TEL AVIV (May. 8)
The United States cruiser Albany sailed into Haifa harbor today on a goodwill visit. The cruiser exchanged a 21-gun salute with Israeli naval craft in the port.
As the Albany dropped her anchor overboard, the crew of 1,500 stood at attention on her main deck, the band played “Hatikvah,” the Israeli anthem, and the Israeli flag was hoisted aloft. The ship’s band paraded and played in Tel Aviv this afternoon, and will give a repeat performance in Haifa tomorrow.
The mission of the Sixth United States Fleet, stationed in the Mediterranean Sea, is; among other things, to “be ready to take instant naval action in the case of an emergency in which the security and freedom of our friends are jeopardized,” Rear Admiral Ephraim McLean, commander of the Albany and of the Second Cruiser Division of the Sixth Fleet, told Israeli navel officers at a luncheon today board the Albany.
He told his guests, who included the head of the Israeli Navy, Cmdr. Shmuel Tankus, that the fleet’s mission also included training officers and men in Mediterranean waters, give the crews an opportunity to improve their knowledge of various nations of the region and to visit their ports, and to protect American interests “as our naval units protect them all over the world.”