U.S.S. Abbot Mediterranean Cruise 1956

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On election day in November 1956, Abbot departed its base in Rhode Island to maneuver with the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean.

To some Abbot veterans this is known as the “Lost Cruise” because no souvenir book was produced, but Ensign George Rider — serving with his brother Ken — fortunately took a camera with color film. All of these photos were taken aboard Abbot or while ashore. This collection comprises the vast bulk of color images of Abbot.

We are lucky indeed to have these rare photos. According to George:

Ours was a happy ship. On the way back from Baalabak, Lebanon, the road took us right up to the Syrian border. The bad guys set up a road block, stopped us and ordered us off the bus. Our Lebanese driver challenged their leader. An argument ensued. Kenny and I were seated in the back of the bus next to the beer. He looked at me and said “You’re senior, you handle it.”

The driver said, “under no circumstances get off the bus.” He acted as mediator. They wanted the film from our cameras. I stood in the space behind the driver as two scruffy Arabs boarded the bus with Kalashnikov rifles. I told our guys to give them their film and stay seated. They went down the aisle stripping film from the cameras. That satisfied them and they left. I thanked our driver and we were under way again.

I told Ken how mad I was that they had ruined our pictures. He looked at me with a grin and produced some film from under his shirt. In the confusion, he had replaced his film with an empty one and hidden the good one. I couldn’t get mad. Here’s the proof.

We passed the hat at the end of the ride and the bus driver was very well taken care of!!

Abbot returned to Newport on 22 February 1957.

Click on an image to see the complete description. Some images are numbered; please send corrections or other caption information to Walt Baranger.

1956 Mediterranean Cruise Photos
33 – November 1956
33 – November 1956
28 – Nests of Fletchers at Newport, R.I.
28 – Nests of Fletchers at Newport, R.I.
40 – Pulling away from pier #1, Newport
40 – Pulling away from pier #1, Newport
Forming a squadron
Forming a squadron
Getting rougher
Getting rougher
Ensign Ken Rider on the bridge
Ensign Ken Rider on the bridge
Duke, Ken Rider and Ensign John Jay Flynn
Duke, Ken Rider and Ensign John Jay Flynn
Rough Day
Rough Day
Sun peeking out
Sun peeking out
A little spray
A little spray
Sun sets on Coral Sea (CV 43)
Sun sets on Coral Sea (CV 43)
Duke and Lt. (j.g.) Carroll D. Melton on the bridge
Duke and Lt.(j.g.) Carroll D. Melton on the bridge
A lot more spray
A lot more spray
Resupplying
Resupplying
Transferring freight to unknown Fletcher destroyer
Transferring freight to a Fletcher destroyer
Big sea
Big sea
Smaller sea
Smaller sea
16 – Destroyer Hunt (DD 674) alongside Abbot
16 – Destroyer Hunt (DD 674) alongside Abbot
Lt. George Rider on 01 deck
Ensign George Rider on 01 deck
Abbot's mast seen from 01 deck
Abbot’s mast seen from 01 deck
Two Fletcher destroyers
Two Fletcher destroyers
Unknown Essex-class aircraft carrier
Unknown Essex-class aircraft carrier
103 – Off Cannes
103 – Off Cannes
Jet aircraft
Jet aircraft
Large swell
Large swell
Large swell
Large swell
DD making time
DD making time
Ensign Ken Rider on the bridge
Ensign Ken Rider on the bridge
Mail delivery to unknown DD
Mail delivery to unknown DD
Rainbow over two screening DDs
Rainbow over two screening DDs
Ensign Ken Rider by gun mount #52.
Ensign Ken Rider by gun mount #52
Ensigns John Jay Flynn and Ken Rider
Ensigns John Jay Flynn and Ken Rider
35 – Ensigns Ken Rider and John Jay Flynn and SN John W. Bugler
35 – Ensigns Ken Rider and John Jay Flynn and SN John W. Bugler
Lifeguard station, fueling
Lifeguard station, fueling
37 – Abbot sailors
37 – Abbot sailors
Taking pictures
Taking pictures
DD plowing
DD plowing
Huge swell
Huge swell
The days grow warmer
The days grow warmer
43 – Lt.( j.g.) Francis I. Dowd and Cdr. Willard W. Deventer – our much-loved skipper.
43 – Lt.(j.g.) Francis I. Dowd and Cdr. Willard W. Deventer – our much-loved skipper.
Taking station for fueling
Taking station for fueling
45 – Lt. (j.g.) McGovern
45 – Lt.(j.g.) McGovern
Looking aft from gun mount #53
Looking aft from gun mount #53
47 - Retrieving a torpedo
47 – Retrieving a torpedo
48
48
White caps
White caps
52 – Mail call
52 – Mail call
53
53
Boatswain Mates
Boatswain Mates
55
55
Lining up at the gas pump
Lining up at the gas pump
60 – USS Coral Sea (CV 43) at sunset
60 – USS Coral Sea (CV 43) at sunset
61
61
62 – Unknown Fletcher destroyer
62 – Unknown Fletcher destroyer
63 – George Rider soaked in fuel oil
63 – George Rider soaked in fuel oil
64
64
65 – Resupply ship
65 – Resupply ship
66 – Lt. (j.g.) Edmund B. Bossart Jr. near torpedo tubes
66 – Lt.(j.g.) Edmund B. Bossart Jr. near torpedo tubes
The fleet at sea
The fleet at sea
The fleet at sea
The fleet at sea
83 – Baalabak, Lebanon
83 – Baalabak, Lebanon
88 – George and Ken Rider at Baalabak, Lebanon
88 – George and Ken Rider at Baalabak, Lebanon
96 – Turkey
96 – Turkey
98 – Turkey
98 – Turkey
101 - Aircraft carrier Coral Sea (CV 43)
101 – Aircraft carrier Coral Sea (CV 43)
102 – USS Coral Sea (CV 43)
102 – USS Coral Sea (CV 43)
106 – SA Robert F. Miner at Cannes
106 – SA Robert F. Miner at Cannes
109 – Ensign Ken Rider on the fantail off Cannes
109 – Ensign Ken Rider on the fantail off Cannes
110 – Lts. (j.g.) McGovern and Edmund B. Bossart Jr. off Cannes.
110 – Lts.(j.g.) McGovern and Edmund B. Bossart Jr. off Cannes.
111
111
113
113
114
114
124 – Off Naples
124 – Off Naples
Destroyers Hale (left) and Abbot off Italy
Destroyers Hale (left) and Abbot off Italy

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