . alton b. parker, jr.
. . . . .howard Weldon
. . . . carroll boudreaux
. s, judge
. . . . paul lambert
. . . .jack jones
. . . .jim livsey
. . . john waters
. . . anthony angelo
lt. Qjgl r.l. del re
This book prepared by the joint-efforts of the 1953 Cruise Book Committee of Commander Amphlb'
ious Group Une and the USS Eldorado CAGC-113 aboard the amphibious force flagshi
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