Postal service puts stamp on WWII Army cartoon
March 25, 2010
FORT JACKSON, SC -- As the story goes, famed cartoonist Bill Mauldin, then a sergeant in the Army, raised the ire of Gen. George Patton with is depiction of Army life in World War II. But the higher ranking Gen. Dwight Eisenhower was a fan of Mauldin's cartoons, which often parodied Mauldin's superiors, making him a hero among Soldiers.
The cartoons stayed.
Next week, Fort Jackson, along with the rest of the country, will honor the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist with the issuance of a stamp in his honor.
"Because of his reputation across the Army, they're honoring him with this stamp," said Darcie Fouste, curator of the Adjutant General's Corps Museum of the former Stars & Stripes cartoonist.
In addition to the stamp, which will be unveiled Wednesday in a special broadcast on WIS-TV's Sunrise Show, the Fort Jackson Post Office will be designated as the "Willie and Joe Station," for characters in Mauldin's most famous cartoons.
Post office patrons will also be able to get a special "Willie and Joe" postmark from Wednesday to April 30. The free postmark is only available for first-class postage.
"Fort Jackson is a great place, we're proud to serve the personnel here," said Michelle Murphy, station manager. "It's exciting that we're honoring Bill Mauldin for his part in upholding morale during World War II."
Mauldin, a native of New Mexico, died in 2003 at the age of 81.
"Mauldin was such an inspiration to the Soldiers and he really related to so many of our
Soldiers during that time of war," said Henry Howe, curator of the U.S. Army Finance Corps Museum. Howe will be accepting a photo of the stamp during next week's unveiling on behalf of the Military Museums of the Midlands. The Military Museums of the Midlands include the Basic Combat Training Museum, the South Carolina Military Museum, the U.S. Army Chaplain Museum, the Finance Corps Museum and the AG Corps Museum.
"Accepting that portrait on behalf of the Fort Jackson museum community is going to be a great tribute to our Soldiers," Howe said.
Fouste said that the museums have received permission to display copies of some of Mauldin's work in each of the museums. She said the goal is to find cartoons that relate to each of the museums' missions and create a special display.