View Full Version : Happy 70th Anniversary, 101st Airborne

08-17-2012, 12:35 AM
Happy 70th Anniversary, 101st Airborne
'Beetle Bailey' cartoonist sends a tribute to Screaming Eagles
4:49 PM, Aug 16, 2012
FORT CAMPBELL, KY. — On the occasion of its 70th birthday, “Beetle Bailey” cartoonist and World War II veteran Mort Walker has sent along a tribute to the 101st Airborne Division, care of the Brig. Gen. Don F. Pratt Memorial Museum.

Museum director Dan Peterson proudly displayed the artwork on Thursday morning, which featured the familiar characters of Sarge, Beetle, Miss Buxley and Otto the dog riding on the back of an eagle.

Walker personally mailed the drawing to ensure arrival in time for the anniversary celebration. “It really is a neat thing for the division’s birthday,” Peterman said with a wide smile.

He explained that the tribute was the idea of Ms. Carmella Laspada, who became a friend of the division in Vietnam in the early 1970’s as a result of her work with No Greater Love, the foundation she began in 1971 together with Baseball Hall of Famer and veteran Ted Williams.

Deriving its name from John 15:13 in the New Testament, No Greater Love has served those who have lost loved ones through service or by acts of terrorism for over 40 years, conducting wreath-layings and tributes, as well as dedicating 11 memorials in Arlington National Cemetery.

“I met Mort Walker in Washington, D.C.,” Laspada said in a phone interview, “back when I had the idea for a No Greater Love calendar featuring famous cartoonists.

“Since then, Mort has always been there for us, and I asked him to do something special for the 101st Airborne Division anniversary. I just wish I could be there, and I send my love to all the Screaming Eagles.”

Walker, who was drafted in 1943, served in Italy during WWII in intelligence and later as the commander of a German POW camp. He left the Army in 1947 as a first lieutenant.

A historical note: In 1943, Fort Campbell was home to another famous cartoonist, “Peanuts” inventor Charles Schulz, an infantry soldier and machine gun squad leader in World War II who did his basic training here and often decorated fellow soldier’s letters home with his drawings.

Philip Grey, 245-0719
Military affairs reporter

08-17-2012, 03:55 AM
No finer Division in the World.