Informative Caption is a poetic ride today and also sort of weirdly punctuated!
Ginger Rogers, motion picture and stage star, is the beauty with “Al Capone 2nd.” Mascot of the new cruiser, U.S.S. Chicago, as the beast in this little fairy story which took place on October 21st. Aboard the U.S.S. Chicago when the vessel was docked in Brooklyn, Navy yard.
I can only assume that the Informative Caption Writer of seventy years ago had other things on his mind and realized that someone on the copy desk would clean up his syntax and get the whole beauty and the beast gist. Well, I’m here for you, Informative Captioneer — just very late!
Motion picture and stage star Ginger Rogers is the beauty in this little fairy tale! Today, the role of beast is played by “Al Capone 2nd,” the mascot of the new cruiser, U.S.S. Chicago, which is currently docked in Brooklyn Navy Yard.
As an FYI, this photoshoot happened a mere three days after the Human Al Capone was convicted on five counts of income tax evasion, and three days before his sentencing, so this all really happened at one of the heights of Thinking About What’s Happening With Al Capone eras in history. Capone, obviously, was a Chicago gangster, so it makes sense that his animal mascot would be on the U.S.S Chicago. Why the ship had a goat mascot was beyond me, other than the simple fact that goats are really cute and smart, so I looked it up and it turns out that the Navy’s official mascot IS a goat! LEARNING!
Sadly, I did a little more research and this goat was not long for this world! He died on May 5th — the ship was en route to Pago Pago — and was given a full military funeral at sea. The U.S.S Chicago itself was eventually sunk by the Japanese in 1943 in what sounds like a very harrowing battle that cost 62 sailors their lives. Ginger Rogers was doing this photoshoot (as far as I can put it together) because she was in a film called Suicide Fleet, about a woman in a love quadrangle with three sailors, which came out the next month. (Those three sailors had the exceptional names of Skeets O’Reilly, Baltimore Clark, and Dutch Herman.) She seems like she was a very good sport! I bet she could have done this backwards in heels, too.