Notebook – Stalag Luft 6 & 4 – “Sad Sack & Donald Duck”

(Posted: July 1, 2011)


The top drawings resemble the Sad Sack character which was created by Sgt. George Baker and debuted in the May 1942 issue of “Yank Magazine”, the U.S. Army weekly. The unfortunate draftee was the first permanent feature of the new weekly and he became very popular among the servicemen and the general public as well.  Obviously my father was aware of “Sad Sack” and depicted him quite well in his 3 different attempts.  I notice the cigarette and realize that cigarettes played an important part in World War II in many ways.  I never saw my father smoke and don’t believe that he ever did after the War but as a POW I’m pretty sure that he, as well as most of the men in captivity, tried a cigarette or two and for many I’m sure it began a lifetime activity.

The main event in this sketch is Donald Duck manning what looks like might be the right waist gunner position on his bomber.  He’s a little too short so has to stand on the ammunition box.  Out the window it’s unclear if the spots may be flak.  They don’t look organized enough to be planes flying in formation.  It appears that a bullet from the German fighters has penetrated the side of the plane and entered above the duck’s head. 

I don’t know why dad chose to depict Donald Duck as an airman but I do know that I can remember him talking to us kids when we were small in a Donald Duck voice to entertain us.  He may have been one of his favorite characters along with Sad Sack.  I don’t know which character he started with on this page but I would say he wasn’t happy with his Sad Sacks and preferred to have his Duck as a crewmember.

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