Front Cover - outside

Front Cover - inside


Our ship is 675 feet long and her beam at
her widest point is 71 feet. At full load she
displaced over 17,200 tons and the bottom of
her keel projects 26 feet below the surface
of the water.

The main engines develop 120,000 horsepower
and she is capable of making speeds of over 32

The ship has a completely staffed, fully eq-
­uipped hospital, including an operating room and
a dental office. A licensed doctor and a dentist
are prepared to administer treatment 24 hours
a day.

There are more than 300 telephones on board
as part of a vast communications network. The
power for this comes from the ship's generators
which provide enough electricity to serve a city
of 50,000 people.

HELENA's commissary department serves 2,800
meals a day, bakes 500 loaves of bread each day,
serves 25,000 pounds of meat a month, and issues
1,800 pounds of coffee every thirty days.

The ship maintains a hobby shop, soda foun-
­tain, and several TV sets, in addition to showing
nightly movies to her officers and men.

Included in her crew of over 1,000 are men
from nearly every state as well as Guam and
the Philippines. There are also 39 Marines
aboard who act as orderlies, provide addi-
­tional security and man one of the 3-inch guns.

HELENA men enjoy a library with several thou-
sand books. Added each month are shipments of the
latest best-sellers and nearly all of the national

Every two weeks the disbursing officer pays
out in cash over $65,000 with another $50,000
sent to families and savings accounts.

Page 3


Captain William C. Abhau, commanding officer
of the First Fleet flagship USS HELENA, assumed
command of the San Diego-based heavy cruiser on
Feb. 10, 1961. He previously served in Washington,
D.C., where he was responsible for the Bureau of
Naval Weapons research and development efforts in
antisubmarine warfare.

After graduating from the United States Naval
Academy in 1935, he served for six-years in the
cruisers ASTORIA and QUINCY, and the destroyer
TRIPPE. During World War II he was Gunnery
Officer of the battleship NEW JERSEY. The ship
participated in nine campaigns in the Pacific
and Captain Abhau's gun crews repelled more
than 30 air attacks.

Following the war, Captain Abhau served with
the occupation forces in Japan at the headquarters
of the Sixth Army in Kyoto. Later, he commanded
the USS Greene, a destroyer that supported the
Allied Forces in Trieste, and Escort Squadron
Sixteen the first group of radar pickets assigned
to operate with the U. S. Air Force in defense of
the continental United States.

Captain Abhau's last sea-going command was
the fleet oiler USS Waccamaw which supported the
landing In Lebanon in 1958.

Since 1940, Captain Abhor has specialized in
the development and evaluation of weapons systems.
An unusual aspect of his naval career is that he
twice attended the Naval Post-Graduate School,
where he completed courses in ordnance engineering
and operations analysis. This study was sup-
­plemented by a year of training at the Naval War

In addition to serving in the Bureau of Naval
Weapons in Washington, he served on the staff
of the Commander Operational Test and Evaluation
Force, and was a member of the Weapons Systems
Evaluation Group, Office of the Secretary of

Captain Abhau holds a Master of Science
degree in operations analysis, and is a member
of the Operations Research Society of America.

Captain and Mrs. Abhau, the former Miss
Harriet Sanders, have their permanent home in
Annapolis, Maryland. Living with them are their
two daughters, Elliot and Marcy.

Pages 4 and 5


Rear Admiral Frank Virden was born in Cynthia,
Mississippi, on January 25, 1905, son of Walter
and Fanny Harris Virden, both now deceased.
He attended Millsaps Academy at Jackson, Mississippi,
and Marion Institute, Marion, Alabama. He was
appointed to the Naval Academy from his home
state. Graduated and commissioned Ensign on June
2, 1927, he subsequently advanced in rank to that
of Rear Admiral to date from August 1, 1955.

After graduation from the Naval Academy, he
served in a wide variety of billets in ships all
over the world. These included: the USS ARKANSAS,

Admiral Virden served as Assistant Professor
of Naval Science at Northwestern University and
attended the Sound School at Key West, Florida
before assuming command of the USS FRAZIER in
July 1942. He commanded the USS KNAPP during
the Marshall Islands operations, the Hollandia
operation,and the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

During the last year of the war he served as
Communications Officer on the staff of Commander
Amphibious Group FIVE, and of Commander Amphib-
­ious Forces Pacific.

