Combat Gallery Sunday : The Martial Art of John Falter

Much as once a week I like to take time off to cover warships (Wednesdays), on Sundays (when I feel like working), I like to cover military art and the painters, illustrators, sculptors, and the like that produced them.

Combat Gallery Sunday : The Martial Art of John Falter

John Philip Falter was born during in 1910 Plattsmouth, Nebraska. In high school, the enterprising young man created his own comic strip which helped gain him a spot at the Kansas City Art Institute in 1928, then the Art Students League of New York City (briefly, like a month type of briefly) and the Grand Central School of Art.

Gaining work producing pulp covers, his first steady work came when he was paid to create three illustrations a week for Liberty Magazine in 1933 and was soon getting on in advertising slicks for everyone from Vultee to Pall Mall.

Adventures of the Blackgang

Adventures of the Blackgang

4304262910_ef2750f16e

When WWII came to the States, the 32 year old illustrator signed up for the Navy and was soon put to work making recruiting posters and other illustrations for use by the sea service, soon garnering the rank of a full lieutenant in the Reserve.

 

John Falter's Hit Hard! Hit Fast! Hit Often! of 1944 pictures a view from the bridge of a carrier. The poster's hero is Admiral 'Bull' Halsey, Commander of the U.S. Third Fleet, shown leaning forward to take on the enemy wearing his navy flight jacket and holding high powered binoculars.

John Falter’s Hit Hard! Hit Fast! Hit Often! of 1944 pictures a view from the bridge of a carrier. The poster’s hero is Admiral ‘Bull’ Halsey, Commander of the U.S. Third Fleet, shown leaning forward to take on the enemy wearing his navy flight jacket and holding high powered binoculars.

The man we look up to, Vultee Aircraft, 1943, John Falter

The man we look up to, Vultee Aircraft, 1943, John Falter

Note how Falter signed these Navy posters as "Lt, USNR"

Note how Falter signed these Navy posters as “USNR”

navy5 navy-day-Edit_500

One print produced by Falter, A Strange sort of Prayer, is a haunting depiction of a Marine on a far off beach saying a blessing over the destroyed pillbox of a Japanese machine gun nest, “You see, God, I’d like to get home too.”

A Strange sort of Prayer (John Falter, 1945 Navy Poster, industrial incentive division)

A Strange sort of Prayer (John Falter, 1945 Navy Poster, industrial incentive division)

It was not his only religious-themed military work during the war.

By His Deeds...Measure Yours was published in LIFE and the Cornet

By His Deeds…Measure Yours was published in LIFE and the Cornet

No More Mr. Nice Guy

No More Mr. Nice Guy

He is best know for his recruiting posters and pamphlet illustrations for the U.S. Naval Reserve (Women’s Reserve), better known under the acronym WAVES for Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, established in the tale end of 1942.

john falter waves ranks NH-72089-WAVE-recruiting-poster-WWII-payscale-700wide

WAVE At War, Ships At Night .NHC Accession #: 45-127-N "WAVES were not eligible for combat duty. Their assignments remained stateside or in the territories of Hawaii and Alaska. But recruiting posters often depicted the contributions of WAVES to combat victories. Here, Falter superimposes a female enlistee over a battle scene, as though she stands for all the WAVES-parachute riggers, machinists' mates, gunners' mates, and others who will make this victory possible. This type of image not only brought in new recruits, but it boosted morale among the WAVES, reminding them that their work was directly impacting the war effort and strengthening the might of Navy forces."

WAVE At War, Ships At Night .NHC Accession #: 45-127-N “WAVES were not eligible for combat duty. Their assignments remained stateside or in the territories of Hawaii and Alaska. But recruiting posters often depicted the contributions of WAVES to combat victories. Here, Falter superimposes a female enlistee over a battle scene, as though she stands for all the WAVES-parachute riggers, machinists’ mates, gunners’ mates, and others who will make this victory possible. This type of image not only brought in new recruits, but it boosted morale among the WAVES, reminding them that their work was directly impacting the war effort and strengthening the might of Navy forces.”

WAVE With a Silhouette Of a Machine Gun. NHC Accession #: 45-127-O. At Treasure Island in San Francisco, WAVES served as gunnery instructors, teaching sailors how to shoot anti-aircraft guns. Women received this specialized training at the Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois.

