Bill Mauldin rose to fame during WWII for his morale-boosting cartoons. Average American soldiers related to the disheveled protagonists of his comics, Willie and Joe, who poked fun at equipment, orders and officers. Mauldin earned the first of his two Pulitzer Prizes for a WWII comic and before working as an editorial cartoonist until 1991.
Hi, I’m Will Roulett, Director of the National Guard Memorial Museum here in D.C., and this is YOUR Minuteman Minute! Soldiers can find humor in the darkest or most mundane times. This was especially true of Bill Mauldin, who drew this cartoon on the 40th anniversary of U.S. entry into World War Two. It depicts Willie and Joe, the iconic characters Mauldin created. In 1940, Mauldin enlisted in the Arizona National Guard and started drawing cartoons for the 45th Infantry Division’s newspaper. After participating in the invasion of Sicily, Mauldin was transferred to Stars and Stripes, where Willie and Joe reached a larger audience. The tired, unshaven and disheveled protagonists poked fun at equipment, orders and officers, inspiring soldiers to find humor in their own situations. Mauldin received the Legion of Merit for his morale-boosting cartoons. After the war, he worked as an editorial cartoonist until 1991, winning two Pulitzer prizes. Come see this and a whole lot more at the National Guard Memorial Museum. I’m Will Roulett, [Look at watch.] and that’s been your Minuteman Minute brought to you by the National Guard Educational Foundation.