In October 1945, he returned to the U.S. and
for a year, thereafter, served as Communications
Officer, Eighth Naval District. From November
1946, until April 1949, he served in the Opera-
­tional Readiness Division, Office of the Chief
of Naval Operations. In June 1949 he assumed
duties as Commander Destroyer Squadron 18, with
additional duties as Commander Destroyer Divi-
­sion 181.

Between June 1951 and January 1955, he at-
tended the Naval War College; served in the
Amphibious Training Command at Coronado, Calif-
­ornia; commanded Transport Division 15, and
Amphibious Squadron SEVEN.

In February 1955, he returned to Washington,
DC., on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations.
Since 1956 he has commanded Des­troyer Flotilla SIX;
served on the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
Europe; was Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for
Communications, and in September 1961 he assumed
duties as Com­mander Cruiser-Destroyer Force, U.S.
Pacific Fleet. On 12 April 1962, Admiral Virden
assumed duties as Commander First Fleet.

Pages 6 and 7

Page 8 and 9
Center Fold

The first USS Helena was a 1,400-ton gunboat.
When stricken from the Navy register in 1932, she
had more than 30 years of distinguished service to
her credit,including participation in the Spanish-
American War.

The second USS Helena (CA-50), a light cruiser,
was commissioned in 1939. Although damaged during
the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, she
was repaired quickly and took part in 13 major en-
­gagements in the South Pacific during World War II.
Then, in 1943, while under heavy fire from the en-
­emy in the battle of Kula Gulf, she was hit fatal-
­ly by a Japanese torpedo and sunk. She was post-
­humously awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for
her efforts against the enemy.

The third and present USS Helena was commis-
­sioned in 1945, too late to see action in World
War II. She made up for this with her performance
in the Korean conflict, however. Although she had
just arrived in the United States from the Far
East when hostilities erupted, she returned to
Korean waters in a hurry, and was firing her big
guns at the enemy within six weeks after the
shooting started.

Altogether, the Helena spent three tours of
duty in Korean waters--the first heavy cruiser to
do this. Her big guns rained more than 35,000
rounds of death and destruction on the enemy dur-
­ing the Korean conflict, and her presence in the
combat zone was a constant threat to Communist
forces in the area.

Since the end of the Korean hostilities, the
Helena has served continuously in Pacific waters.
She has flown the flags of more than 20 different
admirals, and has established an envious reputa-
­tion for herself as a fighting ship. In 1959 and
1960 she earned the coveted Pacific Fleet Battle
Efficiency ''E'', official recognition of her posi-
­tion as the best heavy cruiser in the fleet.

Home-based in San Diego, Calif., the Helena is
the flagship for the Commander of the U.S. First

The USS Helena (CA-75), a heavy cruiser which
displaces 17,200 tons and carries a crew of more
than 1,200 men, was commissioned on Sept. 4, 1945.
Named for the capitol of the state of Montana, she
is the third Navy warship to bear the proud name
of Helena.

Pages 10 and 11

The United states First Fleet is com-
­posed of about 100 ships manned by more than
60,000 officers and men. These ships operate from
the west coast of the United States to 160 de-
­grees east longitude, approximately half way be-
­tween Midway Island and Japan from the Arctic
to the Antarctic.

Within this broad expanse of ocean, the First
Fleet exercises operational control over all
ships not assigned to other commands or under-
going repair. This normally includes all aircraft
carriers and their assigned air groups, all
cruisers and destroyers, all major replenishment
ships, an amphibious squadron, a division of
minesweepers, and a destroyer tender.

In order to make sure that the First Fleet
meets its requirements and fulfills its respons-
i­bilities, COMFIRSTFLT flies his two-star flag
at sea. His flagship is the USS Helena (CA-75),
whose home port is San Diego, California.

To better understand the function and opera-
­tion of the First Fleet, it will be necessary to
explain its relationship to other "numbered"
fleets of the U.S. Navy.

The majority of the ships, planes and men of
the U.S. Navy are presently concentrated within
four "numbered" fleets. The First and Seventh
Fleets generally operate to the west of the Uni-
­ted States in the Pacific and Indian Oceans,
while the Second and Sixth Fleets operate to the
east in the Atlantic and Mediterranean Oceans.

These fleets provide the basic organization
through which naval forces, with their associated
air and ground forces, may be moved rapidly to
any spot necessary to safeguard the security of
this country and the free world.

