Thursday, January 12, 2012

This just in from Gunnar Andreassen:

[The enlosed photos show Clarence Nash and his Donald Duck Doll. Since the doll wears a uniform, it must have been taken during WWII.

On one of the photos "Donald" is given a badge/pin, and as the photo is of very high resolution it was possible for my son to read on the badge: Father Duffy Canteen. When zooming in on the photo, I was able to read the same. See close-up scan.

Father Duffy was a well known person in New York, and probably also in the whole USA and there is a statue of him on Duffy Square. He was an American soldier and Roman Catholic priest - a military chaplain during WWI. and he died in 1932.

There's a large article about him on Wikipedia, a quote from this:

In the 1940s movie The Fighting 69th, Father Duffy is portrayed by Pat O'Brien.

This is what I found about Father Duffy Canteen on the web:

Having a little extra time on my hands I founded the Father Duffy Canteen, Inc., a group of 125 women who nightly with their ambulance canteens cover the water front and anti-aircraft bases of New York, serving the men on sentry duty. We average 60,000 servicemen and women a month, and have served over 1,250,000 since our inception. All food is prepared in Reuben's Restaurant and is financed by public contributions. There are no salaries in the Father Duffy Canteen. The drivers are the USAAC Emergency Corps men.

The Billboard, Dec. 25, 1943 (Probably by Alan Corelli, Executive Secretary, Theater Authority, Inc.)

New York, May 22. - Father Duffy Canteen, organized by showfolk and catering to local servicemen, is running a Canteen Ball next Saturday (29) night at the Hotel Astor. Harry Brandt is chairman of the arrangements committee.

The Billboard, May 29, 1943

My friend David Lesjak found a couple of newspaper items which show that Nash was in New York for three weeks in March 1943 doing what appeared to be a promo tour for Saludos Amigos. The other was from February 1942 and he was in Niagara Falls (on the American not Canadian side).

Even if "Donald" was given this badge, it doesn't necessarily mean that this was an event organized by Father Duffy Canteen, but it's not impossible. What seems pretty clear is that it did happen in New York. There's a New York photographer's stamp on the back of the photos.

Do any of the readers of your blog know anything about these photos, and possibly on what occasion they were taken - to share with us ?]

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