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TASK FLEET COMMAND SHIP
NAMED EOR THE CITY OF NORTHAMPTON, MASS.
BUILT BY BETH. STEEL CO., I QUINCY, MASS.
AUTHORIZED AS HEAVY CRUISERA AUG. 7, I942
AUTHORIZED AS COMMAND Sl-IIP JULY I, l943
A KEEL LAID I I AUG.3I l9llll '
I ,ALAUNCI-IED . JAN. 27, I95I
FIRST COMMISJSIONED A MARCH 7, I953
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1954 - 1y55
The Northampton, in October l954, ended her period of
basic equipment evaluation and put to sea with the rest of
the Fleet. Her first duty was to carry the Flag of ComPhib-
Lant, which she did until I9 November l954. Then, on 29
November, l954, she sailed for the Mediterranean to hoist
the Flag of Commander Sixth Fleet, Vice Admiral Thomas S.
Combs, USN. This book is concerned with our time in the
"Med," lt's purpose is to span that period, from November
l954 to March l955, in such fashion as to keep alive the
strange sights and sounds which we experienced, to remind
us of the good friends made abroad, to let us bring back to
our families and our loved ones something of the flavor of
this memorable experience and, not least in importance, to
keep alive in our minds the professional competence learned
to make an effective fighting unit in a mobile fleet. As we
recall the pleasant aspects of this trip let us also keep in
mind the need and value to our friends, our Allies and our-
fselvespyoyfx an effective naval fighting force in the blue wa-
ters of ,rthekhlediterranean sea lanes.
WithfQthis,5thought in view, l dedicate this book to the
fine Ship's'Cornpany of the USS Northampton.
During the Mediterranean cruise, and two months pre-
ceding, Northampton has been under the command of Cap-
tain Charles E. Weakley, USN. Born in St. Joseph, Mis-
souri, Captain Weakley has brought Northampton more
than 25 years experience as an officer in the Naval Ser-
vice, having been commissioned an Ensign upon gradua-
tion from the Naval Academy in 1929.
That same year witnessed another entry into the Naval
Service and at his first duty station Captain Weakley be-
came a plank owner of the newly commissioned cruiser,
USS Omaha. He was assigned to the USS Lea in 1933 and
assisted in putting that ship in the ready reserve. Later
that same year he was transferred to the USS Talbot where
he served as Engineer Officer until 1936. A tour of post-
graduate schooling in Engineering Design at the Naval
Academy followed by a special course in Engineering at
the University of Cambridge in England brought more en-
After his postgraduate work, Captain Weakley went to
the battleship USS New Mexico where he served from
1939 until 1940 when he was transferred to the USS Samp-
son. He was Engineering Officer and subsequently Exec-
utive 'Officer of the Sampson. In 1942 he took command
of the USS Goff. ln 1944 Captain Weakley became Execu-
tive Officer, to become Commanding Officer later that
year, of the Atlantic Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Unit.-
This type duty continued with his assignment to the Chief
of Naval Operations as Naval Advisor, National Security
Council Staff. Captain Wegakley came to Northampton from,
the USS Cambria where he had served as Commanding
Officer since 1953.
A Kansan by birth, Commander Richard A. Waugh was grad-
uated from the Naval Academy with the Class of 1937. As on
Ensign, Commander Waugh served aboard the Tuscaloosa un-
til 1939, when he went to Submarine School in New London.
From 1940 until 1942, Commander Waugh served in the S-36
in the Asiatic Fleet. ln 1942- 1943, he served aboard the USS
Spearfish, and in August 1943 he became Executive Officer
of the USS Piranha. ln 1944 through 1945, Commander Waugh
was the Commanding Officer of the USS Saury.
ln 1946, he was the Commanding Officer of the USS Dentu-
da, and he served, additionally, as Commander Submarine
Squadron 11 at Operation Cross Roads. ln January 1947, Com-
mander Waugh reported to PacResFlt at Mare Island, where
he remained for three years.
Commander Waugh was a student at the Armed Forces Staff
College in 1950, and that same year he became Chief Staff
Officer on the Staff of Commander Transport Division 22. He
remained in that billet until 1952, when he reported to the
Staff, Commander Amphibious Force, Atlantic, where he was
the Administrative Officer.
