Gentleman: Joseph Clark Bates Jr.
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
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!
Sealion Sea Stories
POW Rescue Video
Joe Bates Footage
Post WWII Joe