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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)

 

Ebb Tide, Tarawa
Kerr Eby #33
Charcoal, 1944
Gift of Abbot Laboratories
88-159-DQ


The attack was at flood tide. When the sea went out over the reef, this and much besides was left. In two wars, this I think is the most frightful thing I have seen, perhaps because of its isolation on the reef.

 

Small Mortar Loading
Kerr Eby #37
Charcoal, 1944
Gift of Abbot Laboratories
88-159-DU

 


Partially protected by a log-topped foxhole in the New Britain jungle, Marines load a small mortar while a comrade gets instructions by telephone during the battle for Cape Gloucester.

 

Small Mortar Crew
Kerr Eby #36
Charcoal, 1944
Gift of Abbot Laboratories
88-159-DT


Smoke wiggles up from the mouth of a small mortar after discharge of a shell by a Marine gun crew from a log-topped foxhole on New Britain during the battle for Cape Gloucester. Though stripped to the waist in the heat, the Marines religiously cling to their helmets the thin shield that often means the difference between death and only a headache.

 

Cleaning a Pack Howitzer
Kerr Eby #39
Charcoal, 1944
Gift of Abbot Laboratories
88-159-DW

In all the battles of this world the weapons of war must be cleaned. As with this pack howitzer all of the weapons must be cleaned whenever possible even though the conditions may cause death and destruction. These proud men love their administer of death for they know that as they sit under the canopy (camafloged) they will in some way preserve the freedom of men.

 

Last Rights For the Sergeant
Kerr Eby #41
Charcoal, 1944
Gift of Abbot Laboratories
88-159-DY


Bowed in grief which breaks through their traditional stoicism, Marines mourn the passing of their beloved sergeant, buried not far from where he fell in jungle combat. Numbers of humble graves like his line the long road toward Pacific victory.

 

Weary Trail
Kerr Eby #35
Charcoal, 1944
Gift of Abbot Laboratories
88-159-DS

 
This is the weary trail; the trail back home. Many days have I walked it and many will. Oh, how long will this dreadnought last in its time. Will it last forever or end in one great purge. This is a weary trail; a trail of sorrow and woe.

 

Marksman
Kerr Eby #19
Charcoal, 1944
Gift of Abbot Laboratories
88-159-DC

 

Blending into the sinuous wall of foliage which makes up the battlefields on Cape Gloucester, a Marine scans the trail ahead with unblinking falcon's glare his deadly rifle ready for instant action. Skill in shooting, perhaps developed on an American prairie or woodland, enables this chosen watchman of a New Britain pathway to spot and slay Japanese snipers lurking in the bush.

 

Night Shift
Kerr Eby #26
Charcoal, 1944
Gift of Abbot Laboratories
88-159-DJ


Aircrewmen work by floodlights as they repair a plane during the battle of Cape Gloucester on New Britain. Stark white against the ebon jungle night, they work with studied haste, their practiced hands sure and steady among the complex works of the plane engine.

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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6 December 1999