Commander Waugh reported aboard as Northampton's Ex-
ecutive Officer in August 1954.
ln many ways the history of Northampton typifies the life and times of
ofcontemporary America. Construction commenced as a heavy cruiser of
the. Baltimore Class in T944 when the United States was still expanding
her armed might -to subdue the Axis. When the conflict abated, America
turned to thoughts of peace and so work on Northampton was terminated in
August of l945. Not many years elapsed, however, before it became pain-
fully clear that the world still needed a strong and militarily prepared A-
merica. Northampton responded to that need as construction was recom-
menced in l948. The four interim years had witnessed advances in both
technology and doctrine of naval warfare. Incorporation of these advances
proceeded forthwith in Northampton as she was redesigned as aTaskForce
lnow Tacticali Command Ship with the new designation of CLC-l. Her in-
troduction to the seas took place with the launching on 27 January l95'l,
and on 7 March i953 she was officially commissioned.
Under the command of Captain William D. lrvin, USN, Northampton
completed her shakedown training and post-shakedown.availability. The
first large-scale assignment for Northampton involved the conducting of
technical tests of various installed experimental equipment under the op-
erational control of Commander Operational Development Force. On the
completion of these tests Northampton stood ready to join the Fleet -as an
operating unit. On ll October l954, Vice Admiral Frank G. Fahrion, USN,
Commander Amphibious Force, U. S. Atlantic Fleet, and his staff embarked
aboard Northampton to participate in Atlantic Fleet Exercise 'l-55 and to
conduct initial staff operational evaluation of Northampton as an Amphib-
ious Command Ship. During the exercise Northampton carried a total of 18,
stars, including Admiral .lerauld Wright, Commander-'ln-Chief, Atlantic
A short time later Northampton entered another first in her history -
overseas employment as flagship for Commander Sixth Fleet. Four 'months
of this duty, from December 1954 to March l955, took Northampton to Gi-
braltar, Villefranche, Malaga,Algiers, Barcelona and Athens. The time
spent at Lsea with -other units of the Sixth Fleet further developed North-
ampton's ability to operate with the Navy's most modern team - the fast
carrier task force. .
With the end of this cruise, Northampton returns to Norfolk, Virginia
to prepare herself and those who man her for 'future missions as an arm of,
Democracy. ' ' '
Gibraltar-Gateway to the Mediterranean...
a solid mass of rock known familiarly to us as
"Prudential Life lnsurance,"but actually a pow.
erfully fortified stronghold coveted by many since
the rule of the Moors. On one side of our ship we
could see Spain, on the other, the northwest coast
We roamed the narrow streets, lined with shops
selling cameras, cashmeres, Chinese nightgowns
and walking dolls. The halfcrowns, shillings,
thruppence, and ha-pennies had most of us .con-
fused. Some got bargains . . . others experiencing
making change English style. .
The contrast was quite noticeable between the
dark-haired Spanish senoritas and the fair-haired
English lassies and their tam 'o shantered English
soldier lads. Cabbies didn't bang on the side of
their doors as we expected, but raced at good clip
through the streets using horns as last resort.
When the last of the argyle socks were tucked
away and we'd snapped our last photo of the Gib
apes, we upped anchor and set sail from a very
confined, but interesting first port of call.
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Although we only visited Ville-
franche twice, most of us left be-
hind "old friends" amongst the bar-
tenders, shopkeepers, fishermen and
inhabitants. Our "parlez-vous,"
"merci's" andi"s'il vous plaits"
helped us to "go native" rather
quickly and being sailors we had
little difficulty finding our way about
the Ol, 02 and O3 levels.
A natural harbor, and the quaint
landing with its waiting sidewalk
cafes made Ville a natural "home
away from home."
The Welcome Hotel was welcome
indeed and its fireplace even more
so on our frosty return trip.
We celebrated Christmas in Ville
and all hands turned "duty-dads" to
make it a happier one for French or-
phans who delighted to see helicop-
ter-borne Pere Noel land on our fan-
From Villefranche some took tours
to Rome and Paris. .. others toured
the Riviera or went skiing in the
Alps. We spent much time in Nice
and sometimes walked back at night
along the middle Cornish Drive lis-
tening to the pounding surf of the
Med far below.
Many memoriele shared by all. . .
Mom Germaine's petite fritures, and
hot chowder . . . .lerry's Bar . . . Cos-
mo's Bar fseems every port has a
Cosmo'sl. . . The Plantation Club . . .
the "look no hands" cyclist at the
landing and grinders and cokes be-
fore that ride back.
For "The Most Unforgettable Char-
acter l'Il Never Forget," we'd nomi-
nate Beachgwrd Annie fMadeleine
Locatello for those who wonderedi,
whose hearty handshake and robust
backslap were always supplemented
by the delicate bouquets of flowers
she brought for VADM Combs.
