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A Christmas Carol, Life Magazine, December 25th, 1944

Long before A Christmas Carol was a movie it was a radio play. Lionel Barrymore played Scrooge for many years on Christmas Eve starting in 1934. In 1944 a movie studio gathered the radio play actors and staged scenes for Life Magazine. The issue with A Christmas Carol came out on December 25th, 1944. At the time American soldiers were fighting and dying in Europe during the Battle of the Bulge.

American soldiers during the Battle of the Bulge received their Christmas dinner in the field.

During the war years Life Magazine featured what our military was up to around the world, but it was always concerned with home front morale. Radio plays were one way that families gathered and connected.

I simply have to say a bit more about the time frame for this issue of Life Magazine.

The same issue of Life Magazine featured another picture essay titled, Hospital on Leyte. By late 1944 the US had taken much of the Philippines back from the Japanese. The picture essay features Army doctors and nurses caring for the wounded.

Nurse Florence Vehmeier checks to see if one of her patients is comfortable. The soldier was shot in the stomach. There is a siphon that drains fluids into a bucket. The man has a fever and a cold damp clothe is placed on his forehead and eyes. The picture is rather well known and has been reproduced as art. See the link below for a colorized version on FB.

The campaign to retake the Philippines in 1944-45 cost the US 14,000 dead and nearly 50,000 wounded. During the war years Life Magazine always featured a photo essay of our military and in this case duly noted that winning the war came with a cost.

Although the soldier is unknown (for wartime security issues) Florence Vehmeier was a real person. She served as an Army nurse throughout the war. She passed away in 2007 at the age of 90. Florence was part of the generation that has been called our greatest. This Christmas let’s remember that freedom is not free. Thank a vet! https://www.facebook.com/worldwarincolor/photos/pb.393166910813107.-2207520000.1572030836./2360435794086199/

2 comments on “A Christmas Carol, Life Magazine, December 25th, 1944

  1. Have not seen Jack Scruby’s name for over 46 years. Last saw it in the old old wargaming magazines my father had stored in the attic of our house in Huntsville, AL. I had forgotten all about that until I read this.

    • Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I have an interest in the people who were pioneers in my hobby. Jack was one of the few Americans (most of the others were English) who promoted wargaming on a scale previously unknown. His figures are crude by today’s standards but for me they retain a classic toy soldier look. Some you can still get through Historifigs and others I get from the eBay when I see them cheap enough.

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