The USS Philadelphia CL41 - "The Galloping Ghost" Will Sail On in Cyberspace
through the History & Memories of her Crew - "We Were There"
Once ordinary men left their ordinary lives, went off to save the world and returned to their ordinary lives
This is the story of their service aboard the USS Philadelphia during World War II

USS Philadelphia
50 Years of Reunions

#50 Naval Station

#56 August 2019
Cleveland, Ohio

2022 - Visiting Marseille and the Frioul Islands with 5 local guides
78 Years after the islands surrendered to the Philadelphia
Photos are HERE

Group Photos

In October 1945 the USS Philadelphia came home from WWII.
In October 2007 the ship came home to me
in the form of my father's album and diary.
While I remember seeing the album as a little girl,
I never knew the diary existed.
Frank Paukstis served in this ship 1943-1945.
I've created this website in his memory and as a tribute
to all those who served aboard the "Galloping Ghost"

Eileen Paukstis Backofen

News Articles


Snapshots Onboard

Chaplain D.J. Burke

Good Afternoon, Shipmates!

Before Enlistment
Browndale, PA & NYA Camp (1938-39)
New York City
Hauck Mfg. Co (1940 - 1943)

Induction Sampson NTS

At Left: Dad in 1944

In Home Ports

My Dad's WWII Diary

After the war:
Dad and Me

At Right: Mom in 1944

The average American sailor has an unswerving conviction that he is serving aboard the “finest damn ship in the Navy.” If you run into a man from the Philadelphia – don’t argue with him.
F.R. Kent, Stars and Stripes, Feb 22, 1944

Memories of Shipmates and Wartime Diaries

Shipmates Photos
History of the Fifth Philadelphia CL-41
This article appeared as part of a series about the ships which were named Philadelphia in the newsletter of the sailors’ association of the latest ship to carry the name – Nuclear Submarine SSN 690 which was deactivated
25 June 2010.
Deactivation of USS Philadelphia SSN-690
The Philadelphian
(Ship's Newspaper)
Operation Torch
North Africa 1942
Operation Husky
Sicily 1943
Operation Avalanche
Salerno 1943
Operation Shingle
Anzio 1944
Operation Anvil
Southern France 1944
Locating the Plaques from the Philadelphia


Operation Magic Carpet

Homeward Bound

Crew Lists
Duty Roster
27 April 1944
Reunion Photos:

2011 2012 2013
2008 2009 2010

50 Years of Reunions

Brochures 1964-2013

Ships Named Philadelphia (text)

Created by Philadelphia Association (1990s?) and
converted to MP4 format (2022)

Naval Gunfire Support of Amphibious Operations: Past, Present, and Future ( Donald M Weller, Major General, USMC (Ret))
Prepared for Naval Sea Systems Command and Headquarters, USMC
Naval Surface Weapons Station, Dahlgren, VA
Approved for Public Release, October 1977

full text (pdf format)
In the post war years I am sure that every one of you will point with pride to the war record of this vessel and say, "
I served in the PHILADELPHIA in the last war",
and I sincerely trust that it will be the last war.
R. L. Boller, Commandng Officer 11 August 1945
full text
"No other Navy at any time has done so much. For your part in these achievements you deserve to be proud as long as you live. The nation which you served at a time of crisis will remember you with gratitude." James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy
full text
Following in Dad's WWII Footsteps aboard the Philadelphia
When my husband and I travel to Europe, we try to visit the places Dad wrote about in his diary
and recreate the photos he took (links below)

Contact me if you have information you would like included here.
I welcome comments and suggestions.
I will continue to add material as provided by crew and their families..

I remember my Dad telling me that nobody was interested in looking at his WWII album.
I think he would be happy to know that people are looking at it now.

There were 9 Brooklyn Class Cruisers built between 1935 & 1939
A tribute site for the USS Honolulu (CL-48) created by the son of an officer is HERE

Updated June 9,2024