GALLERY, DANIEL V[INCENT]. (1901–1977). Admiral Daniel V.
Gallery, termed a “true original” by his friend Herman Wouk,* was a brilliant career naval officer who published widely both during and after his
naval duty. A 1920 Naval Academy graduate, Gallery first served on battleships and later volunteered for naval aviation. At the outbreak of World War
II, he commanded an Icelandic antisubmarine base; in 1943 he directed the
boarding and capture of the German submarine U-505 on the high seas
while commanding the antisubmarine carrier Guadalcanal and her task
group, the first American capture of an enemy warship on the high seas
since the War of 1812. At the end of the war, while serving in the Pentagon from 1946 to 1949,
Gallery began writing. He described the U-505 episode and the Iceland duty
in articles for the Saturday Evening Post; he wrote humorous short stories
for the Post and other magazines; and he penned several articles on important naval subjects of the day. An official document, the fabled “Gallery
Memorandum,” which leaked to the pen of journalist Drew Pearson, played
a minor role in the 1949 “revolt of the admirals” about the planned denigration of naval aviation.
Gallery retired from the navy in 1960. His collected short stories, Now
Hear This (1965) and Stand By-y-y to Start Engines (1966), were successful
enough to encourage Gallery to write two short “epics” about his favorite
main character, the best of which was titled Cap’n Fatso (1969). A comic
figure without much depth, Fatso nevertheless possesses the ingenuity, bravado, and enlisted “wisdom” to make him an ideal vehicle for Gallery’s wit.
Fatso shared with Gallery a deep knowledge of navy prerogatives and a
refined ability to get around the regulations.
Noteworthy among Gallery’s other books are his polemic, The Pueblo
Incident (1970), and his engaging autobiography, Eight Bells and All’s Well