Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Andrew HeiskellAndrew Heiskell
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 824

or what-have-you and even if something happened very suddenly you could move people in very rapidly. In war time, it was catch as catch can. You did your best to get as many photographers spread out around all the war areas and then you simply waited and prayed that something would come in by Friday, by closing date, because you had no control over the photographer. You could send messages, but since we didn't know that Midway was about to take place we couldn't very well say, “Aha, We'll send Dimitri Kessel to Midway to cover that great battle.” So you had to have as many troops as possible in an atmosphere where troops were not that available, and trust the luck that you happened to have somebody at the right spot at the right time.


In other words, since Life became such a vehicle of communicating the war to the American public, the government never did use Life photographers as--you know, cooperate in the sense of wanting things to be covered and notifying Life and having photographers in the right place? What was the communication like with the army?


The answer is yes and no, because you had two conflicting situations. One, the government did want the coverage and, two, the government maintained censorship. So the government couldn't very well tell you, “There's gonna be a big battle in Midway!” [laughter] because they might as well tell the Japanese that, you know. They couldn't tell you, “Well, we broke the code and that's how we know there's gonna be a big battle in Midway. ” So it was very difficult for them, too. Now, they had their own photographers, some good and

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help