Handy Island

Handy Island
"The Air War Finds A Handy South Atlantic Island" was the caption on this Peter Hurd painting of Ascension Island, from Life Magazine, April 1945. It was the only place for pilots to refuel between Natal and West Africa.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ascension Archives

A very kind volunteer at the Ascension Island Heritage Society has now catalogued the two boxes of papers I sent her after my father's death. The boxes contained my father's letters, papers, lists of military men he served with, and drafts of articles about this strange island where he was stationed for two years during World War II.

I was thrilled to see that this part of the work was completed.  It means researchers in the years ahead will have a new resource about the part America played in the history of this British Overseas Territory.  And there is a bonus.

Friday, October 21, 2011

"The Snake is Smoking": Unique World War II Slang

When I found paintings of Recife, Brazil, where my father went on leave from Ascension in 1942, in the  April 30, 1945 "Life's War Artists" edition of Life Magazine, I also learned a bit of historic Brazilian World War II slang.

Brazil was neutral until 1942. Up to that point, Brazil's president, Getulio Vargas, said "snakes would smoke" before Brazil got into the war.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Brazil and Ascension Island

A satirical painting of wartime Recife, Brazil through the eyes of American artist Reginald Marsh. Marsh was part of the  World War II artists program. This is from the April 30, 1945 issue of Life Magazine.

I've discovered a writer in Brazil who is working on a book about the part his country and his native state Natal played in the Allied victory in World War II.  There is a real connection between Ascension Island and Brazil. That's why he contacted me.