St. Louis Cap


"How the Hubble-Bubble was born"

      The first issue was on April 13th, 1942 while we were at sea regrouping with remaining sea-worthy Pacific Fleet units after Pearl Harbor.  The crew needed news from home and country, and a means of disbursing that news squarely and directly to everybody aboard --- truth versus rumor.

      The St. Louis had been pressed into temporary escort duty - first protecting military family and wounded evacuees from Oahu, followed by long slow convoys of transports and supply ships to the few scattered bases and outposts still available in the South Pacific.  At that time, none of us knew in advance what would be there when we got there, if we got there.

      Our new Gunnery Officer, then Lt. James R. McCormick recognized the need for a ship's newsletter and coined the title "Hubble-Bubble", defined in his later years as " a sort of noisy chatter".  He asked Yeoman 2/c Al Sozonovich (Al Seaton) to pull it together and become editor.  It was an instant shipboard success, published daily on "Mimeograph" when circumstances permitted, and was gradually expanded to include not only news but elements of shipboard life on a crowded ship  at war - - - "Joe de Mountaineer" being one example.  Joe is still  around (anonymous as usual) and contributes from time to time.

      When the war ended, the St. Louis placed in mothballs for a time, eventually transferred to the Brazilian Navy through one of those State Department things we hear about from time to time.   Recommissioned the "Tamandare" she served their fleet for 25 years.  Meanwhile, the Hubble-Bubble was sleeping in quiet retirement, but not for long.   Sad and disturbing things happened.

"Birth of the USS St. Louis Association"

      After 25 years of active service, "Tamandare" was de-commissioned in 1976 by Brazil. They simply ran out of parts and access to 1939 technology to keep her going. We can all relate that aspect of aging.

      The final blow fell when she was sold to a Hong Kong salvage company for $1,100,000 to be scrapped as junk. When that news surfaced, original Hubble Bubble editor Al Sozonovich resurfaced as Al Seton, by that time a highly skilled media specialist. Al's obsession was to save the St. Louis as a memorial. She was a unique fighting ship, from day one to the end of her active career in the United States fleet. Al sounded the alarm to all shipmates as best he could.

"The Hubble Bubble newsletter was again activated in 1978 and once again became our means of communicating with each other.