Don McCune Library

Columbia Lightship #88

52 minutes


This DVD was made possible through the cooperation and support of the Columbia River Maritime Museum [CRMM] in Astoria, Oregon.  The film for the first two programs listed below was shot by KOMO TV in Seattle for their Exploration Northwest series.  They did not save a broadcast master or the film after it aired.  A copy of the film was resurrected in 2006 from the archives of the CRMM where it had been in safekeeping.  The CRMM teamed with The Don McCune Library, who has the video rights for the Exploration Northwest TV series.  The film had no sound track with it.  Don McCune’s son, Clint, recorded the narration from the Exploration Northwest script.  Three of the original 19 crew members recorded a narration sound track for the outtakes and for Dick Thompson’s film in 2006, with lots of behind-the-scenes commentary. 

These DVD includes the three programs described below. 


1963 30 minutes
Narrated by Clint McCune

Built in 1908 in Camden, New Jersey, Lightship #88 served at the mouth of the Columbia River 1909-1960.  She was replaced by #604 and sold as government surplus.  Nineteen men from Astoria purchased #88 in 1963 and brought her back home from Seattle.  The Exploration Northwest cameras were aboard to document this momentous trip, which aired in black-and-white the next year. 


1963 13 minutes
Narrated by Dick Thompson, George Fulton and Bob Chopping

The 20 men who brought #88 back home to Astoria in 1963 were Fred Andrus, Eben Carruthers, Bob Chopping, Joe Dyer, Axel Englund, George Fulton, Bill Gammon, Lloyd Halsan, Tom Halvorsen, Mel Hjorten, Howard Huff, Hiram Johnson, Rolf Kelp, Del Larson, Kenneth McCalpin, Don Mitchell, Clayton Morse, Ken Simonsen and Dick Thompson.  KOMO TV cameraman Bob Ryan filmed the adventure in color, but it was broadcast in black-and-white.  Thus, the outtakes are color and the Exploration Northwest episode above is not.


1963 9 minutes

Crewmember Dick Thompson shot his own 8mm color film of the adventure, as well as the aerials from the ship’s mast on the KOMO TV 16mm camera.  Thompson narrates his film, with interjections from Bob Chopping and George Fulton.

Special thanks:
The Columbia River Maritime Museum
Jeff Smith, Associate Curator CRMM
Dick Thompson, George Fulton and Bob Chopping
Art Leonard, Audio Engineer for McCune’s narration
Bob Ryan, KOMO TV photographer