Sunset Beach antiques used in Tom Hanks’ new WWII movie thriller ‘Greyhound’

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Eric Bakker, left, sharing a jolly moment with a buddy outside his Sunset Beach business. Photo by Chris MacDonald

An exciting new World War II movie (now streaming on Apple TV+) features authentic Naval equipment purchased from Sunset Beach’s Antiques of the Sea. Apple reportedly paid $70 million for the rights to the film about a destroyer protecting ships in the North Atlantic in 1942.

A destroyer movie set was built, featuring many items from Eric Bakker’s store. The longtime local merchant said the movie production purchased antiques, including a World War II U.S. Navy Destroyer Battle Steering Station, complete with a 24-inch brass round wheel. “This wheel was used for making fast turns as destroyers were hunting enemy U-Boats & submarines, which were trying to sink US Navy and Victory ships,” Bakker said. “The destroyers were the ‘greyhounds’ of our Navy.”

Other items featured include 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 that help in battle plus more.

“Greyhound,” which is directed by Academy Award-winning Director Aaron Schneider, stars two-time Academy Award-winning Actor Tom Hanks, who also wrote the screenplay. It’s an adaption from a 1955 nautical war novel, “The Good Shepherd,” about the Navy destroyer, USS Greyhound. It takes place during a World War II escort mission across the Atlantic when the Greyhound guarded a convoy of ships.

The Film Nation Entertainment Production also shot 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.

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.)

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, www.AntiquesoftheSea.com; then visited his store at 16811 Pacific Coast Highway.

“They had 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. His store, which often caters to Hollywood filmmakers, also provided authentic nautical materials for the making of the movie, “Midway.” Antiques of the Sea is open by appointment only through email–ecbakker@verizon.net.