Her "Terrier guided missiles pointing skyward, the U.S. Navy missile cruiser USS Topeka transits the Panama Canal at Miraflores Locks after arriving here Wednesday for a two day stopover. the 14,600 ton ship is on her way to join the U.S. Pacific fleet.  Capt. Frank L. Pinney Jr. (Insert) is commanding officer.

 

US Navy's Powerful Missile Cruiser is Here On 2-Day Visit

Displaying her deadly "Terrier" guided missiles on the stern, the U.S. Navy's powerful missile cruiser USS Topeka transited the Panama Canal yesterday.

On her way to join the U.S. Pacific Fleet, the 10,670-ton cruiser is making a two day stopover here before leaving Friday morning for Acapulco. It is moored at Rodman Naval Station.

More than 1,400 sailors and Naval Reservist from the ship were expected to converge on Panama and the Canal zone today to sight see and shop.

Two bus loads of personnel were scheduled to tour Miraflores Locks, Panama City and the nearby area this morning.

A round of entertainment for Topeka officers and crewmen began last night with a reception for the ships senior officers.  Rear Adm. Richard S. Caighill, Commander of the 15th Naval District, was host for the affair at his Ft. Amador quarters.

Separate dances were held last night at Rodman Naval Station for the ships officers and enlisted men.  A dance is also planned tonight at the YMCA in Balboa for the crew.

Among other activities scheduled are fishing trips for the ships personnel, and softball and basketballs games between teams from the cruiser and the 15th Naval District.

One of the U. S. Navy's newest missile cruiser, the USS Topeka was converted to guided missile class three months ago at the New York Naval Shipyard.  It will be the second missile cruiser assigned to the Pacific Fleet.

The 600-foot ship is armed with the powerful "Terrier" guided missile, a surface-to-air missile which can travel at twice the speed of sound.  It can all-weather anti-aircraft projectile capable of sticking a target with deadly accuracy at ranges up to ten miles.

Commanded by Frank L. Pinney Jr., the Topeka is carrying 200 Naval Reservists aboard for a two-week training cruise in addition to her regular crew of 1,200 officers and men.

Enroute to the Pacific Fleet, the cruiser will drop south to cross the equator and introduce un-indoctrinated Topeka sailors - by proper initiation - into the kingdom of King Neptune.  Afterwards ship's personnel who have not crossed the line before, called polywogs" are certain to end up with shaved heads and sore backsides