Dad Rarey's Sketchbook Journals of the 379th Fighter Squadron

In 1942 my father, George Rarey, a young cartoonist and commercial artist, was drafted into the Army Air Corps. He flew a P-47 before he drove a car. During his service he kept a cartoon journal of the daily life of the fighter pilots. A few weeks after D-Day he was killed in combat over France.

His journals are a part of his legacy to me - one that I want to share with others through this web page. Browse through his drawings and words. Their joyful spirit dwarfs the background landscape of war.

George Rarey didn't care much for his first name and was known exclusively as "Rarey." (My mother thought Rarey was his first name until they had had several dates.) The exception to this was his fellow pilots. Because he was a few years older than most of the pilots - a ripe old 25 - in the Air Corps he was known as "Dad."

The drawings on this web site have explanatory text contributed by surviving members of the 379th Fighter Squadron, excerpts from Rarey's letters to his bride (my mother), Betty Lou, as well as from my mother's memoirs.

Damon Rarey

"Dad" Rarey's Sketchbook Journals
of the
379th Fighter Squadron

What's New
The latest additions to the site.
Last updated on April 5, 2001

Cadet Life

Rarey was drafted in January, 1942, and got his wings within a year.

379th Journal, Volume I

The squadron moved to Mitchell Field on Long Island to wait for embarkation. Then one night they boarded the Queen Elizabeth, bound for England.

379th Journal, Volume II

At Wormingford airfield near Colchester, England, it took two months for P-47's to be delivered. There was plenty of time for drawing pictures.

379th Journal, Volume III

When the airplanes came, they were pressed into service - dive-bombing and escorting B-17s and B-24s into Germany and occupied Europe.

379th Journal, Volume IV

The group was moved to Headcorn, England - not an improvement. Nissen huts were replaced by tents and lots of rain and mud. Missions continued.

379th Journal, Volume V

From D-Day to Rarey's death at the end of June.

Nose Art and Pilot Portraits

Rarey painted insignias on the cowlings of the squadron's P-47 Thunderbolts. These are a few of his watercolor renderings of the insignias, each with a portrait of the pilot.

Artwork, Objects and Photographs

A few treats of wartime art, old snapshots and assorted artifacts.

Hard-cover Book of Rarey's Art

Laughter and Tears is a privately published, deluxe, first-edition volume of Captain Rarey's wartime artwork. Click here for details.

"Fools and Heroes"

My daughter, Ondine Rarey, has made an hour-long documentary called Fools and Heroes about her grandfather, George Rarey - and her maternal grandfather, Bob Harvey, who was also an artist in Greenwich Village, and who became a conscientious objector during World War II.

To See Some of my Work

My Alum Falls site is an original web comic set in small-town Ohio in the 1950's, featuring the life, loves, and occasionally risque adventures of 15-year-old John Snavely.

-Damon Rarey

You can email Damon's widow, Linda, at

Links Page

This site had its debut on April 11, 1995.
(c) Damon Rarey, 1995-2002

Damon Rarey provides the information on this site to be viewed by anyone, but retains copyright on all text and graphic images. This means that you may not: distribute the text or graphics to others without the express written permission of Damon Rarey; "mirror" or include this information on your own site or server without our permission; modify or or re-use the text or graphics on this site. You MAY: print copies of the information for your own personal use only; store the files on your own computer for your personal use only; provide hypertext links to this site from your own site.