San Francisco - Military.com (www.military.com), the trusted online home for the military community, pays tribute to the work of late cartoonist and WWII Air Force veteran George "Dad" Rarey. Rarey's cartoons and accompanying stories are now featured in the Military.com Living Histories section.
The sketches were drawn by Rarey while a P-47 pilot with the 347th Fighter Squadron in Europe during World War II. The drawings are accompanied by comments from other members of the unit, his wife's recollections, and commentary from his son, Damon, of Santa Rosa, California.
The sketches chronicle the experience of being drafted, going through training, and fighting in the dangerous skies over Northern Europe. Rarey's keen eye and wit bring to life rarely seen elements of war and touch emotions by showing the human side of warfare: missing the birth of his son, his thoughts about his wife, and the pain he experienced at the loss of his comrades in arms.
"We're proud to share Rarey's work with the Military.com family," said Chris Michel, Chief Executive Officer of Military.com. "His works bring personality and insight into the experience of World War II pilots. We are very grateful to his son, Damon Rarey, for permission to share his late father's works with this broad audience."
In addition to sketches of events that illustrate the day-to-day experiences of World War II fighter pilots, Rarey painted portraits of his unit buddies and nose art onto the cowlings of the WWII aircraft.
Rarey commented on his work in March of 1944 saying, "Painted some cowlings this afternoon. It is a colorful thing to see the old 379th lined up for take off - looks like a menagerie. It sort of gives personality to an otherwise pretty cold collection of machinery. I think it means quite a bit to the pilots, and the crews that keep the planes in shape get a kick out of them, too - and I enjoy doing it, a pretty good thing all around." Rarey was killed in combat a few weeks after D-Day on June 26, 1944.
Military.com collects and shares the experiences, stories and personal histories of America's airmen, sailors, soldiers and Marines. "Stories like Rarey's are treasures that give context and meaning to the experience of serving your country, to be human and sacrifice," Michel said.