Between playing hopscotch with
the anchorage between Ville and
beaulieu we became part of the Mar-
di Gras festivities. fWhat's the fob
code number for "qualified confetti
thrower into unsuspecting open
For all these things and all those
others we will remember we reserve
for Ville a high place in our Med
cruise memories. And last but not
least, the beachguard would like to
thank Mom Germaine for her tent.
Top: Gardens in
Left: ,At "Le Ji
Le good tl
Above: Look, both hands
Below: Look, no hands
Top right: Green flag for Santa
Left center: SANTA ON STATION
Bottom left: "Et tu, ma petite?"
Bottom right: "Joyeus Noel!"
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Above: A platter, a dish, and us.
Left: A hit of home with all the trimmings
Below: Same, with mustard.
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The Eternal City-Roma-shrine to the world's Roman
Catholics, and heir to the glories and grandeur of the
Caesars, where the old world and new live side by side
in romantic wonderment of the glory that was and is Rome.
ln many of our hearts, the highlight of our cruise was
reached on Christmas Eve in Rome and during the brief
minutes Pope Pius Xll appeared in his window overlook-
ing the sea of faces crowding St. Peter's Square on Christ-
For those that made the second tour the emotions were
the same... The Pantheon, St. Peter's, the Catacombs,
the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, "Friends, Romans,
countrymen, lend me your ears." Each put himself in An-
thony's place and repeated those words.
Evening increased our wonderment, wondering down
the narrow streets of Old Rome to Romolo's for a multi-
course dinner with accompanying guitar music by Lili,
cocktails and dancing at Hostaria Dell 'Urso where Mario
played a fine piano, and the Fountain of Trevi where we
threw a coin into the water, hoping someday to return to
Fifty million Frenchman were right. . . The Louvre. . .
Notre Dame . . . Arche de Triomphe . . . Place Pigalle . . .
Place de Concorde...and, of course, the Folies Ber-
geres were all we hoped they'd be.
Standing in the icy winds atop the Eiffel Tower or
walking down the Champs-Elysees at night, munching hot
roast chestnuts.. .Paris was the place to spend our
Christmas 'fvacation. ' '
Top right: The Real 'l11ing.
'Dop left: Bome's famous Colosseum
Bottom: Majestic Fountain of 'lTevi.
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Malaga was for most of us our first
view of a country we would all love,
Spain. Our first impression was that
of a land of orange peddlers, strange
uniforms topped by shiny, patent
leather hats, persistent sellers of
lottery tickets and one horsepower
taxis. We were amused by the toy-
like trains, entertained by the hand
clapping rhythms of the Flamenco
dance, fascinated by the senoritas
and a bit upset by the strange hours
kept in conformance to local custom.
The days were spent touring to
Granada and the Alhambra, made fa-
mous by Washington lrving, taking
pictures, drinking a cool cerveza or
a fundador at one of the sidewalk
cafes. Girl watching and arguing with
taxi drivers became maior occupa-
The evenings offered the Mirimar,
Terrica, El Pimpi's The Homes of
Good Wines, flashing entertainment,
and most of the crew for seven days.
Day or night, the greatest impres-
sion was the simple honesty and sin-
cere friendliness of the Spanish peo-
ple for us Americans, and also our
cigarettes. We knew when we left
Malaga that we'd be waiting a return
trip to Spain quite eagerly.
Above: Walls of Alhambra.
Top left: View from Alhambra.
lCenter: Avuntamiento -
Bottom left: "Jeep . . .J-E- E-P."
Below: 'Ihe real reason we took a bitt
of Old Spain with us.
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The new and the old, we read in tour guides, showed up quite
clearly in Algiers. The modern city...was the "Paris of North
Africa," while the Casbah fAlgerian low-rental districtl was an
extreme of extremes. g
All of us heard, "Hey, Joe. . . cigarettes?" and a good many
of us were paced at one time or another by several light-fingered
Abduls until they got up nerve enough fond within rangel to grab
for whatever packages we might have been carrying.
The women gave us close contest with their tattoos and we
noticed both men and women wearing their sheets home from the
When we saw the faces behind some of the veils many of us
had as first thought, "I never forget a face. . .but in your case
l'm willing to make an exception."
Alms for the love of Allah... legs for the love of Mike...
Algiers definitely has the beggar market cornered.
ln memory of this, our most unique of ports...perhaps the
names will escape, but the fez is familiar.
Top left: Botanical Gardens
Below: Scene in Algerian Market Place
Bottom right: Land Action to Port
Bottom left: "You speak, Joe."
