Look Inside the Sketchbook of a World War II Soldier

Even with news of the Second World War congesting airwaves in 1942, 19-year-old Victor Lundy was optimistic about his future. He was studying at New York University to become an architect and he planned to use his skills to help rebuild Europe after the war, according to Mashable. Lundy enlisted in the Army Specialized Training Program with this goal in mind, but leading up to D-Day in 1944, the Army decided he would be more useful in the infantry.

He survived his years in combat without losing his artist’s eye. While serving in the military, he filled several 3-inch-by-5-inch sketchbooks with images from his daily life. A quick pencil drawing from his training days in Fort Jackson, South Carolina shows soldiers resting after a forced march. "...they're at rest, because you know, when you're on a forced march there's no way I can draw," Lundy once recalled, according to the Library of Congress. "So the other guys would be snoozing, sleeping, and I'd be sketching."

Sketch of World War II soldiers.

Other sketches depict his fellow infantrymen traveling to France, playing games at the camp, and lying wounded on the battlefield. "For me, drawing is sort of synonymous with thinking," Lundy said.

When the war ended, he returned to the U.S. to complete his degree at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He then went on to open his own architecture firm in Florida, become a fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and design such famous structures as the U.S. Tax Court in Washington D.C.

In 2009, Lundy donated eight sketchbooks from his time in the Army to the Library of Congress. You can view some highlights from the collection below.

Sketch of World War II soldiers.

Sketch of WWII bunker.

Sketch of soldiers looking at distant ship.

Sketch drawn by World War II soldier

Sketch of World War II soldiers.

Sketch of World War II planes.

[h/t Mashable]

All images: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, World War Two sketches by Victor Lundy

Robert Friend, One of the Last Surviving Tuskegee Airmen, Dies at 99

Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

One of the remaining original members of the Tuskegee Airmen—the first group of African-American pilots to serve in the U.S. military—passed away on Friday. Lieutenant Colonel Robert Friend was surrounded by family and friends when he succumbed to sepsis at 99 years old on June 21, according to CNN. His passing follows that of Dr. Granville Coggs, another Tuskegee veteran who died in May.

The Tuskegee Experience, an Army Air Corps program designed to train African-American pilots for combat, was established in 1941 by the Roosevelt Administration. The group, soon to become known as the Tuskegee Airmen, would eventually lead more than 15,000 air attacks during World War II and helped to persuade President Truman to desegregate the armed forces in 1948.

Born in South Carolina but raised in New York City, Friend took an interest in aviation while observing Zeppelin aircraft and constructing model planes. According to the Los Angeles Times, Friend himself flew 142 missions during the war, and would later see action in Korea and Vietnam.

His first wife's likeness can be seen in the form of the famous "Bunny" painting found on the side of the restored P-51 Mustang he once flew. He would retire as a lieutenant colonel after 28 years of service, although flying aircraft was not his only field of expertise: Friend directed Project Blue Book—a series of studies launched by the U.S. Air Force that dealt with UFO sightings. In a 2012 interview concerning the project, Friend told HuffPost, "I, for one … believe that the probability of there being life elsewhere in this big cosmos is just absolutely out of this world—I think the probability is there."

CNN reports that Friend's funeral will most likely be held the weekend of July 4.

[h/t CNN]

Laura Yeager Is Making History as the First Woman to Lead a U.S. Army Infantry Division

iStock/MivPiv
iStock/MivPiv

For over 100 years, the California National Guard’s 40th Infantry Division has been led by a male officer. That’s set to change at the end of this month as Brigadier General Laura Yeager becomes the first woman to oversee a U.S. Army infantry division.

A career military officer, Yeager entered active duty in 1986 and saw combat as a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot in Iraq. According to CNN, she’s the recipient of the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star, among other accolades. Her appointment to the National Guard’s 40th Infantry comes as Major General Mark Malanka retires.

Yeager’s father, Major General Robert Brandt, served two tours in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot. Yeager is also a member of Whirly-Girls, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing the roles for women in helicopter aviation.

The 40th Infantry has served in virtually every major conflict of the past century, including the two World Wars and the Korean War. They’ve most recently been dispatched to Iraq and Afghanistan. Yeager is expected to assume her post on June 29.

[h/t CNN]

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