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Bill Maudlin Stamp

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by kerrd5, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. kerrd5

    kerrd5 Ace

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    The USPS will be issuing a Bill Maudlin stamp in 2010:

    "With this stamp, the U.S. Postal Service honors Bill Mauldin, one of America’s favorite cartoonists. During World War II, military readers got a knowing laugh from Mauldin’s characters Willie and Joe, who gave their civilian audience an idea of what life was like for soldiers. After the war, Mauldin became a popular and influential editorial cartoonist. The stamp goes on sale in March.

    "In 1945, he won a Pulitzer Prize “for distinguished service as a cartoonist” and the Allied high command awarded him its Legion of Merit. His illustrated memoir, Up Front, was a bestseller. That same year, his “dogface” Willie appeared on the cover of Time.

    "U.S. Postal Service art director Terry McCaffrey chose to honor Mauldin through a combination of photography and an example of Mauldin’s art. The photo of Bill Mauldin is by John Phillips, a photographer for Life magazine; it was taken in Italy on December 31, 1943. Mauldin’s cartoon, showing his characters Willie and Joe, is used courtesy of the 45th Infantry Division Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma."

    USPS News Release: 2010 Stamp Program Unveiled

    Dave
     
    brndirt1 and C.Evans like this.
  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    A great honor for a man whose art was about my first introduction to WW2.
     
  3. dgmitchell

    dgmitchell Ace

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    This is wonderful!
     
  4. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    The ghost of General George S. Patton Jr would absolutely turn in his grave if he could see this!....Just for a little bit of balance, let me give you an extract from the Carlo de'Este biography of Patton.....

    One of Patton's memorable confrontations during the battle (Bastogne) was not with the Germans but with famed cartoonist Bill Maudlin, whose cartoons of the Willie and Joe dogface soldiers now appeared in 'Stars & Stripes" and provoked Patton to fits of near apoplexy (he referred to it as a "scurrilous sheet" that subverted discipline). After Patton complained to SHAEF about Maudlin's "goddamned cartoons,", Harry Butcher suggested a meeting between the two. After thundering that "If that little sonofabitch sets foot in Third Army I'll throw his ass in jail!", Patton relented. A frightened Maudlin arrived, convinced he had been sent on a "suicide mission."

    There he sat, big as life even at that distance. His hair was silver, his face was pink, his collar and shoulders glittered with more stars than I could count, his fingers sparkled with rings, and an incredible mass of ribbons started around desktop level and spread upward in a flood over his chest to the very top of his shoulder, as if preparing to march down his back too. His face was rugged, with an old, strangely shapeless outline; his eyes were pale, almost colourless, with a choleric bulge. His small compressed mouth was sharply downturned at the corners, with a lower lip which suggested a pouting child as much as a no-nonsence martinet. It was a welcome, rather human touch. Beside him, lying in a big chair, was Willie, the bull terrier. If ever a dog was suited to his master this one was. Willie had his beloved boss's expression and lacked only the ribbons and stars. I stood at the door staring into the four meanest eyes I'd ever seen.

    They made quite a pair: the twenty five year old baby-faced sergeant and the crusty general. Maudlin gave Patton his best parade ground salute, and Patton arose to offer his hand. Willie arose with his master-and fell off his chair. Patton told Maudlin to sit, and he took Willie's place. "The dog not only looked shocked now but offended. To hell with Willie. Butcher had been right. This was going to be O.K."

    Hardly. Maudlin's acid pen was un-sparing, whether skewering the brass or the military police, and Patton launched into a tirade about "Those god-awful things you call soldiers", insisting that Maudlin made American soldiers look "like g*d**m bums." His ire rising, Patton demanded: "What are you trying to do? Incite a g*d**m mutiny?" The trouble was that "they were not fighting the same war....what made Patton choleric was the way Willie and Joe LOOKED. Scruffy. Disheveled. His own Third Army troops were clean shaven, boots polished, neckties in place. Why, he spluttered to the Supreme Command, should 'Stars & Stripes' star Willie and Joe?"
    Patton then launched into a lengthy discussion about armies and leaders of the past, of rank and it's importance. "Patton was master of his subject...I felt truly privileged, as if I were hearing Michealangelo on painting. I had been too long enchanted by the army myself....to be anything but impressed by this magnificent old performers monologue. Just as when I had first saluted him, I felt whatever martial spirit was left in me being lifted out and fanned into flame."
    Patton's monologue encompassed four thousand years of military history and had barely reached the Hellenic wars when Maudlin unconciously reached out to scratch Willie's ear, but he wisely stopped, later noting that it would have been his working hand, and convinced that with one snap of his jaws, Willie would have accomplished what Patton would have welcomed; to put him out of business. Waving a bunch of cartoons, Patton raged that he was ruining morale: "The Krauts ought to pin a medal on you." After nearly forty-five minutes of ranting, Maudlin had less than two minutes to offer his own views. When Patton growled, Willie had bristled, ready to carry out his master's bidding. When the two parted, agreeing to disagree, Patton said, "You can't run an army like a mob....All right, sergeant, I guess we understand each other now." Maudlin was thankful to escape from both Patton and Willie (who reclaimed his seat), and appreciative that he had not become Willie's lunch.

    Word circulated that Patton had threatened to throw Maudlin in jail if he ever again set foot in the Third Army. Maudlin would later note that despite what Patton thought, he was neither anti-officer nor against discipline: "If you're a leader, you don't push wet spaghetti, you pull it. The U.S. Army still has to learn that. The British understand it. Patton understood it. I always admired Patton. Oh sure, the stupid bastard was crazy. He was insane. He thought he was living in the Dark Ages. Soldiers were peasants to him. I didn't like that attitude, but I certainly respected his theories and techniques he used to get his men out of their foxholes."

    Maudlin had the last word after his great encounter with George S.Patton. In 1945 he won a Pulitzer Prize, and Willie (the soldier), appeared on the front cover of 'Time'. Patton was again left spluttering over Bill Maudlin's "g*d**m bums."


    They don't make either of them like that anymore, Georgie or Bill.....
     
  5. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Cheers Dave, just repped ya 33 points for this news-and thanks--C.
     
  6. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Good find, like Lou his cartoons were just about my first introduction to WW2 as well. My Dad had a book full of Mauldin's 'toons, I remember most of them from then. One of my favories of all was Willie and Joe sitting in a foxhole with the rain falling on them, and one turns to the other and says; "now that you mention it, this does sound like rain on a tin roof!"
     
  7. kerrd5

    kerrd5 Ace

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    Thank you. The Maudlin stamp has special significance for me,
    since my uncle died a Thunderbird.


    Dave
     
  8. kerrd5

    kerrd5 Ace

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    "The post office gets a lot of criticism. Always has, always will.

    "And with the renewed push to get rid of Saturday mail delivery, expect complaints to intensify.

    "But the United States Postal Service deserves a standing ovation for something that's going to happen this month: Bill Mauldin is getting his own postage stamp."

    Bill Mauldin stamp honors grunts' hero - CNN.com
     
  9. Vinny Maru

    Vinny Maru Member

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    Mauldin's autobiographical book 'The Brass Ring' is interesting. It covers his life through the end of the war. It's his experiences and the story of getting his division's newspaper out under wartime conditions. He was given a blank check and a customized jeep for his use in Italy and France. While Patton hated him, Eisenhower and Bradley recognized the value of his work.
     

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