Postwar map of the island of Oahu showing an idyllic island paradise.
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On board a ship returning home from the Pacific Theater, John Drury got together with other soldiers and drafted several sketch maps based on details from their experiences. By the time he reached port, he had sold over 200 copies and used the momentum to found the Mem-O-Map publishing company. He went on to produce a number of maps of the Pacific and European theaters, each containing blank spaces for American G.I.’s to input their own personal story directly onto the image. The illustrations, often bordering on crude or racist, depict items of particular interest to the soldier.
This map of Oahu, rather than being filled with images of Pearl Harbor, POW camps, or cemeteries, shows an idyllic paradise awaiting those assigned to duty on the island. Luxuries like steaming coffee, suckling pig and fresh bananas are illustrated alongside relaxed natives, local attractions and leisure activities. Military installations are relegated to generic red symbols tucked between palm trees and surfers, since Hawaii represented comfort and the end of the war, rather than its bloody beginning on December 8th, 1941.
To learn more about John Drury’s Mem-O-Maps, check out my blog post here.
Publication Date: 1946
Author: John Drury
Sheet Width (in): 10.5
Sheet Height (in): 14
Condition Description: The map is in excellent condition, with very minor edge wear and a bright image.