Steichen Sent Me
Led by famed fashion photographer Edward Steichen, a group of camera men captured the action of World War II naval aviation.
- By Mark D. Faram
- AirSpaceMag.com, October 01, 2009
Lt. Charles Kerlee
(Page 2 of 3)
“He told me the flight was full and I should get used to the idea of waiting for the next flight, which had not yet been scheduled and I encouraged him to read my orders carefully before he made any final decisions,” he said. “He studied those orders carefully, pausing occasionally to look up at me and my rank and look back to the paper—he did this several times.”
Finally the officer stopped and looked at Lieutenant Gallagher with a puzzled face and declared, “Who the hell are you anyway, Jesus Christ? I have been manning this desk for a long time now, but I’ve never seen orders like these at all.”
Gallagher made the flight, leaving a Navy captain confused and disgruntled at how a junior officer could have received such high-powered orders.
He encountered similar reactions when he arrived in the Pacific. Gallagher had heard from the other unit members that the best course of action was to get attached temporarily to an admiral’s staff while on ships and under way.
“This would accomplish a few things right off the bat,” Gallagher said. “It would guarantee you a rack and a laundry ticket, but most of all it kept you from having to stand long boring watches—that’s because junior officers, once on board ship, were looked upon as free labor and assigned to various duties and watches—but no one dared mess with those assigned to the flag staff.”
Such was the case for Gallagher as he reported on board the aircraft carrier Intrepid, then the flagship of Rear Admiral Gerald Bogan, with his vaunted orders in hand.
“Once onboard, I first asked to see Bogan and then I asked him personally to join his staff,” Gallagher said.
“Son, what do your orders say?” Bogan asked, sizing up the brash young lieutenant and photographer in front of him.