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JULY 21, 1997

Features

oldnavy newnavy

In 1952 I updated an I888 photo

  by Oscar Roloff
   While in Washington D.C., editing a naval magazine, I found an old photo taken of four old sailors aboard the U.S.S. Mohican. One is standing and probably telling a tall tale to the three. On the photo's back were the names of the four. I went to the Records Section and pulled their service background.
  
   Then a plan emerged. I had a large print made and sent it to the U.S. Press Office at Yokosuaka, Japan and asked them to bring the scene up to date. The top Press Officer scurried down to the docks, boarded the warship U.S.S. Silverstein and asked for the captain. He handed the CO the photo and said, "The brass in D.C. want this scene duplicated."
  
   A tough one
  
   Looking at the I888 photo and his new warship, the officer frowned, knowing it would be hard to duplicate. Knowing the weight in D.C., he feared complaining. Also, he didn't know if the order came from an admiral or a lower official. (It came from me.) It took time and effort and a lot of cussing.
  
   A good duplicate
  
   The ship's CO and crew came up with a humdinger and found four crewmen who happily volunteered for the publicity assignment. I had large prints made of both scenes and soon the word spread. Big brass from the SecNav on down to top admirals wanted copies to place on their office walls.