Bill Mauldin was a cartoonist for the Stars and Stripes during World War 2. The World War 2 cartoons Mauldin drew featured the famous Willie and Joe. He spent 3 years with the 45th division at the front. Participated in the invasion of Sicily, Salerno, Anzio and fought across Italy and Southern France. The Book Up Front tells the story of ordinary men fighting in WWII, their gripes, fears, how they thought and felt. Excellent book, I think it is one of the best books written about WW2. It was published in 1944. The book features WW2 cartoons throughout, the same cartoons that GIs looked forward to reading in the Stars and Stripes.
Patton once did not like Mauldin portraying the GI as unkempt and messy, however Mauldin was extremely popular with GIs and the home front.
An Excerpt from the book
"I'm convinced that the infantry is the group in the army which gives more and gets less than anybody else. I draw pictures for and about dogfaces because I know what their life is like and understand their gripes. They don't get fancy pay, they know their food is the worst in the army because you can't whip up lemon pies or even hot soup at the front and they know how much of the burden they bear." pg. 5 Up Front
In his drawings of infantry dogfaces Willie and Joe, done while he himself fought in campaigns in Italy, Bill Mauldin created the immortal archetypes of the American fighting man.
Up Front is a vivid piece of living history and a potent reminder of the sacrifices of the men who fought and won our greatest war.