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"I decided to keep a cartoon diary, one cartoon a day…" (Memoir, page 23)

   David Ray Dresser
Image of David Ray Dresser
Detail from a drawing of David Dresser on special detail with the camp post office [Memoir p.74]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: 291st Army Postal Unit
Service Location: Camp Roberts, California; New Caledonia; Manila and Luzon (Philippines)
Rank: Technician Five
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Like many soldiers, David Dresser kept a diary of his service experiences in WWII, as a means of passing the time and recording what he saw and felt while stationed in the Pacific Theater. Unlike most, however, Dresser made his entries in the form of daily cartoons. In his memoir, these cartoons are interwoven with his post-war reminiscences, creating a chronicle of his service with the 291st Army Postal Unit. His illustrations offer a humorous depiction of life as a clerk-typist and mail sorter: his cartoon avatar dodges mosquitoes, dashes to the chow line, and deals with the Christmas rush of mail--doing it all with beads of sweat springing from his brow. His memoir offers insights not contained in the cartoons, such as how it felt to serve as a devout Christian soldier, and to lose friends from college in combat.

 Memoir
»World War II: A Veteran's Cartoon Diary
[PDF: 27 MB / 111 p.]
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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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