WWII POWs get a Disney Designed Insignia (May, 1945)

DRY YANKEE HUMOR is puzzling guards at a German base prison camp for Allied airmen, since American POW’s there decided to adopt insignia to show their new status. The postcard below, sent by Capt. Robert H. Bishop, a bomber navigator now at the camp, brought the design at the right from the Walt Disney studios to Germany, via the Red Cross.

11 comments
  1. Boing Boing says: August 1, 20062:30 pm

    How POWs in a Nazi camp got a Disney insignia…

    This May, 1945 article from Popular Science tells the story of how American POWs in a Nazi prison camp were smuggled a custom Donald Duck logo prepared by the Walt Disney Studios on the back of a Red-Cross delivered postcard. DRY YANKEE HUMOR is puzzli…

  2. [...] History, Art, Interesting, Cartoons | no comments yet | permalink Written byPatrick Havens Modern Mechanix » WWII POWs get a Disney Designed Insignia This May,1945 article from Popular Science tells the story of how American POWs in a Nazi prison camp were smuggled a custom Donald Duck logo prepared by the Walt Disney Studios on the back of a Red-Cross delivered postcard. [...]

  3. [...] Great little bit on how a POW camp in World War Two got a Disney designed logo from an old issue of Popular Mechanics. [...]

  4. Grammar Nazi says: August 2, 20067:08 am

    The POW’s emblem was neat. He shared it with the other POWs.

    // Get it?

  5. [...] Link [...]

  6. Michael W. says: August 15, 20063:50 pm

    Disney did quite a bit of logos and mascots for the military. My father’s Navy squadron, VP-49 out of Moffett Field in California, had one.
    Here’s a link to the story of how Disney provided mascots to over 1200 units, free of charge during WWII.
    http://www.skylighters….

  7. Michael W. says: August 15, 20063:57 pm

    Gosh, I feel like a dope. It was one of his other squadrons. VP-49 had a woodpecker mascot.

  8. Tom Bishop Valentine says: September 23, 200712:05 pm

    Robert H. Bishop was my grandpa, and we have the original cartoon of donald duck behind bars. His character was portrayed in the film The great escape, he was the scavenger.

  9. David says: January 2, 20087:49 am

    Robert Bishop did not create the original design. Emmett Cook, a B-17 bomardier created the initial deisgn after being shot down in March 1943. Many, many POWs copied his design onto postcards and in their YMCA supplied diaries.

    Bishop sent his girlfriend the postcard in the magazine article. She sent it to Disney who had artist Hank Porter clean up the design.

    Visit my blog http://www.toonsatwar.b… or http://www.usmilitaria…. to read the whole story about how this fascinating design came to be.

    The finished art for this design resides in a private collection in the eastern United States. I own the postcard Emmett sent home to his mother in March 1943 showing the 2nd version of teh design – the first was drawn by Emmett in his YMCA diary using watercolor paint. I also have many examples of the design on file, as interpreted by other POWs and drawn in their diaries.

  10. David says: January 2, 20087:50 am
  11. Tom says: August 14, 200811:06 am

    yeah well your family don’t even like you

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