(The Pilot's Log stories re-printed with permission from the"Daily Breeze" news)

		 SAN PEDRO NEWS-PILOT                            Friday December 14, 1951

The Pilot's Log
By Bynner Martin


Crewmwn of the Helena will be hosts next Sunday at a Christmas party for about 80 orphans.

The sailors will pipe the young visitors and their leaders aboard the warship at Terminal Island at 10 a.m., take 'em on tours of the vessel, entertain 'em with movie cartoons.

Then they will eat. And they'll eat in traditional Christmas fashion, turkey and all the trimmin's.

And after each one has had his fill, they'll gather around the Christmas tree and meet Santa Claus. Santa will have a nice present for each child. There'll also be candy and laughter and a lot of fun.

These sailors are the same ones who a week ago last Saturday signalized their return from Korean war duty by presenting a $6500 trust fund to a seven-year-old Montana boy "who hadn't had a proper start in life."

The news of the trust fund spread throughtout the land and brought two heart-lifting letters:

First, Mrs Ethel Baxter of Norfolk, VA., wrote to the Helena's skipper, Capt. Lawrence H. Martin:

"I have just read in the paper about you and your men helping the little boy in Helena, Montana. It was a wonderful thing to do. I am sure a more deserving child could not be found. The men must have mighty big hearts."

"I wonder if they would like to make another little boy happy, that was deserted by his father when he was a year old. He is eight years old now--the victim of an incurable disease. He is failing fast, has never gone to school, can't run and play like other children. He gets very lonely as I work. We live with my parents.

The postman is one bright spot in the day for my son--he loves to get mail, and that is the favor I want to ask of you and your men. Not money, but a card or letter to my son, Master Richard Baxter, 735 w. Thirty-fifth st., Norfolk 8, Va."

Second, Thomas McCue, commandant of the Stephen Guard Post 320 of the American Legion wrote to Capt. Martin:

"Having read of the trust fund being built up by the crew of the cruiser Helena for Terry Ellis, it is my wish to make a token contribution posthumously for my son who died on board the Helena just two years ago in subic Bay, Dec. 1st. His name was Robert John McCue.

"Kindly accept the enclosed check. . ."

The check was for $20 and the amount was added to the trust fund.

Both letters were published in a memorandum for all hands before the Helena arrived here from Pearl Harbor. And the mail that went ashore from the cruiser here included letters and cards to Master Richard.

For the orphans, the crew brought gifts from Japan. Carlos Madrid, chairman, and George J. Samuels, member of the Helena's recreation committee, showed me typical presents as the cruiser plowed homeward.

Among the gifts are battery-powered speedboats, artist sets, dresser sets, trains, fishing rods, and ceramic dolls.

"We got ceramic dolls." explained Samuels, "because we didn't want to take any chances with bugs or anything in dolls filled with rice hulls."

Samuels and Madrid did the shopping, looking over the offerings in Yokosuka, Tokyo and Yokohama during the Helena's once-a-month visits to Yokosuka for supplies, fuel and liberty.

"The Helena had a party for orphans in San Francisco last christmas," said Samuels. "This is the way we handle it. When the youngster comes aboard, he or she will sign the deck log and also put down his or her age. Then, while the kids are looking about the cruiser and seeing the movies, we'll match names and ages with suitable presents. Then, at the Christmas tree, Santa can call out the names and give 'em gifts we think they'll like."

Samuels picked up a doll and admired it for a long moment. Then as if in explanation of the trust fund, the orphans' party, the crews' own party, said: "The Helena is a happy ship."

Pilot's Log 1 Pilot's Log 2 Pilot's Log 3