COALE, Griffith Baily, CDR

Deceased
 
 TWS Ribbon Bar
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
260 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Commander
Last Primary Designator/NEC
165X-Special Duty Officer - Public Affairs
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1945-1947, Fleet Public Affairs Center
Service Years
1941 - 1948
Commander
Commander

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

405 kb

Home State
Maryland
Maryland
Year of Birth
1890
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember COALE, Griffith Baily, CDR.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Baltimore, MD
Last Address
Griffith Baily Coale: Muralist and author (North Atlantic Patrol: The Log of a Seagoing Artist), marine camouflage artist in World War I, an official U.S. Navy artist in World War II; died, age 60, of a heart attack; in Stonington, Conn.

Date of Passing
Sep 04, 1950
 
Location of Interment
Evergreen Cemetery - Stonington, Connecticut
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin


 Unofficial Badges 

US Naval Reserve Honorable Discharge




 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Commander Griffith Baily Coale 

(1890 - 1950)
Marine Camouflage Artist WWI
US NAVY COMBAT ARTIST WWII
USNR, D-V(S), Service #113470
Direct Commission to LCDR August 1941, age 51
 
During World War II, Coale was a founder of the Navy's Combat Artists Corps and served as a Lieutenant Commander. In addition, he was a member of the Charcoal Club, Baltimore; Ship Model Society, New York; and the Rhode Island Ship Model Society.

Griffith Baily Coale was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the eldest son of a prominent family that encouraged his interest in art. Eventually he studied at the Maryland Institute of Art until 1911, where he served as president of the Art Student's League for two years. He then studied mural painting in Spain, Germany and Paris for three years. Returning to Baltimore in 1914, he worked as a professional painter, and when World War I broke out, Coale worked as Marine Camoufleur for the U.S. Shipping Board from 1917 to 1918. In 1922, Coale moved to New York where he painted portraits, decorative paintings for buildings, and murals. He executed murals in a number of prominent buildings, including the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Building, the Criminal Courts Building, the City Bank Farmers Trust Building. His work was not confined to New York City, but is seen throughout the East. In 1941, sensing that war was imminent, Coale approached Admiral Chester W. Nimitz with the idea of having combat artists on board navy ships to observe operations and document what they saw in paintings. From his experience in World War I and knowing that the British Navy had a successful war art program, Coale wanted to convince the U.S. Navy of the value of art in documenting war. Artworks could go beyond the photographic image and written document in providing a different perspective of the experience of war. Admiral Nimitz agreed to the plan and established the Navy Combat Art program.

On August 8, 1941, Coale received a commission as a Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserve working as a Combat Artist for the Office of Public Affairs. His first assignment put him on a patrol in the North Atlantic, where he witnessed the sinking of the U.S.S. Reuben James. He described and illustrated this experience in a book entitled North Atlantic Patrol. His next assignment took him to the Pacific, where after observing the wreckage from the attack on Pearl Harbor and hearing eyewitness accounts, he rendered illustrations of that disaster. He also observed troops training for the invasion of Midway and traveled to that island shortly after its recapture. This led to the publication of another book, Victory at Midway. Navy Public Affairs next sent him to the Southeast Asia Command and Ceylon, and for his final assignment at the end of the war he painted two murals (now lost) for the Naval Academy, depicting the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Midway.

Coale left the Navy in 1948 with the rank of commander and returned to New York. He died in 1950 and was buried at Stonington, Connecticut. His headstone reads: United States Navy Combat Artist 1941-1948.

Commander Coale's awards include the Navy Commendation Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, Europe/African/Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Asiatic/Pacific Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal.

Burial: Evergreen Cemetery, Stonington, in New London County, Connecticut.

There are fifty-three works in the Navy Art Collection by Commander Griffith Baily Coale.
   
Other Comments:

GRIFF'S STORY (entire story: see Prologue pages)

In Griff's report from January 4, 1943, he noted the final steps of his start in the Navy:


Aug 9 - 1500 Commissioned Lieutenant Commander, USNR, D-V(S), #113470, at Headquarters Third Naval District, 90 Church St., New York City. Rank from July 2, 1941. Instructed to return home and await orders. Spent this intervening time in studying Navy regulations, usages, nomenclature, etc., supplied by 90 Churc ach Street, and bought and read a number of books.

Aug 30 - Orders received to report for Physical Examination at 90 Church Street.

Sep 4 - Reported for Physical Examination at 90 Church Street. Qualified.

Sep 15 - 0900 Reported to the Director of Public Relations, Navy Department, Washington, D. C., for active duty in the Public Relations Office.

Sep 16 Office of Public Relations, Navy Department, Washington, D. C., Sep 21 in Photographic Section, Lieut. Comdr. E. John Long, who gave me every co-operation.

Sep 22 - Received orders to proceed to Newport, R.I., to report for transportation to Newfoundland. Left Navy Department, Washington, 1600.


These were the orders:


September 22, 1941

From: Director, Office of Public Relations

To: Lt. Comdr. Griffith B. Coale, USNR.

Subject: Sketching, drawing or painting for data to be used for mural decorations and paintings desired by the Office of Public Relations.

