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“Hubert” and World War Two

Hubert by Dick Wingert was a comic panel that began in the revitalized Stars and Stripes in Britain during World War II.

According to Indiana Illustrators:

Inducted in February 1941, Wingert shipped out a year later with the 34th Infantry Division, the first American division dispatched to the European Theater. Wingert was first billeted in Ireland and was assigned duties as a medical illustrator. Upon discovering that a revived Stars and Stripes was in the works, Wingert submitted some cartoons to an early weekly edition of the paper. By May of 1942, Wingert was transferred to the paper’s main offices in London. Once in London, Wingert began illustrating the Stars and Stripes humor column, “Hash Marks,” and at the suggestion of reporter Sgt. G.K. Hodenfeld developed a character for a regular cartoon. “Hod and I went through my cartoons,” Wingert remembered, “and selected the scuffiest [sic], oddest looking goof-off I’d drawn and named him ‘Hubert’.”

    

But this is not the Hubert we’re concerned about today.

Like Dennis the Menace a few years later there were two Huberts that started about the same time,
one in England and one in the U.S.

At the time Wingert was being shipped to other side of the Atlantic
Paul S. Snyder was enlisting in the Army and being stationed stateside:

Paul S. Snyder graduated from Cleveland Heights High School in 1932, before attending the Art Institute of Chicago, the Art Center School and the Chouinard Art Institute, all located in Los Angeles, California. Snyder worked in New York city until he joined the United States Army in 1942. Stationed at Keesler Field, Snyder was training to be an aerial photographer when his drawing skills were noted and he was assigned to the Public Relations Office as an artist, producing cartoons relating to life in the Army Air Corps. His most well-known cartoon character was “Hubert.” Snyder also contributed cartoons and posters for syndication for the flying safety program of the War Department.

The first new issue of Stars and Stripes in Britain was dated April 18, 1942. The Keesler Field (Missisippi) News was being produced by 1941 and Paul S. Snyder’s first cartoon appeared in the April 8, 1942 edition (above). The next issue of the weekly newspaper dated April 15, 1942 saw Paul S. Snyder’s Hubert debut.

The two page Keesler Field News was included as part of Wednesday’s The Daily Herald in Biloxi, so not only did Synder’s Hubert appear before Wingert’s in a military publication it was appearing in a U. S. newspaper years before the syndicated Hubert.

 

The next two cartoons (April 29 and May 6, 1942) didn’t have the title but the character was there in all his glory. These two also weren’t in The Daily Herald.

With the May 13, 1942 panel the title would return permanently and would be joined by what would become another regular part of the cartoon – a fetching female figure.

 

On June 17 of 1942 fans of the Hubert panel were treated to feature about the cartoonist.

As was noted in that article and reflected in the signature of that week’s Hubert comic Pvt. Paul S. Snyder had become Pfc Paul S. Snyder.

Hubert was on leave for the July 8, 1942 issue, but Snyder was there with an editorial cartoon, when Hubert returned for the July 15 edition Snyder was signing as a Corporal.

And so it went until the last Hubert panel appeared on December 16, 1942 signed by Sgt. Paul S. Snyder. (The Keesler Field News issues at the LOC site ends in August but The Daily Herald carries The News as a part of their Wednesday editions through the year.)

Two weeks later we find that Hubert and Snyder are ending their time at Keesler.

With that this Hubert and Paul S. Snyder disappear into the mists of time. There are Paul S. Snyders in newspapers here and there but none can be confirmed as “our” cartoonist Paul S. Snyder. One mystery of the two Huberts explained, but another mystery of whatever-happened-to remains.

 

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