Dickey Chapelle Under Fire
Dickey Chapelle Under Fire
Photographs by the First American Female War Correspondent Killed in Action
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, Hardcover, 9780870207181, 136pp.
Publication Date: October 14, 2015
In 1965, Wisconsin native Georgette "Dickey" Chapelle became the first female American war correspondent to be killed in action. Now, "Dickey Chapelle Under Fire" shares her remarkable story and offers readers the chance to experience Dickey's wide-ranging photography, including several photographs taken during her final patrol in Vietnam.
Dickey Chapelle fought to be taken seriously as a war correspondent and broke down gender barriers for future generations of female journalists. She embedded herself with military units on front lines around the globe, including Iwo Jima and Okinawa, the Dominican Republic, and Vietnam. Dickey sometimes risked her life to tell the story--after smuggling aid to refugees fleeing Hungary, she spent almost two months in a Hungarian prison. For twenty-five years, Dickey's photographs graced the pages of "National Geographic," the "National Observer," "Life," and others. Her tenacity, courage, and compassion shine through in her work, highlighting the human impact of war while telling the bigger story beyond the battlefield.
In "Dickey Chapelle Under Fire," the American public can see the world through Dickey's lens for the first time in almost fifty years, with a foreword by Jackie Spinner, former war correspondent for "The Washington Post."
Garofolo, an Iraq War veteran and former entertainment industry executive, assembles the first-ever collection of the work of Georgette "Dickey" Chappelle, who pursued a photojournalism career at a time when practically no women did, beginning in WWII. The Wisconsin native's love of aviation and photography led her to abandon her studies at MIT and hang around military bases instead. She flunked out, married, and persuaded the Navy—despite her Navy husband's objections—to let her cover the front lines in the Pacific. Chapelle eagerly went on to cover events in Hungary, Algeria, Cuba, Lebanon, the Dominican Republic, and, fatefully, Vietnam. Despite winning awards for her work, she struggled for assignments; when she got them, she earned less pay than her male counterparts. Her arresting black and white photos capture lasting scenes: grotesquely wounded soldiers, children caught in conflict, and summary executions of combatants. But it's a colleague's photo that haunts this book: the 47-year-old Chapelle laying mortally wounded after being hit by shrapnel while on patrol with Marines in South Vietnam. The commandant of the Marine Corps called Chapelle "one of us," and her body of work surely deserves the wider recognition this book provides. 153 b&w photos. (Publisher's Weekly Starred review, Sept. 2015)