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In Honor of Veteran’s Day: November 11 November 11, 2010

Posted by Dev in Musings.

Remembrance Day in most of the world, Veteran’s Day for me (in the US) , is celebrated on November 11. The date is the formal end of hostilities in World War I:  the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice. I wanted to mark the date here at the site with an appropriately fitting and respectful tribute that at the same time reflects the spirit of the site…and what better than the Cannon Towel ads from World War II?

If you haven’t seen these pictures before, you are in for a treat. If you have, sit back and enjoy again…

The Cannon Towel company commissioned a series of six illustrations from artist Stevan Dohanos in the early 1940s. These pictures were inspired by comments from soldiers from all military branches and turned into a series of ads that ran in Life Magazine. Each of the ads features muscular military men who were—to put it bluntly—cavorting naked. This is war? Well, everyone needs a break! You have to wonder who these ads were targeted to. The women at home who were buying the towels? A reminder of their husbands and boyfriends? Or is this yet another example subtle homoeroticism in advertising? I’ll leave it to the readers here at the site to decide and tell me what they think in the comments. 🙂

First up, the Tank Corps in Italy. A commenter at the site where I found this picture noted that this is a location in Rome and he used to visit it frequently with his mother. He didn’t say whether or not the Tank Corps was there, though.

Tracking down all six pictures was fun. This one, Alaskan Aquacade, was number 2 in the series and seems to be the most rare. This picture showcases American fliers (the Air Force didn’t exist in WWII).

Here’s the full page ad:

Here’s a nice close-up of the action with the bucket and the water:

The Navy got in on the action with Jumbo the Elephant giving the sailors a shower:

While the Marines were annoyed about a lack of bath salts (I thought Marines were supposed to be tough!):

Here’s a nice close-up of the bath-salt-less Marines, with a bit more definition:

The Army has a field day, asking crocodiles to keep out:

My favorite of all…the famous Buna Baths. Just take a glance on the expression on the faces of the locals!

While this is meant to be a lighthearted remembrance, I send my deepest and most heartfelt thanks to all military personnel who have served over the years, and at present, working hard to keep us all safe and secure. Hugs to all of you!




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