- Historic Sites
Pictures Worth A Second Look
October 1967 | Volume 18, Issue 6
Well, we went back to our picture source to see if there was any sign of trick photography or fancy dodging in the darkroom: there was none. So far, in addition to Mr. Simon’s suggestion about ghosts, it has been proposed that the arm obviously belongs to Venus herself, who in the tradition of Greek goddesses is indeed emerging full-blown from the brow of Earl Carroll, twentieth-century Zeus of female pulchritude; or that, alternatively, the arm is one of the two notoriously missing from the Venus of MiIo, here materialized in order to help measure the contenders for her name. Any other inore or less reasonable speculations will be gratefully entertained.
One picture that we published in a recent issue evoked special interest but luckily led to no puzzles. A photograph in the April A MERICAN H ERITAGE showed ail American seaman oil the gunboat Panay firing at attacking Japanese planes with a Lewis gun. In his haste to reach his post, he had neglected to put on his trousers. Readers wanted to know the identity of this impetuous hero, and we are pleased to report that he was—and is—Ernest R. Mahlmann, chief boatswain’s mate at the time of the Panay incident. Mahlmann won the Navy Cross for his out-of-uniform performance; he is now retired and lives in EImhurst, Long Island. This tribute to him, by Vaun Al Arnold, appeared in the Bureau of Navigation Bulletin shortly after the episode:
Commend me to that noble soul Who, in the battle’s heat, Rushed to his post without his pants, The bomber’s dive to meet; Who stood upon the rocking deck In careless disattire, With shirt tail flaunting in the breeze, To deal out fire for fire. Old Glory’s color deepened As she floated o’er this son— The man who had no time for pants But plenty for his gun. Come, name a million heroes, But to me tliere’ll never be A finer show of nerve and grit On any land or sea— Then dwell upon your epics; Should you feel an urge for chants, Recall the sinking Panay And the gunner minus pants!