When Gentleman Joe died in 2005, his entire military service was summed up in his (largest) obituary with the following two sentences:
“During World War II, he served in the US Navy Submarine Service as Communications Officer aboard the USS Sealion, which received two Presidential Unit Citations. He received two Personal Commendations as well as the Silver Star.”
Now I grant you that those writing someone’s obituary aren’t paid by the word written “but” Joe Bates packed a lifetime of achievement into a short military career, so much so that it is still viewed in movies, television and books. You see Joe was much more than simply a “Communications Officer aboard the USS Sealion” he was the submarine’s unofficial photographer and with that carved his niche into history.
Joe captured haunting images of war in motion and still photography, a talent learned from a professional photographer, his own mother. The stories are many, just a few of which are within these tribute pages to “Gentleman Joe” (my own named reference to this legend). Enjoy!