“Strafing Run”

“Strafing Run” (Summer, 1943)
by Jacob Glushakow (1914-2000)
8.5 x 9.5 in., ink on board
Coppola Collection

Jacob Glushakow was a famous Jewish artist who lived in Baltimore, MD, who spent most of his life creating numerous drawings of the Baltimore area. He graduated from the Baltimore City College high school in 1933 and went on to the Maryland Institute College of Art and the Art Students League in New York, where he studied from 1933 to 1936. Jacob enlisted in the Air Force (December 17, 1941) and eventually served as a sergeant in England. On his enlistment materials, he is listed as an artist.

Jacob was initially trained and stationed at the Davis-Monthan (D-M) Air Force Base in Tucson, AZ. There are local newspaper reports in the Tucson Daily from June 11, 1942 (a painting of the Air Base selected to appear in the issue of Life Magazine during the first week of July); June 17, 1942 (painting signs for an Benefit Dance); and October 9, 1942 (a portrait of MacArthur unveiled, and working on a mural).

I have four of his cartoons, which I conclude were done for the Davis-Monthan Base newspaper. They say “Davis-Monthan” or “D-M Field” along with his name. One of them has a printing order sticker on the back with Davis-Monthan as the source. And if you look at the inferences you might draw from the topics in the cartoons, they could all reasonably fall in the last half of 1943, although that is speculation. They are not dated and there is no source publication to check. I also speculate that these must have been in his material belongings and released to auction by the family after he died. The Maryland Historical Society and the Jewish Museum of Maryland both have his works featured.

This cartoon looks like mid-1943. Air raids by the US on Japan did not begin until April 1942. The US had no bases to launch from or to run to. The first raid was more of a propaganda victory for the US, in retaliation for Pearl Harbor, with high profile targets such as Tokyo, Yokohama, Yokosuka, Nagoya and Kobe. The aircraft were launched from US aircraft carriers and ended up in China and Russia.

Building infrastructure took time, and the second air attack by the US on Japan did not take place until about a year later, in mid-1943, with the bombing and strafing of the Kuril Islands, where Japanese air stations were located. This event was not carried out by the big bombers, but by the smaller B-52 aircraft, which could also fly closer to the ground and strafe. Attacks took place July 10, July 18, August 15, and September 11.

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