ARTICLES FROM THE "SYDNEY MORNING HERALD"
8 MAY 1957
GIRLS WEEP AS US CARRIER LEAVES
Hundreds of girls wept as the U.S. aircraft carrier BENNINGTON sailed from Woolloomooloo yesterday with a paper mache alligator and a lot of memories.
The BENNINGTON had been in Sydney for a week in connection with the Coral Sea Week celebrations. The alligator, a present from the Sydney University students, was for Admiral Fitz Hugh Lee. It is understood it was a form of peace offering, as the BENNINGTON was one of the targets selected yesterday by students celebrating Commemoration Day. Early in the morning they slipped through the ship's security guard and sounded a chemical warfare alarm, causing a rush to action stations on the ship.
Garden Island naval officials who watched the BENNINGTON leave said it received the best send-off of any overseas warship since World War II.
SAILOR NEARLY MISSED SHIP
They said the crowd numbered at least 4,000, mostly girls. As the BENNINGTON left the wharf, a call went out over its loudspeakers, "Three cheers for Sydney". The crew cheered and threw hundreds of sailor caps to friends on the wharf. One sailor nearly missed the ship. The BENNINGTON was 300 yards out from the wharf, when a water police launch brought him alongside and he climbed aboard.
Those farewelling the BENNINGTON slowly made their way back along Cowper Wharf Road and a few were still weeping when they reached Sir John Young Cresent, a quarter of a mile from the wharf.
Before the BENNINGTON sailed, Admiral Lee said the friendliness and hospitality of the Australians could not be equaled anywhere in the world. "Particularly for the officers and men who had not previously known the friendship of your people, the visit has been an outstanding experience", he said.
"It has strengthened the bonds which bind us in the defense of freedom throughout the world".
"I speak for all the officers and men of BENNINGTON, the frigate McCain and the destroyers Mullany, Stoddard and Isherwood when I say our stay "Down Under" has been far to short and that we look forward with pleasure to visiting your country again".
THIS ARTICLE WAS FROM THE SYDNEY MORNING
HERALD ON 8 MAY 1957 - (this article has been retyped
Just as it appeared on that date. No changes have been made)
SUBMITTED BY: SK3 Joe Pires