Let’s start at the sixth boro’s own Kearny Point.  Federal Ship Building & Dry Dock used to be there.  On December 1, 1943, a time when that place was turning out a vessel a week or so, hull #303 was delivered as USS Stern, DE-187.     After eight years as a USN vessel, she was transferred to the Netherlands as F-811, HNLMS Van Zijll, her identity until 1967 when she was returned to the US and scrapped.

John van der Doe, frequent contributor on this blog, sailed on F-811 around the world in 1954–55, as he says “employed with the US Naval Task-force Pacific fleet 4 or 6 (forgot the number) during the Korean war.”

Port Said, 1954, north entrance to the Suez Canal.  The large statue shows Ferdinand de Lesseps.  A few years later, the statue was dynamited as celebration of the nationalization of the Canal.

0aa1Port Said 1954

Aden, stop for bunkers.

0aa2Aden (1)

Hong Kong, awaiting orders.

0aa3Hong Kong (2)

Yokosuka, Japan, here and

0aa4Yokosuko Japan (1)

here.   That background landscape is still recognizable today.

0aa5Naval tugs Yokosuka Japan 1954


0aa5bPapeete Tahiti (3)

Click here for some more of that era.

0aa6Papeete Tahiti (4)


0aa7Papeete Tahiti (2)

Pacific side of the Panama Canal, now 1955.

0aa7bPanama Canal (1)

Original “mule” style.  Click here (and scroll) for photos of the mules from 2012.  I wonder what the next generation will be.

0aa7cPanama Canal (2)


0aa8Panama Canal (4)

And here’s a photo of the Kearny-built vessel taking on stores in Ponta Delgada, Azores.


Later, Jan took this photo in then-Leningrad.  I believe that’s St. Isaac’s Cathedral.

0aa9Leningrad (3)


Many thanks to Jan for these photos from long ago and faraway.