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The producers of CBS’ Navy Log once believed that, for sheer excitement and suspense, nothing could match the exploits of Navy men which they planned to film. But now they’re not so sure. They have discovered that their own adventures in filming the show have been chockful of thrills.
The show’s first episode dealt with two frogmen who set out from a submerged submarine to dismantle the secret gear in two other subs sunk in enemy waters. Producer Sam Gallu customarily uses professional actors to play the sailor roles. But since this episode was filmed aboard a submarine 120 feet below the surface, he borrowed real frogmen from the Navy for the underwater sequences. During the filming two of these men almost drowned. A third, attacked by a shark, was rescued by other frogmen launched through the sub’s escape hatch. Unfortunately, none of this behind-the-scenes action was recorded.
@n another occasion Gallu boarded a Navy plane to carry a completed film back to a California base. As the plane came in for its landing, the pilot discovered that his landing wheels were locked in the retracted position. Rather than attempt a crash landing on the field, he decided to “ditch” the plane in the ocean. Gallu knew the water would ruin his film and pleaded with the pilot to make one more run over the field, so he could toss the film overboard, hoping to recover it later. The pilot agreed—and as he circled for another approach to the field, down came the wheels.
Gallu is filming the series with the full backing and cooperation of the Department of Defense. At the Navy Department in Washington, four officers have been assigned to search declassified material for suitable stories about true-to-life exploits of Navy personnel during war and peace.
“All we hope to do,” says Gallu, “is
All The Action In ‘Navy Log’
contribute to public understanding of the people in the Navy—to show that our Navy heroes, regardless of their rank, are real people.”
During the war Gallu was a “90day wonder” at Columbia University, where he won his ensign stripes in the same class that graduated Herman Wouk, author of the famed “Caine Mutiny.” He served 24 months aboard an aircraft carrier and was then assigned to the admiral’s staff on Formosa. Engaged in TV after the war, he kept thinking of his wartime experiences. Then one night, in a Pullman berth between Minneapolis and Kansas City—about as far as you can get from either ocean—he conceived the idea of Navy Log.