21-Year Old WWII Soldier’s Sketchbooks Uncover a Visual Journal of His Encounters

Victor Lundy, a 21-year-old artist studying architecture in New York, was intrigued by the prospect of recreating a post-war Europe. After that, he joined the Army's Special Training Program. With D-Day approaching in 1944, the Army needed reinforcements, which meant Lundy would be assigned to the infantry. This unexpected change of events did not affect his talent. As is the genuine nature of the artist, he found a way to express himself creatively even during a battle. We have a stunning visual record of World War II thanks to him in autobiographical sketches. “Sketching is sort of equivalent with thinking,” according to Lundy, so we're left with a personal library of sketches that chronicle one soldier's experience fighting on the front lines.

Lundy, who is presently 92, recalls his failure to tune in amid lectures. “I was active sketching,” he concedes. Amid his time within the infantry, he proceeded to portray in his pocket-sized scratchpad. The drawings which were made between May and November 1944—when Lundy was wounded—take us from his beginning preparing in Fortification Jackson to the front lines in France. The distinctive pictures appear everything from discussing strikes to craps games for cigarettes. A sense of yearning for domestic could be a repeating topic in his portrays, which incorporate point-by-point drawings of his bunk as well as especially dream-like drawing, titled Domestic Sweet Domestic that appears an officer relaxing on a hammock.

Lundy's eight sketchbooks were donated to the Library of Congress in 2009 by Lundy, who went on to have a successful architectural career. All of the sketchbooks have been digitally saved and are now accessible online. Lundy's gift is priceless since it is more necessary than ever to learn from our history in this day of constant war and violence.

Victor Lundy

Part of the Atlantic Wall, Quinéville 6 men from L Co. were hurt here, 6 killed. (September 21, 1944)

On the way to Europe. Deck on the Promenade. “And, you know, we weren't even thinking about combat at the time. They failed to inform us. We had no idea what would happen once we landed. ...—you know, they tell you the day it happens.” (2. September 1944)

Bill Shepard. (June 6, 1944)

“Pat” (T/Sgt. Patenaude) zeroing in with the 60 mm mortars in front of the 3rd platoon. (November 1, 1944)

France is a country in Europe. Air raid over Germany, breaking the Zeigfried [i.e. Siegfried] line on a morning hike I came across this. “...we'd see that in Normandy, but also combat, at least twice, and boy did it cheer us up on the ground.” (13 September 1944)

Sunday. (May 14, 1944)

Before payday—shooting craps for cigarettes. (June 1, 1944)

One of the 4-men German patrol who didn't get back. (November 1, 1944)

Home Sweet Home (June 1, 1944)

View from my bunk. (August 28, 1944)

Café where the 2 French girls bought us 4 bottles of cider, Quinéville. (September 19, 1944)

Shep. (May 10, 1944)

Ted Lynn. (June 9, 1944)

House where Kane & I got the roast chicken & cognac. (September 16, 1944)

Camouflaged German gun position, beach in Quinéville. (September 19, 1944)

On the way to Europe. “... I remember coming on the deck and seeing these guys, and that's exactly what they said, Son of a bitch!” (27 August 1944)

Troop Train. (August 25, 1944)

Bourg de Lestre. (September 19, 1944)

Ready to go. (September 7, 1944)

France! #7 when in our first camp (B-53) in France near St. Martin d'Audeville.

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