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Long, Captain E. John Papers 


Dates: 1938-1951

Collection Number: AR/216 (Formerly COLL/675)

Finding aid (Word)

Biographical Note

Edward John Long was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, on March 6, 1900. After graduating from McKeesport High School, he was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy from Pennsylvania in 1918.  A year later, he resigned from the Naval Academy to attend Columbia University in New York City, from which he graduated with degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Literature.  Later he attended Oxford University in England.

After graduation from Columbia University in 1923, he was a newspaper reporter and correspondent, serving on the McKeesport, Pennsylvania, Daily News; the New York Times; the United Press and the Chicago Tribune (in England while attending Oxford); and Assistant Editor of the Munsey Publications, New York City.  From 1929 until he was called into active service in the Naval Reserve, 1940, he was a member of the Editorial and Executive staff of National Geographic Magazine.  He also was a member of the National Geographic Society’s staff on two expeditions that the Society sponsored: the Deep Sea Expedition, headed by Dr. Beebe at Bermuda in 1934, and the Stratosphere Expedition, in South Dakota, in 1934.

On November 16, 1937, he was appointed Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve, from June 10 to June 22, 1940, had active training duty in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.  He was recalled to active duty December 2, 1940, to originate a Photographic Section, and served as head of this section for four years.  He was a member of the Board to consider and report on the photographic needs of the Navy in July-August 1941, and also a member of the Board which revised General Order 96 (now General Order 179), the basic regulation concerning the taking and publication of photographs of naval subjects.  On July 17, 1942, he was promoted to the rank of Command, U.S. Naval Reserve.

In April 1942, he organized the Combat Art Section of Public Relations and also served as General Director of this section until he was detached from Public Relations.  During March and April 1944 he had temporary duty with the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, surveying sites for radio-photo installations in the Gilbert and Marshal Islands.  In February 1945 he reported as Assistant Curator of the Museum, at the Naval Academy.  He was promoted to Captain in the Naval Reserve on January 15, 1946.

Relieved of active duty on May 22, 1947, he was for three months a civilian consultant with the Executive Office of the Secretary of the Navy, associated with Captain Walter Karig in the preparation of “Battle Report,” a series of narrative histories of the U.S. Navy in World War II.  In September 1947 he was recalled to active duty as Liaison Officer in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, serving until October 2, 1948.  On December 1, 1947, he reverted to the rank of Commander, and on August 1, 1948, a selection board restored his rank of Captain.  He was transferred to the Retired Reserve of the Naval Reserve on May 1, 1953.

Scope and Content Note

These papers concern Captain E. John Long's duties during World War II and post-war years in relation to naval photography, combat art, and the "Battle Report" history series.

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as the Papers of E. John Long, Archives Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, D.C.

Subject Headings (LCSH)

World War, 1939-1945--United States--Photography.
War Photography, United States.
World War, 1939-1945--United States--Art and the War.


Published: Fri Aug 13 10:05:41 EDT 2021