WAVE With a Silhouette Of a 40mm Bofors Gun. NHC Accession #: 45-127-O. At Treasure Island in San Francisco, WAVES served as gunnery instructors, teaching sailors how to shoot anti-aircraft guns. Women received this specialized training at the Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois.

tumblr_o2aoj7iTfl1uryk28o4_1280

Note the control tower operator “T” rate on the WAVE PO3. By the end of the War, it was common at the myriad of stateside bases that had sprung up since 1942 for WAVES to be running most of the show.

WAVE Parachute Rigger, NHC Accession #: 45-127-I. Falter used an official Navy photograph as the source for this painting. The photograph appears in a recruiting pamphlet printed in February 1944, the same month the Navy printed 40,000 posters and 45,000 window cards of Falter's painting.

WAVE Parachute Rigger, NHC Accession #: 45-127-I. Falter used an official Navy photograph as the source for this painting. The photograph appears in a recruiting pamphlet printed in February 1944, the same month the Navy printed 40,000 posters and 45,000 window cards of this painting alone, shown below.

john falter waves2

john falterOn_the_same_team,_Enlist_in_the_WAVES,_U.S._Navy_poster,_1943 john falter waves

During the War, he also started producing covers for the Saturday Evening Post, which he continued to do for decades after the end of hostilities, making a total of 129 covers by the late 1960s. Many of these today look like storyboards from Mad Men.

Golf – 1950s style – by John Falter

Golf – 1950s style – by John Falter

Frosty in the Freezer by John Falter

Frosty in the Freezer by John Falter

First weekend at the cottage, home life in America 1954

First weekend at the cottage, home life in America 1954

Snowy Ambush by John Falter

Snowy Ambush by John Falter

FalterPostCoverChristmasMorningBajaIn 1974 he was commissioned to do a series of six paintings for the American Bicentennial of 1976 by the 3M Company entitled “From Sea to Shining Sea.”

falter-john4_3m74 falter-john2_3m74Besides this, he produced 200 paintings in the field of Western art, dozens of book covers from everything from Mark Twain to The Scarlet Pimpernel. His work also appeared in Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, McCall’s, Life, and Look.

imag008In all, Falter is believed to have produced more than 5,000 works by the time of his death in 1982 at 72.

The Naval History and Heritage Command has some 60~ or so images on line in their database from Mr. Falter, some in very high res while the Museum of Nebraska Art and Nebraska Historical Foundation has his papers and several other images to include a series of portraits he did in the 1960s and 70s of famous jazz musicians.

And of course, the Saturday Evening Post has about 80 of his covers online.

Thank you for your work, sir.

RG4121-PH7-30

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

One response to “Combat Gallery Sunday : The Martial Art of John Falter”

  1. Robert Evans says :

    I especially liked “A Strange Sort of Prayer” and “By His Deeds Measure Yours,” the latter is very evocative of Jesus crucified – – intentionally, no doubt.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

National Guard Marksmanship Training Center

Official site for National Guard marksmanship training and competitions

tacticalprofessor

More than weapons manipulation

Yokosuka Sasebo Japan

The U.S. Navy and the Western Pacific

The Writer in Black

News and views from The Writer in Black

Stephen Taylor, WW2 Relic Hunter

World War 2 Historian, Relic Hunter and expert in identification of WW2 relics

USS Gerald R. Ford

Mission Ready, Qualified & Competent, On Time Execution!

The Unwritten Record

Exploring History with the National Archives Special Media Division

Stuff From Hsoi

Writing about whatever interests me, and maybe you.

Louisville Gun

Thoughts and Musings on Gun Control & Crime

CIVILIAN GUNFIGHTER

Identifying the Best Training, Tools, and Tactics for the Armed Civilian!

MountainGuerrilla

Nous Defions!

Under Every Leaf.

A Site for the British Empire 1860-1913

JULESWINGS

Military wings and things

Western Rifle Shooters Association

"The dead hand of the old Soviet Union’s ideological-warfare effort continues to wreak destruction, as the toxic ideas it released continue to survive, mutate, and reproduce in the wild." - Glenn Reynolds

Meccanica Mekaniikka Mecanică

The Mechanix of Auto, Aviation, Military...pert near anything I feel relates to mechanical things, places, events or whatever I happen to like. Even non-mechanical artsy-fartsy stuff.

%d bloggers like this: