Did you know that the military has permitted beards at different points in history? This photograph of bearded crew members aboard the U.S. S. AMSTERDAM hangs in the I. Roy Coats Brass Room, the meeting room at the Los Angeles Maritime Museum. It’s got a hidden spot on a corner wall, and likely portrays a treasured memory to those sailors pictured. The plane behind them is called a spotter plane used to scout conditions and enemy ships prior to the use of radar for that purpose. U.S. S. AMSTERDAM was a light cruiser carrying 4 planes in a hanger on board, but below the main deck. When going airborne, the planes would be launched by catapult, and when returning would land on the water next to the ship, then would be hoisted aboard on a crane that lifted them to the quarterdeck. The ship served in the Pacific 3rd Fleet in strikes against Japan, and was scrapped in 1972.
Crew of the U.S.S. AMSTERDAM CL101 circa 1944. This photograph is in the Collection of the Museum’s I.Roy Coats Brass Room.
Museum volunteer: At the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, volunteers answer questions at the front desk, give museum tours, operate the tug ANGELS GATE, use the Morse code, build ship models, and staff The Sea Chest, the museum’s gift shop. Visit the web page for more information.