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Shah of Iran tours aircraft carrier

Shah of Iran tours aircraft carrier

Dec. 3, 1949: Iran’s Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, wearing his fleet admiral’s braid, inspects Marines on the aircraft carrier Valley Forge at San Diego’s North Island Naval Air Station during a tour of the United States.

The Times reported the next morning:

The Shah, garbed in a fleet admiral’s uniform with gold braid nearly to the elbow, and his entourage of nearly 30 Iranian and American officials arrived at North Island at 12:30 p.m. they were taken at once to the 27,000-ton Valley Forge.

The Shah was greeted aboard the big carrier by a 21-gun salute and a whole string of Admirals….

At the luncheon in the Shah’s honor in the carrier’s wardroom toasts were drunk in water at the young monarch’s wish. Later in his own cabin, Capt. Harry B. Temple, skipper of the ship, presented the Shah with a model of the Valley Forge.

The Shah’s visit is the result of two Presidential Invitations. President Roosevelt extended the first at the time of the Tehran conference in 1943. President Truman renewed the invitation a few months ago.

After visiting the Valley Forge, the Shah flew to Los Angeles, meeting with civic leaders and toured the Lockheed aircraft plant in Burbank. The 1949 Times story noted that Iran was “fourth in the world’s nations in oil production.”

The photo above, by Los Angeles Times staff photographer Paul Calvert, was not published the next morning. It was later used in the 1987 Los Angeles Times book, “Images of our Times: Sixty Years of Photography from the Los Angeles Times.”

Dec. 3, 1949: The Shah of Iran salutes as he comes aboard the aircraft carrier Valley Forge at San Diego’s North Island Naval Air Station. This photo was Page 1 lead art in the Dec. 4, 1949, edition of the Los Angeles Times. Credit: Paul Calvert / Los Angeles Times


  1. November 1, 2011, 11:43 pm

    It is very important for Iran to include Iranians abroad as part of the Iranian parliament. 10 seats should be reserved for their people in Majlis. It is a small AND VERY SMART THING to do in our humble opinion. It would integrate them into Iranian society ( whether they have left voluntarily or involuntary). Please transmit this message to Iranian leaders and officials for further review.

    This approach would preempt revolution from abroad and be a catalyst for those expertise abroad. THINK SMART!

    All the best for Iran and Iranians!

    By: Sammy
  2. November 2, 2011, 9:57 am

    This photgraph reminds me of the shabby way that this friend of the west was treated by the politicians of the west during his overthrow and the result of their support for the ayatolahs. Was this the start of the mid east conflicts and the disasters that followed to the present?

    By: randall bevan
  3. November 2, 2011, 12:22 pm

    What is the point of this post??
    This is why nobody reads this "paper"!


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