Saturday, May 12, 2007

133rd Naval Construction Battalion Seabee insignia

From my collection, the original art for the 133rd Seabee Battalion. This art was created by Disney artist Hank Porter in the summer of 1945. The art is also pictured on page six of the unit's 1945 hardcover history log.

The 133rd was attached to the 4th Marine Division and saw extensive action at Guam and on Iwo Jima. The history log, which I also own, is filled with hundreds of black and white photos of men in the unit, the places they fought and the facilities they built. Coincidentally, this book also contains around a dozen Donald Duck illustrations.

While Disney artists did not design the Seabee's flying bee insignia, they did design emblems for around 10 Naval Construction units. Click here to see another Disney-designed Seabee insignia.


Major Pepperidge said...

Hi, I've tried leaving comments before, and sometimes they don't seem to go through. So I'm commenting again just to let you know that I am really enjoying these rare wartime images...they really are some of the most fascinating Disney artwork ever produced.

DisneyDave said...

Thanks for the positive comments. I enjoy hearing from the folks that check out my blog. The comments let me know the time spent putting these images up is appreciated.

I find this chapter of the history of the Disney Studio to be underreported. The Studio was involved in some fascinating subjects during the war. The creation of some 1,200 combat insignia is just one area that has never really been covered in-depth.

I have conducted a ton of research on Disney's insignia contribution. Would make a great series of books, if I could just find an interested publisher.

Thanks for your comments and thanks for stopping by!

Major Pepperidge said...

Man! I would love to see a book (or series of books) about the insignia, but I admit that I might be a "special case" (!).

I'm also chomping at the bit for a book about Disneyland attraction posters (preferably with big glossy color pictures $$$$), but chances are, people just aren't into them as much as I am.

DisneyDave said...

Hi Major...

I've compiled hundreds of pages of research info on the history of Disney's insignia creations, including a fantastic interview with Hank Porter's two surviving children. His daughter worked as his assistant in the summerof 1944 and had some great stories to tell.

The Porter children recently sent me scans of family photos that included Hank working at his commercial art studio in 1925, Hank at the piano with his brother, a family portrait, etc.

I'd like to publish around 4 or 5 volumes on the topic. Basically one volume for each year of the war to include around 250 designs each. Like I've said a hundred times, I have information on almost 1,100 Disney combat insignia from the war.

I've had a lot of interest from others on the topic. One of the last books on insignia that was published sold out their first edition of 40,000.

I'm confident a Disney insignia book, which would appeal to Disneyites and military types, would also be hugely successful.

And by the way, I too love the early Disneyland attraction posters. I'd love to have a Pirates, Jungle Cruise, Submarine, or Tiki Room original. My wife collects pre-1966 Disneyland postcards and I love the early scenes and attractions!

Major Pepperidge said...

I have collected the attraction posters for quite a while, and have been lucky enough to acquire over 20, including the ones you mentioned (although my Tiki Room is a rare, slightly later version than the one commonly reproduced). And I love Disneyland postcards too, I have nearly all of the older cards, with a few very rare exceptions.

If you ever manage to create those books about Disney insignia, I would love to read 'em! Those Hank Porter scans must be wonderful.

Kjell said...

Hi, I am a Seabee and really like this Porter image you have posted. If you are interested in selling it, please let me know.