Daniel Vincent Gallery (July 10, 1901 – January 16, 1977):
Daniel Vincent Gallery was a distinguished officer in the United States Navy
who saw extensive action during World War II. He fought in the Second Battle
of the Atlantic, and his most notable achievement was the capture of the
German submarine, U-505, on June 4, 1944. In the post-war era, he was a
leading player in the so-called "Revolt of the Admirals" - the
dispute between the Navy and the Air Force over whether the U.S. Armed Forces
should emphasize aircraft carriers or strategic bombers. Gallery was also a
prolific author, both of fiction and non-fiction.
Early life and career
In 1917, at the age of sixteen, Daniel V. Gallery entered the U.S. Naval
Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. He graduated a year early, in 1920, and went
on to compete in the Olympic Games in Antwerp on the U.S. wrestling team.
He had three younger brothers, all of whom pursued careers in the U.S. Navy.
Two brothers, William O. Gallery and Philip D. Gallery, also rose to the rank
of Rear Admiral. The third brother, John Ireland Gallery, was a Catholic
Priest and Navy Chaplain.
Daniel Gallery was an early naval aviator, winning first place at the
National Air Races in a race-tuned Douglas Devastator torpedo plane in the
late 1930s. Assigned as the Naval Attachė in London prior to America's
entry into the war, he earned his flight pay by ferrying Spitfires from the
factory to RAF aerodromes; he liked to claim that he was the only U.S. Naval
Aviator who flew Spitfires during the Battle of Britain - but they were
World War II
In 1942, Gallery took command of the Fleet Air Base in Reykjavík, Iceland
where he was awarded the Bronze Star for action against German submarines. It
was there that he first conceived his plan to capture a U-boat.
In 1943 Captain Gallery was appointed commander of the escort carrier USS
Guadalcanal (CVE-60), which he commissioned. In January 1944 he commanded
antisubmarine Task Group 21.12 (TG 21.12) out of Norfolk, Virginia with the
Guadalcanal as the flagship. TG 21.12 sank the German submarine U-544.
In March 1944 Task Group 22.3 was formed with the Guadalcanal as the
flagship. On April 9 the task group sank U-515 (commanded by the top U-boat
ace Kapitänleutnant Werner Henke). After a long battle the submarine was
forced to the surface among the attacking ships and the surviving crew
abandoned ship. The abandoned U-515 was hammered by rockets and gunfire
before she finally sank. Captain Gallery recognized that this would have been
a perfect opportunity to capture the vessel and decided to be ready the next
time such an opportunity presented itself. The next night aircraft from the
task group caught U-68 on the surface, in broad moonlight, and sank her with
one survivor, a lookout caught on-deck when the U-boat crash dived to avoid
On the next cruise of Task Group 22.3 Captain Gallery took the unusual step
of selecting and training a boarding party in the event that they could
capture a U-boat. On June 4, 1944 the task group crossed paths with U-505 off
the coast of Africa. Spotted by two F4F Wildcat fighters flying off
Guadalcanal while running on the surface to charge batteries, her captain,
Oberleutnant Harald Lange dived the boat to avoid the fighters. They were able
to see the submerged submarine and vectored destroyers onto her track. The
experienced antisubmarine warfare team laid down patterns of depth charges
that shook U-505 up badly, popping relief valves and breaking gaskets,
resulting in water sprays in her engine room.
It should be noted that after a brilliant start to her career under
Kapitanleutnant Loewe, U-505 had acquired a reputation as a 'bad luck boat.'
She had been the object of a systematic sabotage campaign by dockyard workers
in the French Resistance. Her previous skipper had been unable to complete a
war patrol for more than a year. Every time he took her out, before she had
been on patrol more than a few days, materiel failures would require
Kapitanleutnant Peter Zschech to turn back for repairs. On her last patrol,
following an attack on a convoy Zschech had been cornered by destroyers and
killed himself with a pistol in his control room, leaving his executive
officer to extricate the submarine from the trap and bring her back to port.
Rather than break up the crew, Grossadmiral Karl Doenitz hand-picked Lange as
the new skipper in an attempt to keep the story about Zschesch's suicide in
action a secret, for reasons of fleet morale. As might be expected under
those conditions, crew confidence in their boat was fragile.
When the minor leaks took place in the engine room, the engine gang panicked
and rushed forward into the control room, yelling that the hull was cracked
and the boat was sinking. Lange had no choice but to blow all main ballast
and try to save his crew. Thinking the boat was mortally wounded, he ordered
U-505 to the surface, abandoned and scuttled by taking the cover off the sea
strainer, standard procedure in scuttling.
Captain Gallery's boarding party from the destroyer escort USS Pillsbury
(DE-133) was ordered to board the foundering submarine and if possible
capture her. The destroyers in range used their .50 caliber and 20 mm
antiaircraft guns to chase the Germans off the sub so the boarding party
could get aboard her. They found the cover to the sea strainer and the nuts
that held it in place and closed it again, thus eliminating the possibility
of the U-boat sinking for the moment. The boarders located the sub's Enigma
coding machine and the current code books and removed them (a primary goal of
the mission because it would enable the codebreakers in Tenth Fleet to read
German signals in clear, without having to break the codes first), and got
her under control, making U-505 the only foreign man-of-war captured in
battle on the high seas by the United States Navy since the War of 1812.
This incident was the last time that the order, "Away All
Boarders!" was given by a US Navy captain. Lt. Albert David, who led the
boarding party, received the Medal of Honor for his courage in boarding a
foundering submarine that presumably had scuttling charges set to explode —
the only Medal of Honor awarded in the Atlantic Fleet during World War II.
Task Group 22.3 was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation and Captain
Gallery received the Distinguished Service Medal for capturing U-505.
