A Memorial Day Memory: Love From the Pacific Theater

Jack Fogarty served with the Army’s 98th Evacuation Hospital in the Pacific in World War II. He was also a pretty good artist. Fogarty also corresponded with his good friend John MacDonald's wife, and illustrated the envelopes with scenes of her husband's daily life. The men, and MacDonald's wife Mary, remained friends for the rest of their lives. After her parents died, Meg MacDonald found 33 of those letters and donated them to the National Postal Museum. Fogarty, now 92, was interviewed about the letters.

I’ve always drawn—all my life I’ve had a talent to paint. I had another dear friend from high school, a cartoonist, and he and I exchanged letters when we both joined the service. He would illustrate his envelopes, so I would do the same. That started it. Then when I was in the South Pacific Islands in World War II, John started a weekly bulletin just for the 217 men in the evacuation hospital. He did the editorials, and I did the artwork on a mimeograph machine. That got me doing more illustrations, so I started drawing on the envelopes to Mary.

Read about Fogarty's war correspondence and see more illustrations at Smithsonian. Link

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