15-Year-Old Sailor Fears School More than War (1943)

15-Year-Old Sailor Fears School More than War (1943)

Walter Moravsky Was In Action Before His Real Age Was Discovered

YONKERS, N. Y., July 3. (AP) – Walter Moravsky, 15-year-old Yonkers schoolboy with eight months’ Navy service and an honorable discharge is worried now. He’s afraid he won’t be promoted in school.

His service included five months on an aircraft carrier before his commanding officer finally found out he was 15 instead of the required 18.

Worrying Walter was the thought that he might be put back in the eighth grade. Torpedoes, Machine gun fire and bomb bursts – including one that gave him a nasty shrapnel wound – didn’t bother him much, he said.

He is six feet tall and husky for his age.

During his service he advanced to seaman first class. Until battle stations was sounded, he was a baker. Then he was a gunner. He was on deck firing at the Japs when he got the shrapnel wound.

Source: The Plain Speaker (Hazleton, Pennsylvania) – Saturday, July 3, 1943

Anna C. Ladd and the Camouflaging of Mutilated Faces

Anna C. Ladd and the Camouflaging of Mutilated Faces

Wonderful Work Being Done to Hide Hideous and Shattered Features the Surgeons Cannot Help

“Camouflage of Mercy” is the term by which many describe the work being carried on by Anna C. Ladd, the sculptor, under the auspices of the American Red Cross. It is a wonderful work for soldiers whose faces have been hideously mutilated by German shells. Mrs. Ladd is the wife of Dr. Maynard Ladd, medical adviser of the American Red Cross, but her work has nothing to do with medicine.

In many hospitals, of course, plastic surgery is doing much to build up shattered faces. Mrs. Ladd, however, finds her subjects among those whom the surgeons cannot help. They are soldiers whose faces have been so shot to pieces that they present a hideous spectacle, one which their friends and relatives prepare to shun. The sufferers realize this and become very unhappy and sensitive and are inclined to hide themselves away from their fellow-beings. Mrs. Ladd has become greatly interested in the work of Captain Dervent, who improved on the gelatine and rubber formerly used and made metal masks. To make these masks, Mrs. Ladd takes a plaster cast of the mutile’s face, and then from pre-war photographs or descriptions furnished by friends, builds up in clay or plaster the missing parts until the cast is a good likeness of the man as he was.

From this cast, a thin copper mask is made and then plated with silver. This is fitted perfectly and the camouflage is held in place by a pair of spectacles. The final stage is to paint the mask so that it is practically indistinguishable.

In the accompanying illustration, it will be noted that the mutilation has not been so general and the pair of spectacle with eyes painted in disks behind the glasses serve to change this man from a fearsome evidence of war into a pleasant-looking Poilu whose friends easily recognize him. Of course, when painting the eyes on the disks great care was used to get the exact color and to get a natural appearance.

The masks, of course, do not restore the functions, they only camouflage these poor faces so that their owners will not hesitate to go about among their friends.

Source: The Monroe Journal (Claiborne, Alabama) – Thursday, November 21, 1918

Photos of Anna Ladd's Work

The Red Cross kept this photo library to share the work being done in Mrs. Ladd's studio - Click a photo to start the slide show.

U.S. Wars on Loafers and “Sports” [May 23, 1918]

U.S. Wars on Loafers and “Sports” [May 23, 1918]

This item appeared in the May 23, 1918 issue of the Lake County Times, in Hammond, Indiana.

Prowlers Must Fight, Says U.S.

Slickers and Slackers, Night Owls, Gamblers and Idlers Will get Shock After July lst.

It is estimated that in Hammond, Gary, East Chicago, and Whiting there are 1,000 idlers affected by the U. 8. war department’s new ruling. Many of these men sleep by day and prowl by night. Some of them are gunmen. They are draft dodgers. News that Uncle Sam is after them is glad news to the police departments of the Calumet region cities. (more…)

The Decay of American Manhood (1917)

The Decay of American Manhood (1917)

This essay by John Harvey Kellogg appeared in Association Men, the official publication for Y.M.C.A. leaders during World War I. The piece caught my eye because so many people I encounter have an almost unreasonably nostalgic view of the past that does not make sense when looking at the world through the words of people living at the time. “People are people” and that has always been true.

The Decay of American Manhood

By J.H. Kellogg, M.D.,
Battle Creek, Michigan

History records nothing so wonderful as the development and progress of this great nation in the last hundred years.

But a blight has struck us.

American manhood is decaying.

We are going morally at a terrifying rate.

We have foes at home more deadly and destructive than our European enemies.

Davenport has shown that one in every hundred men is mentally defective, insane, epileptic, habitually criminal, or feeble-minded.

Recent military examinations have brought out most appalling facts.

Major Orr, a medical officer of the regular army, tells us that two to three out of every four applicants for the army are rejected as physically unfit.

Draft examinations show more than half our young men unfit for military training.

The examinations of the Life Extension Institute show only one man in a hundred wholly free from disease and physically fit. (more…)

Fairies on Bullets Save Lives

Fairies on Bullets Save Lives

This rather sweet letter was reproduced in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Sunday, May 14 in 1916 on the front page.

Fairies on Bullets Save Lives of Many

British Soldier, in letter to his little niece, describes how they do it.

Sing as they Ride Along

Missiles get so hot sometimes that the little guardians have to jump off,
says writer in concluding epistle from battlefield.

Special Cable to The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

LONDON. May 13. – In a letter to his six-year-old niece, a British soldier describes the fairies who ride on the bullets and direct them so as to save the lives of many:

“You know ‘or’nery’ people who don’t know nuffin’, and who think reason explains everything. would just tell you the reason why most bullets don’t hit anybody is just that they miss ’em.

“But people who really understand – I mean people who have enough imagination to get up in their dreams and go out and see the fairies dancing on the dewy sward when the sunbeams twinkle on the crystal globules – these people know better. And I can tell you just how it is.

“You see. the fairies have eyes like marigolds and as keen as eagles. They see 10,000 times as quick as mortals do, and they move just as speedily as thoughts do.

“They see the bullets coming out of the rifles, and as it comes each bullet is bestridden by a fairy, who tweaks its nose and guides it harmless along, and the fairy sings sweetly all the time.

“That is why when a bullet whizzes past your head you hear it humming like a bee, or droning like a bumble bee, or maybe whistling or whining or singing.

“But sometimes yon don’t even hear that, and yet the bullet doesn’t hit you. You just hear it pass with a breathing whisper or a gusty noise. That is when no fairy has seen it in time to get astride and guide it, but all the fairies near a soldier just gather round and blow it past.

“Sometimes the bullet gets so white hot on its way that the fairy has to jump off, and then perhaps somebody sets hurt, so now all the fairies are getting asbestos pants for their spring
costumes. Don’t you think that is jolly?”

Top illustration by Arthur Rackham.