The Library of Congress Veterans History Project Home 
Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project
Home » Victor Selinsky

“I never charged the cook for portraits, because you always want to get friendly with the cook.” (Interview, 40:50)

   Victor Selinsky
Collection image
Detail from drawing of a soldier running
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: 174th Engineer Combat Battalion
Service Location: Pacific Theater
Rank: Technician Five
View Full Description

As an 18-year-old Army recruit, Victor Selinsky carried a sketchpad wherever he went, from the training camps in his home state of California to outposts in the Pacific Theater. Selinsky was a lowly private in an engineering battalion doing scut work during the retaking of the Philippines and the invasion of Okinawa. Between hauling supplies and helping to build roads, Selinsky captured in bold strokes the beauty of the islands and the leisure pursuits of his fellow soldiers. He even made a little money on the side, drawing for a dollar apiece portraits of wives and girlfriends from photos.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (7 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (60 min.)
 Creative Works
»View Creative Works (31 items)
»Voyage to Leyte
 Other Materials
»Outline of Interview
More like this
»Art of War
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (7 items)
Sighting of a Japanese submarine prompted beefing up of California’s coast artillery. (01:60) Finding out his assignment, to invade Yap. His unit and ship used as a diversion. His duties and how he was “promoted” to Technician. (04:14) Combat experiences in the invasion of Leyte. Duties were unloading ships, building roads, moving supplies. Close shave with a bomb. Landing separately from MacArthur. (04:53)
A lot of sketches he sent home were censored because he included the names of the ships; names were cut out. Shows off his art work. (01:46) Cutting in line for chow; his anti-authority streak. (02:06) Explaining some of his sketches. (08:59)
On Okinawa, waiting to invade Japan, when the atomic bomb was dropped. (02:15)  

Home » Victor Selinsky
  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
  Legal | External Link Disclaimer Need Help?   
Contact Us