John Alford, a chief petty officer aboard Abbot on the late 1950s, used a 16mm camera with color film to record the 1958 Mediterranean cruise and a large NATO exercise.
The NATO footage is apparently of Operation Strikeback in September 1957. This was a massive exercise involving more than 200 warships and 650 aircraft from six nations, a show of international force to the Soviet Union.
“The NATO exercise had the largest concentrations of ships since World War II,” John wrote in a letter. “You will see a helicopter bringing Ensign George Mullen aboard.”
“An aircraft came over several times while were were at anchor at Annapolis prior to the Med deployment,” he said. “I got some slow motion shots, too.”
The film is not in chronological order, so footage of the aircraft carriers Saratoga (CV 60) and Intrepid (CV 11) taken during the NATO exercise are mixed with Mediterranean scenes. All of the film was shot aboard Abbot or during an Abbot port-of-call.
This video copy of the 16mm original color film was made in 2010. We have edited some 30 minutes of raw footage to a little less than nine minutes, balanced the color and improved the contrast in several scenes. The two edited versions are identical except for frame size. Apple Quicktime or compatible software is needed to view either version.
A full 30-minute unedited version is also provided, without captions or color correction.
The still photos at the bottom of this page were taken from the master video and were individually color balanced as much as possible. Scratches on the original film were not removed.
|MOV Large [250MB]. Silent, 9 minutes|
|iTunes/iPod or for slow Internet [60MB]. Silent, 9 minutes|
|MOV complete unedited version [350MB]. Silent, 30 minutes|
|Abbot at sea||Abbot at sea||Barcelona, Spain||Cannes, France|
|Cannes, France||Cannes, France||Barcelona, Spain||Barcelona, Spain|
|Barcelona, Spain||Montserrat, Spain||Barcelona, Spain||Abbot at sea|
|Abbot at sea||
Destroyer tender Cascade (AD-16) |
Possibly Newport, R.I.
|Saratoga (CV 60)||Saratoga (CV 60)|
|John Alford in London||Kingston, Jamaica||Kingston, Jamaica||Kingston, Jamaica|