Unlike most of the U.S. Naval Institute’s oral histories, which contain the recollections of seagoing line officers, the memoir of Commander Albert K. Murray (1906–1992) is from a skilled artist who painted the portraits of many of those line officers (see “Portrait Perfectionist,” August 2017, pp. 40–43). In addition to providing interesting anecdotes about the artistic process, Murray’s oral history also supplies candid insights into the personalities of the individuals. Many of the top naval leaders of World War II were the subjects of his brush: William Halsey, Thomas Kinkaid, Chester Nimitz, William Leahy, Marc Mitscher, Raymond Spruance—and Ernest King, the topic of Alan Rems’ article (pp. 28–33). While acknowledging King’s legendary irascibility, Murray also observes that there was a kinder side to the admiral beneath the tough exterior.
As I Recall - Ernie King: A Sensitive SOB?
By Commander Albert K. Murray, U.S. Naval Reserve (Retired)