USS Whitehurst Logo by:
Pat Stephens, Webmaster DESA
Whitehurst "Stars" in Film
The Movie, "The Enemy Below", made using the Whitehurst, is
a WWII, DE versus U-Boat thriller. Robert Mitchum and Curt Jurgens play the
leading roles as skippers of the opposing vessels. It was released in 1957 and
took and academy award for special effects.
You can see several of your old shipmates playing bit parts, a few of whom speak
a line or two. There are many good shots of the ship. The film is still
available in the "War Section" at the major Movie Rental stores. If it isn't on
their shelves, they can order it.
The movie has been re-released twice recently. In December
of 2003 and in May of 2004. The 2004 release is on DVD in Wide Screen &
Surround Sound. Both DVD & VHS versions were available for purchase for about
$15. (May 2004)
In May of 2002, the readers of Sea Classics Magazine
responded to a poll selecting their top 10 and personal favorite sea films.
The Enemy Below took second place, just slightly behind The Cane Mutiny
and well ahead of Das Boot and Mister Roberts in the 3rd and
Denys Rayner, Author Book, "The Enemy Below"
Notes about the Author of the
Still Shots Taken During the
Filming of "The Enemy Below"
preserved, provided, and
captioned by Ken "AK" Baroa RD2
Ken Baroa RDSN, 1955
Official Movie Poster of "The Enemy Below"
The 20th Century Fox crew with movie equipment
on what we called "Baker Docks" in Pearl Harbor.
It is now called "Bravo
Pier". Notice man with the bull horn... Director, Dick Powell
Mounting movie equipment on the bridge of Whitehurst
A depth charge
explodes too damn near the surface
(Although planned as part of the movie, the
violence and proximity of this explosion took everyone
by surprise. It was
picked up by the Associated Press and forwarded all over. The picture below
clipped from the Spokesman Review, Spokane, WA.
It was preserved and
contributed by Hugh Toney BT3...(max crow)
The caption reads: Exploding depth charges
send water 100 feet into the air near the Navy's Destroyer
Escort Whitehurst 18
miles from Pearl Harbor. A Hollywood movie crew aboard the ship narrowly
escaped what the captain said could have been a serious accident. Among well
known persons working
on the film were actor Robert Mitchum, director Dick
Powell and actress June Allyson. Eleven charges
exploded prematurely (AP)
Comments on the explosion by
Chief Gunner's Mate Tim Lake:
As well as I remember the depth charges are supposed to
have a safety not letting them explode before 50 ft.
We never dropped charges
doing less than 18 knots even then at 50 ft there were a lot of light bulbs to
changed. The 300 lb "Ash Can" charges which were rolled off the fantail sank
more slowly than the tear drop
charges. So you had better be moving on. Our
Skipper never dropped charges doing less than 20 knots no
matter what depth
setting because some always explode too soon. He said, "Better safe than
Abandon ship scene. On left, feet about to
enter water is Adrian "Flip" Filipiak RM2. In center, arms even with
is Ray Nowacki ET2. Next man who has just jumped, Frank "Aggie" Aguilar SN.
The sailor standing
on deck looking down is unidentified. On right about to
climb over, Jim Burroughs RD3. (this data is subject
Actor Robert Mitchum, star
of the movie in the role of Captain Murrell, Commanding
Officer USS Haynes
DE-181. Kurt Jügens co-starred as CO of the German U-Boat.
The following comments by Ken "AK" Baroa
This movie was quite clever unlike other WWII
the radar would make a sound upon a contact.
We Radarmen showed the sound guy that radar
does not make any sounds and the movie
(very clever) just accented the background
music when we got the sub on the radar.
Unlike other WWII movies, they didn't call the contact a Blip
which is incorrect. Pip is
the correct term for establishing contact. Bogie is used if
identified as a enemy aircraft
and Skunk for a enemy surface craft.
This movie received excellent technical
advice from the old man* (LtCdr Walter Smith) , the Radarmen, and
Hendricks BM1, regarding the ship's proper
voice procedure on the P.A., and the Quartermasters
for Helm steering commands.
*note: The term "old man" is
the sailor's normal language for
referring to their Commanding Officer. It is not disrespectful. mc
E-mail Max Crow Site Author