He also received a blistering dressing-down from Admiral Ernest J. King,
Chief of Naval Operations, who pointed out that unless U-505's capture could
be kept an absolute secret, the Germans would change their codes and change
out the cipher wheels in the Enigma. Gallery managed to impress his crews
with the vital importance of maintaining silence on the best sea story any of
them would ever see. His success made the difference between his getting a
medal or getting a court-martial. (The line between brilliance and daring and
lunatic stupidity is sometimes very fine; and it is interesting that two
noted naval historians, Samuel Eliot Morison and Clay Blair, Jr. are on
opposite sides of Gallery's case.)
Toward the end of World War II Captain Gallery was given command of the
aircraft carrier USS Hancock (CV-19).
Post-World War II service
After promotion to rear admiral he became Assistant to the Chief of Naval
Operations and, later, commanded Carrier Division Six during the Korean War.
The "Revolt of the Admirals"
During the so-called "Revolt of the Admirals" during Louis
Johnson's tenure as Secretary of Defense, Gallery wrote a series of articles
for The Saturday Evening Post criticizing Johnson's plans to scrap the
carrier fleet, subsume the Marine Corps into the Army, and reduce the Navy to
a convoy-escort force. The final article, "Don't Let Them Scuttle the
Navy!" was so inflammatory that Gallery barely escaped court-martial for
insubordination. Although he was not court-martialed, the episode cost
Gallery his third star, a possible shot at the position of Chief of Naval
Operations and effectively finished his career, though he served twelve more
years on active duty. At the time of his retirement, he was Number 2 in
seniority on the Rear Admirals' List.
Command of the Tenth Naval District
Admiral Gallery's final command was of the Tenth Naval District in San Juan,
Puerto Rico, from December 1956 to July 1960. During this command, with the
help or the Rotary and Lions clubs, he established the first Little Leagues
in Puerto Rico. It was also there that he first heard the steel bands of
Trinidad. He was so taken by the sound that he invested $120 in steel drums
for the band assigned to him, establishing the first all-American and only
military steel band in 1957. The Tenth Naval District Steel Band - or Admiral
Dan's Pandemonaics, as they called themselves - became the US Navy Steel Band
and toured the world as ambassadors of the U.S. Navy until 1999.
Admiral Gallery retired from the Navy in 1960. He was one of the few Rear
Admirals of his era to be retired as only a Rear Admiral. Shortly before his
retirement the custom of granting officers who held decorations for valor an
honorary promotion to the next higher rank upon retirement (a custom unique
to the U.S. Navy known as a "tombstone promotion" for the obvious
reason that the only place it would matter would be on your tombstone) was
abolished. Most of Gallery's contemporaries retired as Vice Admirals.
Rear Admiral William Onahan Gallery (June 22, 1904 – 1981):
William Onahan Gallery was born on 22 June 1904 in Chicago, Illinois. Gallery
entered the United States Naval Academy in 1921, the second of three brothers
who would graduate from the Naval Academy.
He received his commission as a United States Navy ensign in 1925. He served
aboard the battleship USS New Mexico from 1925 to 1927, followed by duty
aboard the USS Farragut from 1927 to 1930.
In 1930, Gallery reported for flight training in Pensacola, Florida. After
nine months of training, he was awarded his wings as a naval aviator and
assigned to Patrol Squadron 6 until 1933. He then transferred as an aviator
to the USS Omaha, where he served until 1935.
From 1935 to 1937, he served at the Aeronautical Engineering Laboratory in
Washington, D.C. Then from 1937 to 1939, he served in Fighter Squadron 6 on
the USS Enterprise. His last assignment before World War II at the Naval Air
Station in Alameda, California.
In 1941, at the start of World War II, Gallery served on the staff of Admiral
Thomas C. Kinkaid where he participated in the Battle of Santa Cruz; and then
was based at Guadalcanal where he served in combat with the First Escort
Carrier Task Group.
Gallery then joined the PBY night raider ("Black Cats") on the USS
Half Moon. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his method of
destroying Japanese night raiders.
On return to the States, he was promoted to the rank of Captain and took
command of the USS Chicago. He followed this command with duty at Eglin Air
Force Base; after which he was commanding officer of the USS Siboney, then
the Naval Air Station Guantanamo, Cuba. This was followed by an assignment as
Deputy Chief of Naval Operation (Air), then command of the USS Princeton in
Rear Admiral William Gallery retired from the United States Navy in June
1955. He died in 1981 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full
Rear Admiral Philip Daly Gallery (October 17, 1907 – November 29, 1973):
Rear Admiral Philip Daly Gallery was one of the heroic destroyer men of World
Like his brother, Rear Admiral Daniel Gallery, he was a graduate of the U.S.
Naval Academy. Prior to service in the Pacific during World War II, he earned
the Legion of Merit for his foresight and leadership in the organization and
administration of the Anti-Aircraft Training Test Center at Dam Neck,
On 29 December 1943, he took command of the destroyer USS JENKINS, earning a
second award of the Legion of Merit and two Bronze Stars for distinguished
service and combat achievements during the Marshalls, New Guinea, Philippine,
and Borneo Campaigns.
After World War II, he commanded Destroyer Division 72; was Executive Officer
of the Naval Powder Factory; and commanded the Fleet oiler USS PASSUMPIC. In
1950, he became Officer in Charge of the Gunfire Support School, then
commanded the cruiser USS PITTSBURGH from June of 1953 until December of
1954. He later served as commander of the Surface Anti-Submarine Detachment,
and served on the staff of the Commander of Operational Development Force of
the Atlantic Fleet until his retirement in 1958.
At the time of his death in 1973, he was associated with the Florida
Institute of Technology in Melbourne.
He was buried with full military honors in Section 3 of Arlington National
Cemetery, adjacent to his two brothers.