This cartoon was penned when Phyllis' brother, Harry F. Kholer EM1/c, was assigned to the USS Narwhal.
Wartime support for relatives fighting in the war was high during this period and Phyllis and her sisters were extremely proud of their "big brother."
In the cartoon, Harry is headed west in "his" submarine, clean sweep broom flying on the conning tower. The mermaids are surely impressed with the idea of Harry being back in the Pacific (he had been there before on the USS Houston CA-30, during the Third Presidential Cruise of 1938) and the rising sun of Japan is considering suicide since Harry's arrival will surely turn the tide of the war.
Security of the time being what it was, it is not clear if Mrs. Longley was fully aware of the Narwhal's war record on the date of this cartoon. The two small rising sun emblems on the conning tower indicate that she was probably aware that the boat was doing something and if she had been fully aware that Narwhal had four certain kills by this date, she may very well have covered the whole hull with the small emblems.
Harry was very amused with this cartoon, and it raised the spirits of all who saw it. It accomplished it's task.
Harry, Mrs. Longley's brother, was transfered from the USS Narwhal to the USS Moray (SS-300) in March of 1944. He probably went home for a short leave and like all sailors told a few sea stories. This was an opportunity for the "folks at home" to find out first hand what was going on in the South Pacific. This cartoon was probably inspired by those stories.|
Although it is difficult to see in the picture, the cargo ship is named the "Stinko Maru" indicitive of the feelings of the people of the time. This ship is exploding with a horrible viciousness. This again is indicative of the feelings of the time. Anything Japanese was "bad" and should be destroyed.
We see the Narwhal, on the other hand, spinning her propeller like a cute little puppy dog, and she is humanized with a friendly face on a chubby little body, spitting out torpedos like watermelon seeds. Mrs. Longley hints at the actual damage being done by the Narwhal with the two mermaids (mermaids are always peaceful) holding their hands over their ears and turning away.
In her defense, Mrs. Longley is known as a kind, considerate, loving person who would go a great distance and has gone great distances to help another person. In time of war something happens to us that allows us to have feelings we would not ordinarily express.
Dad spoke often and well of the Narwhal.
This site is dedicated to him and to the crew.
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