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"Set the Special Sea and Anchor Details!"
An old saying has it that expectation is greater than real-
ization. Most of us can remember few cases when this was
less true than in our visit to Barcelona. "Med-wise" flag
members had warned us to save our money for Barcelona.
Judging from the record-breaking 370,000 the crew drew from
the Disbursing Officer, we took the advice to heart.
Nine days later few could afford a cup of coffee, but we
had more regrets on leaving Barcelona than money spent.
Which of us could forget a taxi ride for 8 pesetas, a quart of
champagne for 80, and a hand-tailored suit for 1600? Barce-
Iona offered us the entertainment of the metropolis it is -the
friendliness of small town neighbors. We were impressed by
the wide streets, huge squares and beautiful fountains that
graced the city. . . were also appreciative of the Andalucia,
" H 0 n e y s "
To dance with ! !
'I'hey'll drink right with you
you're not paying for TEA
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Casablanca, and Buena Sombre. We enioyed the best of the
graceful Spanish dances an,d exotic songs.
We ate snails and baby octopus. . .drank cognac and cham-
pagne at Los Caracoles . . . La Bodega . . . Casa Juan . . . and
yelled "0le!" at the bullfight.
When time to say goodby to the tree-lined Ramblas, the
uniformed Militia and the horse-drawn carts, we realized why
Barcelona is called the "Pearl of the Med."
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Top left: "Holay!"
Center left: Ramblas del Floras
Bottom left: A house '
Top right: Two of the 50
Bottom right: lPrize for best titleb
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Uf all ports to end our Mediterranean
cruise in, probably no other could have
been more appropriate than Athens. ln
the three and a half months spent in Gi-
braltar, Villefranche, Malaga, Algiers,
and Barcelona, we had many opportuni-
ties to realize in many ways iust how
lucky we were to be Americans. Spending
our last liberties in the ruins ofthe birth-
place of Democracy seemed somehow
We visited the Temple of Zeus Uupi-
terl, watched the guards at the Palace
with their pom-pom shoes, stood in the
cold winds on the Acropolis and snapped
photos ofthose gals holding up the porch
of the Caryatids. Sitting in the ruins of
400 B.C. and looking down on the North-
ampton through the pillars of the Parthe-
non. knowina that in a matter of days
we'd be home, made our cruise seem al-
most like a dream. One day in the ruins
of an age we had difficulty imagining. . .
the next in the US and A.
Then the King and Queen came aboard
to visit the Admiral and his newest of
new flagships. King Paul borrowed the
Captain s sword to cut our Second Anni-
versary cake and Queen Frederika left
several patients in Sick Bay with a very
warm remembrance of that wonderful
smile of hers as she talked to them.
A few hours later we upped anchor and
set course for home. From the Agora to
the subway. . .from the Parthenon to the
ballpark . . . from the birthplace of Democ-
racy to the vitality of our modern day
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Top: "Inspection, arms!"
King Paul reviews the guard.
Right: NorIhampton's Second Anniversary
cake given a royal send-off.
Bottom: Captain Weakley describes pilot house
operations to 'Iheir Majesties
At left: Vice Admiral and Mrs. Combs.
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"Dam'it, I'm always rlmning
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"What's your wife like?"
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Editor - ENS. Robert J. Allen A Art Editor- LTJG. David A. Reynolds
Advisor- Chaplain William A. Taylor
The editors express their sincerest appreciation to all these men whose unfailing
cooperation and many hours of hard work after "working hours" made this cruise book
possible. A ' '-Fi' ' A
P R I N T S H O P
J George F. Lockwood I . .
John I. Hacker Elwood G. Campbell Jr.
Troy L. Carpenter Edward C. Schodowski '
Roger I-I. Van Lankvelt Gilbert N. Conlon -
Durward L. Fant Earnest A. Brolin
P H O T O L A B
George E. Ethridge
Frank A. Di Venuti Robert A. Larsen
Eugene T. Lawson ' Karl R. Pesick
James P. Denis John L. Gordon A
' Edward P. Rzesa , '
A R T W O R K 4
Robert D. Emenheiser
T E X T
ENS. Sanford J. Fox LTJG. J. Robert Merryman ENS. Donald Lootens' L
P H O T O S .
Harold V. Anderson '
Troy L. Carpenter Elwood G. Campbell Jr. John I. Hacker
Vincent A. Brocato Joseph P. Verga Charles W. Burwell
Printed aboard the USS Northampton. All cost in connection with the production of this
book have been borne by the Welfare and Recreation Fund.
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