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Disney Dons Dogtags


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#1 gwb123

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 06:19 PM

Unless we have hidden it away somewhere in our archives, it seems we have never had a review of Disney Dons Dogtags by Walton Rawls and David Smith.

 

I will guess that many of us have this on their bookshelf, but like myself may have only looked at the illustrations.  That's very easy to do with our reference material.  So while my computer has been warming up over the last couple of nights, I pulled it off the shelf to take a closer look at it.

 

(Image from http://stuartngbooks...rld-war-ii.html)

 

 

 

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#2 gwb123

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 06:33 PM

My first comment is that this is not your standard patch reference.  It is more of an art book, and even classified as such by some book dealers. 

 

The insignia are not organized by type of unit, geographical location, or in a strict chronological order.

 

For the short narrative history, some of the patches are presented in a sequence that supports how Disney Studios first joined the war effort and then eventually got into the unit insignia business.  At their height of this effort, five artists were devoted full time to answering unit requests and creating these emblems.

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#3 gwb123

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 06:34 PM

However, the latter portion of the book has the insignia organized by common characters, or themes... such as cats.

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#4 gwb123

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 06:46 PM

With that said, what did I learn from this book?

 

Disney insignia were not only made for US units, but also for a small number of UK (RAF an Royal Navy), Canadian, Free French and Free Polish Forces.

 

Going by what was included in the book, a large number of these insignia seemed to have been made for stateside units.  That might just be

based on the one's chosen for illustration.

 

Thought was given as to what characters were suited for which units, and vice versa. Mickey, for example, was not considered particularly

belligerent or warlike, so was often reserved for Home Front activities.  Donald Duck, on the other hand, with his fierce temper, was considered

perfect for fighting units.

 

Naval units, in particular submarines named after fish, presented a problem for the Disney staff... mainly because prior to World War II the Disney universe was

notably lacking in aquatic creatures.

 

Requests for insignia came from high and low, including Captain Lord Lewis Mountbatten.

 

The book recites some interesting statistics as to who were the most popular characters for insignia with, you guessed it, Donald Duck leading the pack.  Oddly, female characters were few and far in between.

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#5 gwb123

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 06:52 PM

There were a few shortcomings as well.

 

Some insignia are shown but not identified.

 

Some iconic insignia are included, but without the story behind them, such as the famous Stalag Luft III "I Wanted Wings".  I believe we have actually had the story of that one here on the USMF.

 

Some of the insignia are shown in black and white, possibly because the color versions no longer exist.

 

While most of the insignia are shown in a reasonable size, some of them are a bit small and used as space fillers.  And, not surprising for an art book, many of them overlap, which unfortunately cuts out part of the shapes.

 

The full title of the book is Disney Dons Dogtags:  The Best of Disney Military Insignia From WWII. For a collector, that just leaves you wondering about the ones that didn't make the book.

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#6 gwb123

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 06:57 PM

With that said, for years it has been the best printed reference book available for Disney insignia.

 

And for it's lack of organization, it is a fun book!  It almost reminds you of those Disney Golden Books you had as a kid.

 

And while the narrative is not extensive, there is enough information there to give you the basic facts about these unique insignia.

 

One downfall if you don't already have a copy is price and availability.  Amazon has used copies available starting at $46 currently.

 

Although printed in 1992, both the pages and binding hold up very well.  It is printed on a semi-gloss stock, and my copy does not

show a bit of aging.

 

If World War II is your area of interest I recommend it.  If you just like unique insignia, it's equally worth your time.



#7 Johnny Signor

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 07:04 PM

I've had my copy for many years now, I went Ga Ga when I first saw it for sale in a Book store ,got it right off , the book is very good for many of Disney's emblems , but does lack some details as to some of the units , several Bombardment ones are all the same number, but I "assume" they were "proposed designs" by the Disney artist to the unit/s they were made for and then either rejected or just not used , others are kind of lacking better info about them , and then the black and white ones are disappointing as the colors were so awesome on the emblems they did !

 

It is a Very good book for anyone who's looking for Disney war emblems , their ID's etc , I would recommend it to any emblem history buff or collector etc !

Johnny



#8 bobgee

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 06:10 AM

Great post! Has been one of my favorites for years. As stated......"a Fun Book". Bob




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