Archive for the ‘1940s’ Category

Bill Graham Photos

September 6, 2009

Bill Graham (RM2, 1946) sent some great items from his scrapbook. These go all the way back to the Isbell’s very first days.

A journalist rode the Isbell in 1946 and reported in Newsweek about the inability to man ships due to post-WWII force reductions (click the small image below to read the entire article).



Christmas Card – 1949

September 6, 2009

Isbell Christmas cards from the 1949 cruise, sent by Jim Perino.1949_isbell_xmas_01_lg



Ship Portraits

September 6, 2009

These images were supplied by Don Scott at

Don writes:
“With collecting as my hobby for the past 42 years have placed over 8500 8×10 photos on disc that I have scanned (all 8×10 official US Navy), filled in more by commands and museum. I had the opportunity to get really unusual and tremendous amount of views. Miscellaneous, insignia, missile shots, accidents, etc while in the navy, a lot that the Navy don’t pass out. I have the following on disc:
– battleships-cruisers
– carriers-aircraft – 2 cd disc with 6100 images
– destroyers
– ships in general – no subs or aircraft
– other – includes merchants, civ, auxiliaries and misc info
– submarines – 2 cd disc with 6,000 images
– sub welcomes (over 200)
I’m working up now one with ship welcomes and photos on same disc – have hundreds already done – will take a while.

Any of these are $25.”
Contact Don at


1949 Cruise Book

September 1, 2009

1949 Cruise Book

Contributed by James A. Perino.

CDR Charles R. Johnson (CO, 1949-50) passed away

August 10, 2005


CDR Charles “Chuck” R. Johnson passed away on 8 August, 2005, at his home in Malibu, CA. Chuck was the Isbell’s Commanding Officer from 1949-50. His son Chris passed along these comments:

“Dad was a 1938 graduate of the USNA. Served on the cruiser New Orleans before the war and was on Adm Kimmel’s staff at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attack occurred. What great stories that produced! He served as a communications officer in the South Pacific and Australia during the first part of the war, then was navigator in the cruiser Spingfield during ’44 and ’45.

“After the war he commanded Davisson then AJ Isbell before being whisked off to Washington for a Pentagon tour. After that he was an instructor at the Naval Academy, XO of cruiser Manchester, then Commander, Destroyer Squadron 25 in Pearl Harbor. His last assignment was as the commissioning Commanding Officer of the Naval Inshore Operations Training Center in Vallejo where riverine sailors were trained for their tours in Vietnam.”

USS Arnold J. Isbell Ship Commissioning

June 6, 2004

See also Captain Isbell biography and family photos.

These items were graciously provided by Zoe Montague, the niece of Capt. Isbell.

Invitation and ticket to the Commissioning Ceremony, 5 January 1946. Mrs. McKey was Captain Isbell’s sister.



The Commissioning ceremony program.



At left is the Isbell’s first Commanding Officer, Commander Carlton B. Jones. Speaking is probably Rear Admiral F.E. Haeberle. Standing far right is Captain Isbell’s eldest son Don, who attended West Point. To his right is son Charlie, who attended Annapolis and served in the Marine Corps.


Stern on view of the USS Arnold J. Isbell the day before her commissioning.


Captain Arnold J. Isbell Family Photos

June 6, 2004

See also Captain Isbell biography and ship commissioning.

These items were graciously provided by Zoe Montague, the niece of Capt. Isbell. The comments in quotes are hers.

“I was 12 when he died, but I remember a loved family hero, good looking, smart, and with a great sense of humor.”


“Arnold as a pudgy tot. He and my mother were born about 20 months apart in Oto, Iowa. I believe that at that time Arnold’s father was with the railroad. Arnold was named after my grandfather’s father, who’s last name was Arnold, and was a Civil War veteran. I don’t believe that either Arnold or my mother knew him. The family moved to Logan, Iowa, and Arnold went to school there. Tales are that he was a ‘good but wild’ kid, and I think everyone was glad when he got into the Academy.”

“Annapolis. He attended in ’17 and graduated in ’20. I believe they were hurrying people through because of WWI. Arnold is standing second from left in the first photo, and is seated top row second from right in the right photo.”



“Arnold loved flying and he was in it early. I remember that he was in charge of a group flying in Alaska. Before that he flew a lot. Before we got in the war I remember hearing that he was flying the mail to Churchill and FDR during a conference, somewhere in the Caribbean.” (Photo from the 1930s.)




“Arnold was getting an award from FDR.”

“Don, who I think was in prep school, Margarita (Arnold’s wife), Arnold, and Charlie.” (Early 40s.)


“Showing off his stripes – 1942.”