Filmmakers use authentic nautical items from Sunset Beach business

WWII US Navy Destroyer Battle Steering Station. Courtesy photo

A World War II movie being filmed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is using authentic Naval equipment purchased from Sunset Beach’s Antiques of the Sea. For six weeks, the production team for the filming of “Greyhound” purchased more than 20 items in the re-creation of a set for the film, according to Eric Bakker, owner of Antiques of the Sea. He said the items include a World War II U.S. Navy Destroyer Battle Steering Station, complete with a 24-inch brass round wheel.

“This wheel could be used for making fast turns as destroyers were hunting enemy submarines, which were trying to sink US Navy and Victory ships,” Bakker said. “The destroyers were the ‘greyhounds’ of our Navy.”

“Greyhound,” a movie directed by Academy Award-winning Director Aaron Schneider, and starring two-time Academy Award-winning Actor Tom Hanks, is an adaption from the 1955 nautical war novel, “The Good Shepherd,” about the Navy destroyer, USS Greyhound. It takes place during a World War II escort mission when the “Greyhound” watched for German U-boats while guarding a convoy of ships.

The Film Nation Entertainment Production is filming aboard the USS Kidd, which fought in the Second World War and the Korean War and is a National Historic Landmark berthed on the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge. It’s reportedly the only destroyer left to retain its original World War II appearance.

Filming also takes place in sets, some of which use Bakker’s antiques.

“They purchased a U.S. Navy Lionel Repeating Compass on the battleship deck; a World War II Navy 12-inch Inside Shutter Signal Device with protective glass that was used to send signals to other ships during battles; a 3-foot round Charting Table; two Pelorus instruments which help in battle plus more.

The filmmakers contacted Bakker after searching for real US Navy equipment from the Second World War. They first found out about the Sunset Beach resident by seeing his website,; then visited his store at 16811 Pacific Coast Highway.

“They have a real attention for detail and accuracy and liked what they saw here,” said the man who has collected antique nautical gear around the World for decades and as a kid was in a Japanese Prisoner of War Camp in World War II.

The USS Kidd, launched in 1943, was named for Rear Admiral Isaac Kidd, who died on the bridge of the USS Arizona when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. (Ironically, in 1953, the USS Kidd was visiting Long Beach, when it was hit by a Swedish freighter and had to be repaired.)