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Ship-Board Printed WWII Bulletin

The Lejeune News. At Sea. Vol. I, No. 1 (24 April 1945) through Vol. I, No. 8 (1 May 1945) plus Souvenir Edition (undated) (all published).

A complete run in 9 issues, each issue approximately 4 pp., of a scarce newsletter printed on board the USS Lejeune as it transported a group of soldiers back to the United States, the issues containing such varied sections as war news, other world news, humor, events on board the ship, poetry, and baseball scores. Illustrated throughout with caricatures and cartoons from two soldier artists who are credited in the final issue, including known Canadian artist Robert S. Hyndman. Tall narrow 4to. Original stapled self-wrpps., some toning, edgewear, some small tears, and chipping to issues. USS Lejeune, Atlantic Ocean, 1945.

The USS Lejeune was a German cargo liner convered to a US Navy troop transport ship during WWII. From June 1944 through the end of the war, the ship made ten round-trip transatlantic crossings, and nine more were made in the months immediately following the war.

In the final issue of this newsletter, the "Souvenir Edition", printed for the soldiers to take off of the ship with them, a note from Lt. Col. Earl W. Shaw, Army Transportation Officer, reads, "We of the Army staff hope that you have enjoyed your trip across. Good food, a clean ship, and nice weather should prepare you for the glorious sensation of being home again. To the Army officer in charge of troops, Maj. Miller, his staff, and all offiers and enlisted men who have faithfully performed their duties on th is trip, we thank you for your fine work. We are most pleased with the excellent work done by our neighbors, the R.C.A.F. and the R.A.F. Your neatness, care of equipment, and fine cooperation has been a great satisfaction...It has been an honor to serve the officers and men who have given such fine service in World War II."

This rare newsletter documents how, even though soldiers were returning home, the war was very much still going on, with such headlines as "Four Berlin Districts Fall to Red Army", "Yanks Drive Back Japs on Okinawa", "5th Captures La Spezia", "Two Soviet Armies Encircle Berlin", "American Losses Reach 928,685", "Allies Threatening Milan, Venice", "Flash! Mussolini Slain", "Reichstag Building Seized in Berlin - Fall of Nazi Capitol Appears Imminent", and "U.S. 7th Troops Capture Dachau Death Camp".

The newsletter also includes some scattered caricature illustrations and, based on the masthead included in the souvenir issue and the signatures within some of the illustrations themselves, we can attribute at least a handful of them to Sgt. Robert Luchay, possibly of the Marine Corps, and Lt. Robert S. Hyndman of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

No information was found on Luchay, but Hyndman went on to have a 70-year career as a distinguished portrait and landscape artist in Ottawa. He had already attended art school prior to enlisting, and during the war served simultaneously as an Official Canadian War artist as well as a pilot of Spitfires on bombing runs over the English Channel as part of RCAF 411 Squadron, 126 Wing. He created 68 paintings during his appointment, including most of Canada's senior military commanders and fighter aces. After the war, Hyndman began a successful career painting portraits and murals. His works are included in the collections of the Canadian War Museum, the Britannia Yacht Club, the Royal Military College of Canada, and the Beaverbrook War Art Collection. He also taught at the Banff School of Fine Arts, Elmwood School in Ottawa, and the Ottawa School of Art.

A fascinating relic, with entertaining illustrations from an important Canadian artist. Rare; as of February 2021, we could not locate any listings of this title on WorldCat.

Book ID: 51171

Price: $4,500.00