Vietnam Graffiti: Messages from a Forgotten Troopship

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9781574271546: Vietnam Graffiti: Messages from a Forgotten Troopship
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The story of the Gen. Nelson M. Walker troopship began in 1997, when military artifact historian Art Beltrone first visited the "Ghost Fleet" on the James River in Virginia to assist with research for the World War II movie, The Thin Red Line. Once aboard the aging vessel, Beltrone found crowded troop compartments littered with hundreds of graffiti-marked bunk canvases, bulletin boards, and other historic artifacts left not by WWII troops headed for war in the Pacific, but by soldiers going to war in Southeast Asia a generation later. Beltrone’s discovery led to extensive research about the Walker, which was first commissioned in 1945 and saw service in WWII, the Korean War, and Vietnam. Many of the artifacts, thanks to the work of the Beltrones, have been rescued from the ship and are now relocated in museums throughout the U.S., including the new National Museum of the United States Army, the Oakland Museum of California, and the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution. Vietnam Graffiti: Messages from a Forgotten Troopship, combines photographs of the ship today, along with historical photos, and a gallery of many of the canvases found aboard. Profiles on individuals who left graffiti and were contacted for their stories are also included.

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From the Publisher:

"Vietnam Graffiti" has nostalgic appeal for anyone with an interest in the Vietnam War and American popular culture in the 1960s. A complete history of the troopship "Walker" with archival photos and a fold-out ship's diagram will appeal to maritime history enthusiasts. The Foreword to the book is written by Gerard C. Wertkin, Director of the American Folk Art Museum, New York.

From the Author:

The graffiti, artifacts, and personal stories we discovered aboard the "Walker" put a powerful human face onto war.

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Art Beltrone; Lee Beltrone
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Art Beltrone; Lee Beltrone
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