1. You are being assigned for public relations duty in accordance with the authority granted by Admiral E. J. King, Commander in Chief of the Atlantic Fleet, to sketch and collect data where and when, in your judgment, it is necessary for background in portraying such historic subjects as:

(a) Founding of, and unclassified operations at U.S. Base at Argentia, N.F.

(b) U.S. Naval Vessels entering the harbor of Reykjavik Iceland. Landing of Marines, July 7, 1941.

(c) Life and routine activities, U.S. Naval ships on patrol, etc. Transports connected with the port of Reykjavik.

(d) And other historic and picturesque activities in connection with outlying U.S. naval establishments and ships.

2. All of your activities, of course, will be conducted at the convenience and discretion of the Executive Officers of ships and planes you board in connection with your duties, and of Senior Officers present at land bases.

3. To assist you in obtaining background materiel, the Recruiting Bureau, Bureau of Navigation, has assigned Chief Photographer Francis X, Clasby, who will take photographs in connection with your activities. These photographs are to be returned to the Office of Public Relations for review.

4. Upon completion of your duties you are to report to the Office of Public Relations, Washington, D.C.

 A. J. HEPBURN
Rear Admiral, USN
Director, Office of Public Relations


With this Griff was in the Navy and beginning a remarkable journey.

   
 Photo Album   (More...



World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater
Start Year
1941
End Year
1945

Description
The European-Mediterranean-Middle East Theater was a major theater of operations during the Second World War (between December 7, 1941, and March 2, 1946). The vast size of Europe, Mediterranean and Middle East theatre saw interconnected naval, land, and air campaigns fought for control of the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. The fighting in this theatre lasted from 10 June 1940, when Italy entered the war on the side of Germany, until 2 May 1945 when all Axis forces in Italy surrendered. However, fighting would continue in Greece – where British troops had been dispatched to aid the Greek government – during the early stages of the Greek Civil War.

The British referred to this theatre as the Mediterranean and Middle East Theatre (so called due to the location of the fighting and the name of the headquarters that controlled the initial fighting: Middle East Command) while the Americans called the theatre of operations the Mediterranean Theatre of War. The German official history of the fighting is dubbed 'The Mediterranean, South-East Europe, and North Africa 1939–1942'. Regardless of the size of the theatre, the various campaigns were not seen as neatly separated areas of operations but part of one vast theatre of war.

Fascist Italy aimed to carve out a new Roman Empire, while British forces aimed initially to retain the status quo. Italy launched various attacks around the Mediterranean, which were largely unsuccessful. With the introduction of German forces, Yugoslavia and Greece were overrun. Allied and Axis forces engaged in back and forth fighting across North Africa, with Axis interference in the Middle East causing fighting to spread there. With confidence high from early gains, German forces planned elaborate attacks to be launched to capture the Middle East and then to possibly attack the southern border of the Soviet Union. However, following three years of fighting, Axis forces were defeated in North Africa and their interference in the Middle East was halted. Allied forces then commenced an invasion of Southern Europe, resulting in the Italians switching sides and deposing Mussolini. A prolonged battle for Italy took place, and as the strategic situation changed in southeast Europe, British troops returned to Greece.

The theatre of war, the longest during the Second World War, resulted in the destruction of the Italian Empire and altered the strategic position of Germany resulting in numerous German divisions being deployed to Africa and Italy and total losses (including those captured upon final surrender) being over half a million. Italian losses, in the theatre, amount to around to 177,000 men with a further several hundred thousand captured during the process of the various campaigns. British losses amount to over 300,000 men killed, wounded, or captured, and total American losses in the region amounted to 130,000.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1941
To Year
1945
 
Last Updated:
May 12, 2017
   
Personal Memories

Memories
On August 8, 1941, Coale received a commission as a Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserve working as a Combat Artist for the Office of Public Affairs. His first assignment put him on a patrol in the North Atlantic, where he witnessed the sinking of the U.S.S. Reuben James. He described and illustrated this experience in a book entitled North Atlantic Patrol. His next assignment took him to the Pacific, where after observing the wreckage from the attack on Pearl Harbor and hearing eyewitness accounts, he rendered illustrations of that disaster. He also observed troops training for the invasion of Midway and traveled to that island shortly after its recapture. This led to the publication of another book, Victory at Midway. Navy Public Affairs next sent him to the Southeast Asia Command and Ceylon, and for his final assignment at the end of the war he painted two murals (now lost) for the Naval Academy, depicting the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Midway.

   
Units Participated in Operation

USS Andres (DE-45)

 
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  508 Also There at This Battle:
  • Abbott, Earl James, Cox, (1943-1946)
  • Adams, Richard W, PO2, (1943-1947)
  • Atkins, Ozell, LCDR, (1943-1946)
  • Barr, Eldon
  • Baylor, Warner, LCDR, (1942-1963)
  • Brandrup, Claus, PO2, (1942-1945)
  • Brannon, Roscoe, CPO, (1939-1969)
  • Brennan, James, PO3, (1942-1946)
  • Brown, Kendal Harold, CPO, (1915-1944)
  • Brown, Ronald, SCPO, (1943-1968)
  • Campbell, Donald Christenberry, ENS, (1943-1945)
Copyright Togetherweserved.com Inc 2003-2011