By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily
A Cody historian has turned his attention to a visit to the area by a famous World War II naval officer.
Bob Richard’s newest book documents a visit to the Cody area by Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz and several other military leaders in 1946.
The book consists largely of photos taken by Richard’s father Jack Richard, a secretary to U.S. Sen. E.V. Robertson, who represented Wyoming at the time.
Nimitz played a major role in WWII, commanding the Pacific fleet and accepting the surrender of Japanese forces in 1945.
Robertson invited Nimitz and others to Wyoming after the war and Richard accompanied the group as it traveled from Cheyenne to Jackson, Yellowstone National Park and Cody.
The resulting photographs, Jack Richard’s first color photos, are contained in the book “Fleet Admiral Nimitz and Naval War Heroes’ Historic Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park Visit.”
“They fished, they swam in (Yellowstone Lake), then they boarded an old yellow bus and they came to Cody, stopping at our ranch on Rattlesnake Creek,” Bob Richard said. “At the age of 9, Adm. Nimitz patted me on the back and said ‘I hope someday that you’re an officer like your dad and his brother Bob.’”
Richard has published a number of books focusing on the Cody and Yellowstone areas. His first, “Yellowstone Country,” also features the photography of his father.
Other books by Richard serve as visual guides of the Yellowstone area.
“Everybody continues to buy them and they give them to their guests,” he said. “When they want to get (the guests) out of the house for the day, they give them the book on the North Fork and say ‘Go find all the rock formations.’”
Richard is himself an accomplished photographer. One of his shots, showing two bears near a sign that reads “Leaving Yellowstone National Park,” is a picture traditionally given as a gift to Yellowstone employees as they retire.
Richard said he has sold more than 600 copies of the photograph, which he took decades ago.