Normally, a "numbered" fleet might be consid-
­ered the logical extension on a larger scale of
the familiar "task force concept" -- a naval
force assigned to accomplish a specific task.

The types and numbers of ships and other units
assigned to a numbered fleet are precisely ad-
­justed to the particular task which the fleet is
called upon to accomplish. Ships not needed are where.

Thus. the size of a numbered fleet on any giv-

Task Force of First Fleet ships

en day may vary, according to its tasks at the
moment. Also, although all four numbered fleets
are assigned to specific geographical ocean
areas, they obviously have to be highly flexible
and prepared for any emergency so they may be
rapidly shifted at a moment's notice.

In the Pacific, the First and Seventh Fleets
are responsible for patrolling and protecting the
peace in an area that encompasses 85,000,000
square miles. The First Fleet is assigned the
eastern and middle portion of this vast area. The
Seventh Fleet, under the command of Vice Admiral
W. A. Schoech, is assigned the western portion.

The two fleet commanders and their forces do
not operate independently of each other, however.
Both are responsible to Admiral John H. Sides,
Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, who coordin-
­ates and directs their activities from his head-
quarters at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Thus. the First Fleet is the eastern anchor
for a combat force that covers half the world.
It is a highly mobile, effective and far-reaching
force that is capable of exerting the right
amount of force at the right place at the moment
it becomes necessary.

It is hoped that the might of the First Fleet
will never have to be brought to bear against an
enemy who attacks the United States or our al-
lies. But should this happen, the First Fleet is
prepared to safeguard the security of our country
and the Free World.

Pages 12 and 13


The consistent policy of the United States is,
and has been, to achieve and maintain a just and
stable peace throughout the world. In support of
this endeavor, our government has joined in col-
­lective security agreements with 42 countries
around the globe. Access to these nations - our
allies - is of vital importance if we are to at-
­tain our common goal of freedom and peace. A
strong, modern, ready Navy can give us this ac-
­cess by the seas.

The United States Navy has been assigned grave
responsibility by you,the American people. First,
we must be so powerful and well-prepared that a
potential aggressor will think twice before at-
tacking us. Second, we must be able to project
the great offensive power of all our armed forces
into enemy territory and away from our home
shores. This we can do by using the terrific
punch of our Naval forces, together with the sup-
port of our world-wide system of Army, Navy, and
Air Force bases. Third, we must be prepared to
support our allies and receive support from them
by the use of the seas. Fourth, our Navy must be
on guard against and be able to control the enemy
submarine menace, now assumed to be one of the
major factors in any future conflict.


The heavy cruiser is an effective weapons sys-
­tem against enemy ships as well as shore install-
­ations. Whether operating with a Fast Carrier
Task Force or an Amphibious Assault Support Unit,
her 3-inch and 5-inch guns provide for her
anti-aircraft defense, and her 8-inch batteries
are the most powerful mobile artillery immediate-
­ly available in the world today.

HELENA's modern radar, her long range and
high speed make her valuable as a picket,raider, or in
other roles. She also serves as a high speed
tanker for smaller ships when the need arises and
is the communications center for an entire fleet.

With her speed, imposing armament, her
many varied capabilities, and her role as a car-
­rier of our country's message of peace, HELENA is
indeed a ship with a purpose.

Page 14



The United States Navy is responsible for maintaining control of the sea
and is a ready force on watch at home and overseas, capable of strong
action to preserve the peace or of instant offensive action to win in war.

It is upon the maintenance of this control that our country's glorious
future depends. the United States Navy exists to make it so


Tradition, valor, and victory are the Navy's heritage from the past. To
these may he added dedication. discipline. and vigilance as the watchwords
of the present and the future.

At home or on distant stations we serve with pride, confident in the respect
of our country. our shipmates. and our families.

Our responsibilities sober us. our adversities strengthen us.

Service to God and Country is our special privilege. We serve with honor.


The Navy will always employ new weapons. new techniques, and
greater power to protect and defend the United States on the sea, under
the sea, and In the air

Now and in the future, control of the sea gives the United States her
greatest advantage for the maintenance of peace and for victory in war.

Mobility, surprise, dispersal, and offensive power are the keynotes of
the new Navy. The roots of the Navy lie in a strong belief in the
future, in continued dedication to our tasks. and in reflection on our
heritage from the past

Never have our opportunities and our responsibilities been greater

Page 15

Outside back cover.