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WWII Trench Art Inherited From Father

Updated: Feb 5, 2020

Trench Art is art or craft work created by service members while serving in a war zone. Indeed, it is work executed by the artist while in the “trenches” or after the war.

We are fortunate enough to have two pieces of original trench art that are very personal. Our License Plate Guy, Tom Baur, inherited them from his father, a WWII veteran who served in the South Pacific.

The first is a drawing of an A20 HAVOC, a special plane to the Pacific theatre, where Tom’s father served. It is a detailed pencil drawing of the airplane in flight, mountains, clouds and water. It is a beautiful illustration from deep within the South Pacific of World War II.

The second piece is even more personal. It is a watercolor (or ink wash) illustration of a military jeep. The jeep has the name “Sky Lancers” painted on it, the name the soldiers gave their team. You can also see the names “Bill” and “Tom” — yep, “Tom” is our own License Plate guy and Bill is his brother. The artist created this piece for Tom’s father.

Tom’s father served in the South Pacific and told us that these artworks were given to him by a fellow soldier. We don’t know him. The signature appears to be “Wm. Long” or “Wm. Lang” but we have no other information about him.

The original artworks were created on fragile newsprint. You can see from the photos here, there is a tear in one of the drawings and the edges are becoming worn. To protect and share them with our family, we decided to make prints for gifts. Then many friends wanted copies so we made more prints.

Due to the high level of interest, we decided to make the prints available to others. The original drawings are approximately 8 in x 10 in but we decided to make the prints a bit larger for clarity, impact and presentation. The print image 15 in x 10 in and the paper is 18 in x 12 in. We used acid-free, fine art paper and archival print ink. Our reproductions would be very handsome framed.

We are honored to have these pieces of WWII trench art in our family. They are truly personal, indeed.

Happy Collecting!

Barb Sistak and Tom Baur

The License Plate Gal and The License Plate Guy

at License Plate Garage

© License Plate Garage. All Rights Reserved.


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