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Detail from a drawing of David Dresser on special detail with the camp post office [Memoir p.74]

Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: World War, 1939-1945
  • Branch of Service: Army
  • Service Unit/Ship: 291st Army Postal Unit
  • Location of Service: Camp Roberts, California; New Caledonia; Manila and Luzon (Philippines)
  • Highest Rank: Technician Five
  • Collection Number: AFC/2001/001/58090

View full service history

"I decided to keep a cartoon diary, one cartoon a day…" (Memoir, page 23)

Like many soldiers, David Dresser kept a diary of his service experiences in WWII, as a means of passing the time and recording what he saw and felt while stationed in the Pacific Theater. Unlike most, however, Dresser made his entries in the form of daily cartoons. In his memoir, these cartoons are interwoven with his post-war reminiscences, creating a chronicle of his service with the 291st Army Postal Unit. His illustrations offer a humorous depiction of life as a clerk-typist and mail sorter: his cartoon avatar dodges mosquitoes, dashes to the chow line, and deals with the Christmas rush of mail--doing it all with beads of sweat springing from his brow. His memoir offers insights not contained in the cartoons, such as how it felt to serve as a devout Christian soldier, and to lose friends from college in combat.

[ World War II: A Veteran's Cartoon Diary ]

About this Item

Title

  • David Ray Dresser Collection

Names

  • Dresser, David Ray

Home State

  • Michigan

Headings

  • -  Dresser, David Ray
  • -  World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Army.

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Gender

  • Male

Race

  • White

Status

  • veteran

Service History

  • World War, 1939-1945

    • Branch of Service: Army
    • Service Unit/Ship: 291st Army Postal Unit
    • Location of Service: Camp Roberts, California; New Caledonia; Manila and Luzon (Philippines)
    • Highest Rank: Technician Five
    • Dates of Service: 1943-1945
    • Entrance into Service: Enlisted
    • Military Status: veteran
    • Service History Note: The veteran also served in the Chaplain's Office.

Materials

  • Manuscript: Creative works [77 items] -- Mixed (handwritten and typewritten documents) (collected 1943-1945)
  • Manuscript: Memoirs [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected unknown)
  • Computer File: CD [1 item] -- Electronic file of manuscript (collected 1943-1945; 2008-05-03)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/58090

Cite as

  • David Ray Dresser Collection (AFC/2001/001/58090), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • image
  • pdf

Additional Metadata Formats

Wars & Conflicts

Service Branch

Location of Service

Battles & Campaigns

Service Unit/Ship

Highest Rank

Service Entrance

Discharge Status

Gender

Race

Home State

Interviewee

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Dresser, David Ray. David Ray Dresser Collection. 1943. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.58090/.

APA citation style:

Dresser, D. R. (1943) David Ray Dresser Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.58090/.

MLA citation style:

Dresser, David Ray. David Ray Dresser Collection. 1943. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.58090/>.