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The Art of Mort Künstler / The American Spirit / 20th Century Military / World War II

Here you will find a pictorial chronicle of the drama and excitement of American History. These paintings give the viewer an insight into the tumultuous life of this young nation that mere words cannot achieve.

Say Goodbye, Dear, I'll See You Next Year

Historical Information

As the urgent need for preparedness swept over the nation in the fall of 1940, the members of Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 189th Field Artillery were preparing to leave their armory for Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Several days earlier, on September 16, 1940 the president had ordered the initial call up of the National Guard for one year of training. The greatest peacetime mobilization in the nation’s history was getting under way with National Guardsmen in hundreds of units in 27 different states answering the first call to the colors. By mid-1941, months before Pearl Harbor, the entire National Guard would be on active duty – nearly all would serve for 5 years or more. The mobilization of the 18 National Guard divisions, 82 separate regiments and 29 observations squadrons doubled the size of the U.S Army. The National Guard played a vital role in World War II combat operations. The Oklahoma National Guardsmen of the 45th Infantry Division had little idea that morning that their departure for Fort Sill marked the shortest leg of a long journey that would take them to battlefields far from home. The 45th became one of the most famous divisions of the war taking part in eight major campaigns. The 1st battalion, 189th Field Artillery and the other units of the 45th continue the proud “Thunderbird” heritage.


All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2018. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.