Mike Duczer Photo Collection

This collection contains 20 photographs and 21 descriptions of the photographs of Hungarian Refugees.  These refugees were transported from Bremerhaven, Germany to the New York, United States aboard the The USNS General Le Roy Eltinge.  There were 1,751 refugees aboard this ship. All images are 8x10 copies of the original pictures with descriptions.

Picture 1
With the United States flag as background, a refugee woman feeds canned baby food to her daughter while en route to new home in the United States aboard the Gen. Leroy.  

Picture 2
A Hungarian doctor who fled his native country and Rear Admiral Hubert Van Peemen, Senior Medical Officer aboard the USNS Eltinge, examine a vaccination of the arm of a refugee.

Picture 3
Hungarian refugee woman received clothing from the Red Cross

Picture 4
Saint Nicholas visits refugee children abroad the USS Eltinge during a Christmas Party held at sea while en route to the United States.

Picture 5
Refugees dance their Hungarian National dance aboard the transport Eltinge.

Picture 6
Church services were conducted daily aboard the Eltinge while en route to America.  LTJG Otto Schneider, CHC, conducts Protestant services in the Troop Recreation Hall.

Picture 7
Refugee coming aboard Eltinge at Bremerhaven, Germany, December 19th.

Picture 8
In a special farewell program put on by refugees aboard the Eltinge for their American friends, men who fought communists in Hungary give the “Freedom Fighters” pledge. Man in center holds the Hungarian Flag.

Picture 9
A tribute to the American Navy men and MSTS crewmen aboard the USS Eltinge was made 2 days before the arrival in New York, when refugees presented a farewell program. After singing their National Anthem, refugee Olive Keve read a letter of appreciation in which the refugees thanked the Navy for its kindness and the American People for their hospitality.

Picture 10
Ralph J. Beste, seaman, USN, brings a smile to the face of a five year old refugee. The Navymen aboard the USS Eltinge were popular with the children who were unaffected by seasickness which put adult passengers in bed part of the trip.

Picture 11 (2 copies)
Christmas at sea aboard the mercy ship USS Eltinge will long be remembered by the 1,751 refugees aboard. Lt. CDR. T.F. Crane, USN, commanding officer of the ship’s military department, is surrounded by children at the Christmas Party held for families in the ships dining room.

Picture 12
Refugees and Navymen surround the piano aboard the USS Eltinge as popular songs of a decade ago are sung in two languages. No American music has been heard in Hungary since the Communists took control.

Picture 13
During the 12 day sea trip of the Eltinge, refugees, using ships musical instruments, kept the ship filled with music. A refugee group plays for patients in the Eltinge’s sickbay.

Picture 14
American Officials who greeted refugees at Bremerhaven. (Left to Right) Capt. R.N. Rittenhouse, USN. Mrs. Lynch, Capt. R.A. Wilheim, USN. And Consul General John Lynche.

Picture 15
Red Cross worker Phoebe Steffy (Left) distributes items to refugees aboard Eltinge.

Picture 16
Santa Claus came aboard the Eltinge wearing Navy blue, and he brought with him toys, noisemakers, and hats.  Dorothy Ann Flannery, HM2, one of two waves ordered aboard the Eltinge for the sea lift, distributes Christmas packages to children aboard the ship.

Picture 17
Hungarian refugees were surprised to find the Navy served meals three times daily, and although many suffered from heartburn, they cleaned their plates at every meal and asked for more.  This refugee mother and her two children will attest to the excellence of Navy food served aboard the USS General Leroy Eltinge during the Sea Lift of Hungarian Refugees to America.

Picture 18
Nicholas Perisyi, FA, SUN And Theodore E. Cabert, YN3, with Hungarian refugees at a Christmas Party aboard the USNS Gen. Leroy Eltinge. Perisyi was one of two Hungarian speaking Navymen aboard.

Picture 19
Navy Chaplain LTJG Otto Schneider conducts Catholic Mass at sea aboard the Eltinge while en route to the United States with 1,750 refugees from Hungary.

Picture 20
Refugee board the first ship of the military sea transportation service to take part in the sea lift of Hungarian refugees to the United States.  The sea lift, which was ordered by President Eisenhower, started on Dec. 19th when refugees boarded the USNS General Le Roy Eltinge at Bremehaven, Germany. The Eltinge, which arrived in New York Jan. 2nd with 1,751 refugees aboard, is being followed by the Haan and Marine Carp due to arrive next week.

Item 21
No picture to go with the description.  Even though most refugees left families in Hungary, and came aboard the USS Eltinge with little more than the clothing they wore, their spirits were high. The last night aboard the ship, refugees organized a dance in the troop Recreational Hall. Here, they dance the Hungarian National Dance to the music of the Refugee Band.