QUEEN OF THE FLAT - TOPS
Stanley Johnston ( 1900 - September 13th, 1962 ) was born on Palmers Island near Yamba ( New South Wales, Australia ).
He joined the Army at 14 years old. After participating in the Gallipoli Campaign during the First World War and ten years of working in gold mines in New Guinea, Stanley Johnston embarked on a three - year holiday that took him through the United States and Europe. While in France, he coordinated press dispatches transmitted to and from Europe from a transmitter in Bordeaux, and later the Netherlands.
In 1940, as the Netherlands were invaded, he escaped to Lisbon ( Portugal ) and then London ( England ), where he worked as a correspondent for the Tribune, covering the Battle of Britain. In late 1940, he was called to Chicago ( Illinois, United States ) where he impressed the newspaper with his knowledge of events in England. About this time he became an American citizen.
Although he was not a trained journalist, Stanley Johnston was eventually assigned to a press position aboard the U.S.S. Lexington in the Pacific. He was the only member of the press aboard Lexington when the aircraft carrier took part in the Battle of the Coral Sea ( May 4th - 8th, 1942 ). Following the sinking of the aircraft carrier in the battle, he was repatriated aboard the U.S.S. Barnett with the Lexington's Executive Officer, Commander Morton T. Seligman ( 1895 - 1967 ). The latter had access to naval communications.
In late May, one general dispatch dealt with American appreciations of Japanese naval movements in the weeks leading up to the Battle of Midway ( June 4th - 7th, 1942 ), that implied American foreknowledge of events. Stanley Johnston Johnston returned to Chicago and published 15 first - hand accounts of the events of the battle. He also wrote an account of the prelude to the Midway action that caused fears in the U.S. Navy that the Japanese would realize that their codes were broken.
Tribune Publisher Robert R. McCormick ( 1880 - 1965 ) and President Franklin D. Roosevelt ( 1882 - 1945 ) were longtime adversaries, and the story infuriated the President. Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox ( 1874 - 1944 ) pressed Attorney General Francis Biddle ( 1886 - 1968 ) to prosecute Stanley Johnston and others at the Tribune for harm to National Security under the Espionage Act. Neither the Australian - American journalist nor his colleagues were prosecuted. On the other hand, Morton T. Seligman was blamed by Navy investigators for the security breach, transferred to shore duty, and denied promotion.
After the war, Stanley Johnston was a correspondent in Latin America for two years, then returned to Chicago to manage the Tribune's Promotions Department. In 1955, he became Manager of Robert McCormick's Cantigny estate. Stanley Johnston died of an apparent heart attack at the age of 62. His obituary was published on the front page of the Tribune.
( source : Wikipedia )