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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Kerr Eby (1889-1946)

 

Aid Station
Kerr Eby #24
Charcoal and wash, 1944
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-DH

Heavy was the cost at Tarawa. Compensating for the blood spilled by this casualty, life-giving plasma is injected into his veins where he fell on the historic beach in the Gilberts.

 

Beachhead Scene, Marines at Tarawa
Kerr Eby #23
Charcoal & Pastel, 1944
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-DG


 Marines leaving the transport for the attack on Tarawa.

 

War Is Hell (Shell Shock)
Kerr Eby #25
Charcoal, 1944
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-DI

 

 

Long Thoughts
Kerr Eby #31
Charcoal,1944
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-DO


The artist often wondered what the infantryman thought as he looked over his handiwork. This Marine searched for water for his friends on the still-smoking beach. The fight was still going on farther down the island.

 

He Walks Who Can
Kerr Eby #13
Charcoal, 1944
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-CW

 

Wounded in the hand and suffering from nervous exhaustion, this Marine is still able to walk back to a first aid station with a little assistance from a fellow fighter. There was not far to walk for this casualty this was the battle of Tarawa, where "rear lines" were back in the fleet lying offshore and the front was the whole island.

 

Grapes of Wrath
Kerr Eby #34
Charcoal, 1944
Gift of Abbot Laboratories
88-159-DR


I make no apology for drawings such as this. The official designation of my job was activities of the Marines and dying terribly and magnificently is one of those activities. This is the inside of an amphibious tractor that was hit by a Japanese mortar on the beach of Tarawa.

 

The Lone Sentry
Kerr Eby #30
Charcoal, 1944
Gift of Abbot Laboratories
88-159-DN

 

 
Tides may rise and fall but will never erase the mark left on the beachead by the furious battle. The lone sentry guards this askew scene with disgust as he sees what greed had done to the innocent man.

 

LST
Kerr Eby #9
Charcoal, 1944
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-CS

At the edge of the reef at Tarawa there were more of them and dozens of other craft disgorging their insides.

Online Exhibits that feature Kerr Eby's work
Amphibious Operations in the Pacific Theater

Marines in Action
Navy Medical Art of the Abbott Collection

 

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14 November 2003