Swipe File: The Comedian And Horrific Real Life War Photography

A cover to The Comedian #5, by JG Jones.

And this photograph for LIFE Magazine from Guadalcanal in 1942 from the then- 25-year-old photographer Ralph Morse.

 “We came to a big opening on the beach,” Morse says, “and there was a tank with a skull on it, right near the turret. The sergeant leading the patrol looks at it and says, ‘Guys, that skull has been put there for a reason, and the Japanese have probably got mortar shells aimed right at this spot.’ A disgusting scene like that will always draw people in, and the idea, of course, was that any American troops who came along would obviously want to stop and take a look.

“‘Everybody stay away from there,’ the sergeant says, then he turns to me. ‘You,’ he says, ‘go take your picture if you have to, then get out, quick.’ So I went over, got my pictures and ran like hell back to where the patrol had stopped.”

 

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