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Al "Skinny" McGrew, our patron Defender ("H" Company, 60th Coastal Artillery) went out recently and purchased a slide scanner, for which we are thankful, because it's one thing to have a bunch of slides in a box in the basement and something entirely different to put them on the internet. It's not that Al doesn't show his slides, he does to great success - it's just that we can't all be there when he does. But now we can all sit in the helicopter and share some of...

Skinny's Views

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"The photo was me at 19. I never did make it to 20. My captivity in Cabanatuan III aged me direct to 45. The photos taken in this series were taken from a chopper. In Feb. 1986 I had helped National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry meet his deadline for photos to go with the July '86 issue article, and his repayment was two hours with him in his rented chopper, twice. Four hours time from 5000' down to tree top level. We took off the side of the plane, strapped in and he gave the pilot directions from the back seat. I sat in the front next to the pilot with my two cameras around my neck, one slide film, one prints. I had to catch what I could and I did not want to interfere with Steve's picture plan. The two hour flights were on two different days. Each time he and the pilot just dropped down on the Bottomside chopper pad from nowhere and waved for me to come on. That's how I took those beautiful shots. Now my secrets gone! Shucks."

Al McGrew
August 1999

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