Back in the early part of 1943, the Navy developed the Cleveland class of light cruisers, big 14,000+ tonners all named for US cities. 52 of these ships were planned and 27 of them built, and a few of them served in the Solomons campaign during WW2. Mr. Merriman talked about coming in to port at Tulagi or Espiritu Santo alongside ships like the USS Montpelier, the USS Cleveland or the USS Montgomery, big and beautiful ships. To the guys of the destroyer fleet, these ships were referred to as the “Hollywood Task Force”, so the only correct thing to do was to remind them of how “special” they were. As the destroyers would come in to port, upon spotting a Cleveland class light cruiser someone aboard would get on the loud speaker and shout, “Hey Hollywood! Is Shirley Temple aboard?” Evidently the guys on board the light cruisers took umbrage to this verbal assault on themselves and their ships, and Admiral Merrill intervened. That would be Rear Admiral Aaron “Tip” Merrill who led the Naval forces in the Solomon campaigns. Seems the harassment was often enough and loud enough that Merrill took the helm on the loud speaker and announced that the harassment would cease and desist, and the destroyers were no longer allowed to make cat calls at the light cruisers. Personally, I think it was just sour grapes on the part of the light cruisers that they couldn't take a little friendly ribbing. But maybe I'm just partial to the destroyers, I don't know.
If any of you know other good stories of just sailors being sailors, please pass them along. I treasure these anecdotes as much as any other parts of my research. And to those of you who are keeping up with the blog and the site, I thank you so much!
Once I get news about the exact dates for the reunion of 2013, I'll post something on the home page. The site is Pensacola, Florida for next year. I'm hoping a couple of very special people will come who didn't get the chance to come this year. If they do, I may try to work on a special event. More on that as time passes.