He photographed sinking of carrier Yorktown

The photographs you’ve seen and know so well came from the heroism of this man!

War Tales

Bill Roy when he was a photo chief serving in World War II. Photo provided

Bill Roy was a 21-year-old photographer’s mate aboard the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown when she was sunk by an enemy submarine at the Battle of Midway June 7, 1942.Midway was the defining battle in the Pacific Theater during the first six months of World War II. The United States went to war after its Pacific Fleet was bombed by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor on Dec, 7, 1941. At Midway the Americans sealed the fate of the Japanese Imperial Navy and ultimately stopped its westward expansion.

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About GP

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GP is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on March 21, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. GP, I notice that when he retired from the Navy he had attained therank of Commander, which is not a lowly rank and I’m curious to know more. How and when did he receive his first commision and in which branch of the service?

    He certainly did tremendous work as a photographer, shooting wih a camera when I imagine at times he’d rather have been shooting with a gun. Many do not realize the importance of photographers in the present times and especially during warfare.

    Back in the 1960’s betweeen 60 and 64 I had the pleasure of working with a man who had been a war time photographer ith the Australian Forces, he would never speak about what he saw and what he did; I think perhaps some of the work and memories still haunted him. He was what we call here “a good bloke”, He must be long dead now.


    • Being as I did not do the original research for this article, I believe you should pose such questions to the author I reblogged. My guess would be that he remained in the reserves. It’s a shame you could not get more from the Australian photographer – do you remember his name?


  2. This is astonishing. Remembering what filming was like in those days, to preserve film under such chaotic, and invariably wet, circumstances is unbelievable.


    • I’ve just completed (?) putting together an article about the cameramen in general for the 1942-43 Intermission story break – I’m hoping to put more about the CBI POWs in there then as well.


  3. I am so, so happy he was able to live a full life. Now I know who took that famous photo of the Yorktown.


  4. Another warrior just doing his job. Amazing story.


  5. Dammit — I blitzed the reference and found it annoying in that there’s much discussion about photos and footage, but no links to any of it? Surely some of the imagery survived~? This is major history we’re talking here.

    The few shots posted speak volumes. We need more …


    • I you google WWII newsreels, you will even find those of the Japanese online. There are enough to make hundred of full length motion pictures, literally.


  6. Excellent photographer and enjoyed seeing the other pictures on his blog.


  7. Nice Vlog. Good Article Keep up the good work


  8. Lieber Gruß und einen schönen Sonntag Grüße Gislinde

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wasn’t my jeep gp, but couldn’t miss the chance for a Vietnam selfie, before the word selfies was invented.


  10. Absolutely compelling reading, a war photographer that captured moments in military history of great significance to the overall records of the demise of the Yorktown.
    Reading your posts is better than a library of facts intermingled with fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: He photographed sinking of carrier Yorktown « Home Sweet Home WY

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