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North Atlantic Patrol

Between the North Atlantic and Pearl Harbor

Victory at Midway

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Between the North Atlantic and Pearl Harbor



January Tenth
1 9 4 2

Lt. Comdr. F. John Long
Photographic Section
Office of Public Relations
Navy Department
Washington, D. C.

Dear Commander Long:

Thanks for your letter of January first, which I would have answered sooner had I not seen you in Washington and been interrupted by my short trip to sea. I am entirely in accord with your suggestion that Pearl Harbor be eventually made into a mural decoration, and naturally in order to acquire a true feeling of the place, I should have to go there and work up notes and paintings. This I hope to do when my present work is complete.

Now that the manuscript with its three drawings that I worked on so wholeheartedly for the Navy, is complete, I have started to make the paintings of my duty in Newfoundland, the Atlantic Patrol, Iceland and return. I am beginning with Iceland and working backward, as due to the bad light I have few color notes of it and I am workirg while the impression is fresh. This should net me about fifteen paintings and a number of drawings. The ones that are to be murals I shall do in small scale until such time as the dimensions of the final spaces can be worked out. This I hope to take up with you, Captain Baldridge, Captain Knox and other officers who are very interested.

Naturally I am as conscientious about giving my time as though I were in a navy office or on shipboard, and I am doing a seven day week from eight to five, and on late into the evening if the work is moving well. Each day I log my time and thus keep a record of just what is being done. I have a special file under lock and key for all Navy data. These paintings as they progress will not, be shown to anyone outside the Navy until such time as they are finished and inspected by whoever is designated for this purpose.

The major ideas as discussed with Admiral Hepburn and Commander Thurber and contained in a supplementary letter with my orders when leaving for Newfoundland, are as follows -- paintings of the USNAS in Argentia; US Naval vessels entering the harbor of Reykjavik on July 7th, 1941; and life and routine activities of the North Atlantic Patrol. After arriving in Argentia I learned that the meeting between the President and Mr. Churchill had taken place there, and made careful plotting and research of the whole historic event. Admiral Bristol, Admiral LeBreton and others thought that this should be the important mural decoration to come out of this section. The other mural I feel sure should be the historic entrance of the ships into Reykjavik. Add to this paintings of the sinking of the REUBEN JAMES and of the North Atlantic convoy, and I think my trip is covered.

On January 5th, having been unable to reach Commander Berry by telephone, I called you long distance and reported having carried out Commander Berry's orders to the letter in regard to Life’s publication of the log. Having not heard to the contrary, I know that Life submitted to Commander Berry the entire setup as it is to be published. Aside from a routine check-up of some spelling over the telephone, l have heard nothing further from them and presume that they have proceeded under Commander Berry's instructions.

I trust, that Commander Berry is forwarding my new orders for additional active duty in New York, as in wartime I dislike to be without them.

Looking forward tremendously to having you see my layout and trusting that you will dine with us, and also Mrs. Long if she comes up, I am

Very sincerely yours,


Griffith Baily Coale
Lt. Comdr., USNR

Lieut. Comdr. Griffith Baily Coale, USNR
125 West 11th Street,
New York, N. Y.

 April 14, 1942.


My dear Captain:

I had a very satisfactory conference with Parsons on Saturday and he passed your word along to me. I would like to report, Sir, that, I am making good progress with my northern records. I am working Sundays and in three or four weeks will have finished eighteen completely detailed studies together with their color sketches. With these finished cartoons and the color sketches, these canvasses can be completed in less than one third of the time that it took to bring them to this point, and I could leave with a free mind, knowing that I could finish them on my return.

As soon as I have completed this duty, I look forward with keen anticipation to my orders to proceed to Pearl Harbor, Australia and New Zealand. And if you and the Admiral so wish, I respectfully suggest that after my Australian duty, I be ordered around the Cape of Good Hope to our South American bases, and so on around the world.

As you are my Captain, and I have had so little opportunity to talk with you and have your guidance, it would be a great honor if you could lunch or dine with me the next time your are un New York.

I am, Sir

Yours sincerely,


Griffith Baily Coale

Captain Leland P. Lovette, USN
Office of Public Relations
Navy Department
Washnington. D.C.

Lieut. Comdr. Griffith Baily Coale,USNR
125 West 11th Street
New York, N. Y.

 April 14, 1942

Dear Parsons:

I had a long talk with Ogden Pleissner yesterday, and he doesn't think that he is fitted in any way to go to sea and was quite frank in giving his reasons why. He is a good painter and perhaps you will be able to use him in your department, as I feel sure he could do some stunning canvasses of shore activities. He wired you last week and is most anxious to come and talk with you, so a word from you would bring him down to Washington.

Also I had a long talk with Andrew Winter, and be has that, unusual combination of good painting and sea experience. However, he tells me that the sight of one eye is about nil, but that in spite of this he did a lot of paintings at sea for I think the coast guard, and he is willing to go anywhere and do anything he can under any circumstances. So will you sound out my office and see if there is any possible chance of the Navy waiving its eye standards, as I told him there was no use proceeding farther until I got an opinion on this. As this is an entirely special job, it may be possible.
Please let me know about Mitchell Jamieson as soon as you can, as I am quietly investigating several other possible candidates.

It was very nice having you aboard Saturday afternoon, and I have logged down the word passed along from the Captain and am writing him in full. As for the tip in regard to the spaces at Annapolis, I am having a number of naval officers here next monday and hope to find one who was a classmate of the Superintendent of the Naval Academy, for I am delighted with the reaction of naval officers to my cartoons and I hope that our friend can be spiked and that these things can go where they belong.

Hoping that you can get here soon again, and with thanks for your co-operation, I am


Yours sincerely,


Griffith Baily Coale

Lieut. Robert L. Parsons, USNR
Office of Public Relations
2ll8 Massachusetts Ave.
Washington, D. C.

 April 17, 1942


Dear Commander Coale,

Thank you for your letter of the 14th instant from which I was interested to learn that you had a talk with Pleissner. He wrote that he would like to come down and I have told him I would be glad to see him. I am disappointed to learn that he is not fitted to go to sea because there does not now seem to be any shore job for which we could use him.

I was also glad to learn of your ta1k with Andrew Winter. It is unfortunate that one of his eyes is so bad, but we will keep him definitely in mind, as he seems one of the best prospects. We can then sound out the matter of a waiver, though I am afraid it may be hard to get.

Mitchell Jamieson is, I feel, one of the best prospects still, and when you are next down this way, I shall be glad to show you photographs of some of his work.

Commander Long asks that after you have seen the officers next Monday, you let us know as soon as possible what action they may be willing to take. Should it be possible to forward us a carbon copy of any letter written to the Academy, it might be helpful. After we have heard from you, Commander Long wishes to take the matter up with Captain Lovett and perhaps have me go to Annapolis. Captain Lovett was unable to go the other day as anticipated.

Admiral Hepburn is most anxious that you go out to Pearl Harbor in the immediate future and he is writing you on that subject. He is also writing you regarding rental for your studio. After going into this matter mich the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, I feel we were fortunate to get any allowance, even though it is much less than you requested.

With best regards.

Sincerely yours,



Robert L. Parsons
Lieut. (jg), USNR


Lieut. Comdr. G. B. Coale, USNR
125 West 11th Street
New York, N. Y.

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