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.
America had just entered the war, passions still blazing from the attack on Pearl Harbor. It seems that other passions were blazing as well.
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.
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.
He thinks he’s being chivalrous, but she looks like she just spotted a worm on that wiener. Will she still take a bite?
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.
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.
Early in his career, Mead Schaeffer created illustrations for Moby Dick and Les Miserables, so he was not unfamiliar with water or war.
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.
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.
This soldier mans his anti-aircraft gun, with the evidence of his handiwork making a fiery red streak behind him.
Norman Rockwell captures the emotions of a wounded veteran returning home.
The war might be over, but this young man is ready for any enemies that might come his way.
The war behind them, these servicemen are heading out for a night on the town in San Francisco.
It looks like someone would rather be dancing.
A soldier’s friends and family sit, rapt, while the young man recounts tales of overseas adventures.