Obit of the Day: He Brought the Dead to LIFE
A.B.C. “Cal” Whipple was a Pentagon correspondent forLIFE magazine during World War II. In February 1943, a photo was submitted by George Stock that showed the bodies of three American servicemen littering Buna Beach on New Guinea. They were shot during a Japanese ambush of the beach.
Mr. Whipple recognized the power of the photograph and pushed his editors to print the photo. At the time, and dating back to World War I, the U.S. had strict censorship of images showing dead servicemen.
It took seven months of discussions with President Roosevelt’s administration but it was published in September 1943. President Roosevelt finally decided to allow the publication of the photo because he felt Americans were becoming complacent about the loss of life among U.S. soldiers.
Cal Whipple, who became an editor for Time-Life Books, died at the age of 94 on March 17, 2013.
(Image is copyright George Strock/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images via the LIFE Photos.)