Disney Artists During WWII

Disney Artists Serving in WWII

Hans Perk has posted a fascinating historical document on his blog: a list of Disney artists serving in uniform during WWII. The document, which is from spring of 1943, says that 165 Disney artists were in the service at the time, or more than 25% of the studio’s workforce. It’s definitely a trip seeing animation artists identified as Lt. Lee Blair, Pte. Jules Engel and Corp. Donald Lusk.


  • http://www.bishopanimation.com Floyd Bishop

    This may be a dumb question, but they don’t have a motion picture unit in the military any more, do they?

  • http://www.forthebirdsblog.blogspot.com Michael J. Ruocco

    I don’t think they do Floyd, at least I haven’t yet heard of one these days. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen/heard of an ACTOR in the service these days.

    By the way, it’s cool to see Woolie Reitherman & Frank Thomas’ names on that list, too!

  • http://afrokids.com Floyd Norman

    Some years ago, we had the opportunity to hear from a bunch of industry veterans who served in the Culver City Armed Forces Unit during the Second World War.

    Guess who their Commanding Officer was? An actor, named Ronald Reagan. Boy, did they have stories to tell.

  • http://spritzer93436.tripod.com/ Art Binninger

    The 30th Audiovisual Squadron at Vandenberg AFB, CA is still active in documenting missile launches and some of their photographers have served in Iraq. Norton AFB in San Bernadino had a huge facility which was closed down in the 1980′s. The Navy has a highly respected photographic school where even people from other branches of the service have received a solid education.

  • http://www.toonsatwar.blogspot.com DisneyDave

    Interesting to see George Goepper and Van Kauffman on the list as they were assigned to help Hank Porter fulfill the insignia requests that flooded Disney’s. Based on my research, I believe Porter designed a minimum of 75-80 percent of the estimated 1,200 combat insignia designs created at Disney’s during the war.

    Dispatch From Disney’s and the pin-up gatefold have always been one of my favorite Disney war era collectibles.

  • Sogturtle

    It’s kind of comical to see Jules Engel’s listed among these folks since he was NOT at Disney when he went into the service!!! Another studio rightly listed him repeatedly as being among THEIR boys in uniform (making this mention all-the-funnier). ;o)

  • http://WorldCarrotMuseum john

    Hi

    I run the World Carrot Museum, on line at http://www.carrotmuseum.com and am researching the role of carrot during World War Two.

    I have found that Hank Porter, on behalf of Disney, created several “carroty” characters for use in the British publicity campaign to eat more vegetables.

    This what I have so far – http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/history4.html#disney – but clearly I need more and would like to track any good versions of the original cartoon characters.

    Can you throw any light on this via any archives/books you have?

    Thanks

    John

    Curator, World Carrot Museum