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Cover Gallery: World War II

Published: December 7, 2016

During World War II, the covers of The Saturday Evening Post illustrated many facets of the war, from the grit of battle to lighter moments on the home front. Many of the Post’s illustrators, including Norman Rockwell, Mead Schaeffer, and Constantin Alajalov, were there to evoke the most poignant and pleasing moments.



“Sailor Sniffing Perfume”

John Newton Howitt

January 17, 1942


America had just entered the war, passions still blazing from the attack on Pearl Harbor. It seems that other passions were blazing as well.



Homecoming Kiss

Ruzzie Green

May 30, 1942


This photograph by Ruzzie Green suggests that every soldier could come home to a gorgeous woman in red. The truth may not have been so glamourous, but it was still early in the war. Spirits – and hopes – ran high.



“Naval Officer & Woman”

Jon Whitcomb

August 8, 1942


Illustrator Jon Whitcomb was a Lieutenant in the Navy during World War II, so he knew a thing or two about war, and the spoils therein. In addition to having a knack for illustrating beautiful women, he also served as a combat artist (who knew there was such a post?) in the South Pacific.



“Hot Dog for a Hot Date”

Al Moore

October 10, 1942


He thinks he’s being chivalrous, but she looks like she just spotted a worm on that wiener. Will she still take a bite?



“Naval Lookout”

Mead Schaeffer

November 7, 1942


The Post’s war covers turned a bit more serious at the end of 1942, as American’s involvement approached the one-year mark. 1942 marked the beginning of a prolific period for artist Mead Schaeffer, who Illustrated 46 covers for the magazine.



“Red Cross Volunteer”

George Garland

March 13, 1943


While women were not on the front lines in World War II, they played many critical roles, including volunteering with the Red Cross. The women (and men) of the Red Cross made enormous contributions during the war, both at home and overseas.



“Flight Controller on Aircraft Carrier”

Mead Schaeffer

June 12, 1943


Early in his career, Mead Schaeffer created illustrations for Moby Dick and Les Miserables, so he was not unfamiliar with water or war.



“Hitler as Wallpaperer”

Ken Stuart

July 31, 1943


Prior to joining The Saturday Evening Post in 1943 as the art editor, Ken Stuart was an illustrator for the magazine, poking equal fun at Hitler, chickens, and children.



“Tank Patrol”

Mead Schaeffer

November 6, 1943


Mead Schaeffer often portrayed soldiers as ever-vigilant, as with this tank patrolman with his binoculars at the ready and his trusty Tommy gun by his side.




Mead Schaeffer

February 5, 1944


This soldier mans his anti-aircraft gun, with the evidence of his handiwork making a fiery red streak behind him.



“War Bond”

Norman Rockwell

July 1, 1944

Norman Rockwell captures the emotions of a wounded veteran returning home.



“Commando Kid”

Howard Scott

October 14, 1944


The war might be over, but this young man is ready for any enemies that might come his way.



“San Francisco Cable Car”

Mead Schaeffer

September 29, 1945

The war behind them, these servicemen are heading out for a night on the town in San Francisco.



“War Stories”

Constantin Alajalov

October 6, 1945


It looks like someone would rather be dancing.



“Homecoming Marine”

Norman Rockwell

October 13, 1945


A soldier’s friends and family sit, rapt, while the young man recounts tales of overseas adventures.

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  • These are all tremendous covers. I didn’t know Mead Shaeffer did 46 covers for the POST in this era. They really depicted being on the front line, and no doubt kept the magazine competitive with the heel-biting LIFE during the war.

    His style was quite varied as well. Al Moore and Jon Whitcomb’s are two favorites here, along with Rockwell (of course) and Alajalov who did so many great covers up to 1962. The young woman’s eyes say it all in this ’45 cover. Does he get a clue before it’s too late? I’d like to think so, but kind of doubt it. A lot.