Thursday, February 05, 2009

Dick Kelsey, Captain, United States Marine Corps

The first image in this post was provided by a fellow collector who happens to be in the Marine Corps. The item was on display at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island Museum, when he snapped this photo.

The caption accompanying the piece of art read:

"Early in World War II, Disney Studios Art Director Richmond 'Dick' Kelsey joined the Marines. In 1943 Capt. Kelsey was stationed with the 1st Marine Division at Mt. Martha, 30 miles from Melbourne, Australia. At the request of two friends he created a series of pastel artworks to decorate the Officer's Club. One of those friends saved this scene, poking fun at the 1st Marine Brigade's 1941 service in Iceland."

Kelsey had a long career at the Disney Studio - he worked as an Art Director on Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo and Bambi. Other films he contributed to included Make Mine Music, Melody Time, So Dear To My Heart, and Alice in Wonderland. He also worked as an Assistant Designer during Disneyland's formative years.

Kelsey was listed on the reverse of the 1943 Dispatch From Disney's pin-up as:

The 1st Marine Brigade was created in July 1941 to garrison Iceland. The Brigade was composed of the Sixth Marines, Fifth Defense Battalion, and the Second Battalion, Tenth Marine Regiment. The unit was disbanded in March 1942, only to be reformed temporarily again, this time for the invasion of Guam in July 1944.

The Disney-designed insignia for the 1st Marine Brigade was created by artist Hank Porter in December 1941. The whimsical emblem featured a penguin in an ice-laden boat. The star on the penguin's scarf was Porter's way of indicating the unit's designation.

The 1st Marine Division, to which Kelsey belonged, saw extensive action in the South Pacific. The Division participated in the Battle of Guadalcanal, Battle of Cape Gloucester, Battle of Peleliu, and the Battle of Okinawa.

1 comment:

kanders911 said...

Hello,I stumbled across your site while looking for information on the Pelias. I'll talk about that later. Looking around I noticed the picture of the 1st Mar. Brg. and realized that I have this patch. I also have a couple of others that I believe may have Disney connections and was wondering if you could help. I have a 4th Medical Battalion, 4th Marine Division that has a what looks to be a green cricket carrying a bunch of stuff with the red cross in ths background. Thanks,Kevin