Photohistory: Frank O’Hara during World War II

In City Poet: The Life and Times of Frank O’Hara (Knopf, 1993), Brad Gooch publishes two photographs of the poet taken on board USS Nicholas, the destroyer on which he served during World War II. I don’t know whether the third photograph below has also made it into the literary record, but in any case I’ve photoshopped it to make it a little clearer.

It comes from the ship’s wartime cruise book, a publication formatted exactly like a high school yearbook, including padded covers and a list of home addresses.

This yearbook, however, includes images of the Nicholas under attack and of Japanese and Allied generals on board during the surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay. And on page 23 there’s this.


O'Hara 2aid

Sources: Destroyer History Foundation,


From bottom to top: a footnote to “Biotherm”

The bibliography:

Hines, Alice, “Abercrombie & Fitch CEO’s Corporate Jet Rulebook Reveals Cult-Like Secret World.” Huffington Post 18 October 2012. Accessed 20 October 2012.

O’Hara, Frank. Selected Poems, ed. Mark Ford. New York: Knopf, 2008.

The footnote:

* “The four models or actors who work as cabin attendants must never respond to Matthew or Michael, as the manual refers to [Abercrombie and Fitch chief executive officer Mike] Jeffries and [his partner Matthew] Smith, by saying anything but a friendly ‘no problem.’ Phrases like ‘sure’ or ‘just a minute’ are not permitted”.

The text, from “Biotherm”:

Click to make it bigger.