The first information about The Stars and Stripes during the American Civil War vas found in the American news magazine TIME, dated March 28, 1960 (Page 91). It reads : “First published intermittently by Union troops during the Civil War...”. Thanks to the help of Mr. Charles E. Dornbusch, a retired librarian of the New York Public Library who made a check list of the several editions of The Stars and Stripes, published in 1948 by the New York Public Library, the author of this study received further information concerning the American Civil War episode from the Illinois State Historical Society in the form of a report published in the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society in the summer of 1953. This article, written by Earl Lutz, (Page 132.), entitled “Stars and Stripes of Illinois. Boys in blue” said :


enterprise - the newspaper produced by the soldier for the soldier - ... at Bloomfield, in the latter state of Missouri, (on November 9, 1861, members of the 18th Illinois Volunteers went to press with the first Stars and Stripes). Nine days later, Union inmates of the parish prison at New Orleans laboriously produced another Stars and Stripes by pen. Before the war ended, there were three more soldier publications bearing this patriotic title. Copies of the five Stars and Stripes are extremely rare. Of the Bloomfield issue, only one copy, at the Clemence Library of the University of Michigan, has been located.



The paper was established under circumstances as vague as those under which it ran. The newspaper business at home was filled with rumors that Bertie Mc Cormick, of the Chicago Tribune, was trying to publish an overseas edition of his anti-administration paper. About the same time, according to what spokesmen for the War Department said - and it’s probably true - the army realized that it was going to send a lot of Americans to Europe who had been used to their own newspapers. That realization coincided with the birth of an idea under the balding pate of Ensley Llewellyn.


Ensley Llewellyn, a major, an ex-Tacoma, Washington advertising man, had come to England to be a press censor. He began to think of an American paper for American soldiers abroad and talked about the Stars and Stripes of World War I. His “idea fell on receptive ears, which had already heard Mc Cormick’s strident demands”. About the same time, Mark Martin, a Des Moines newsparperman turned infantry lieutenant, was ordered to start a local paper for troops stationed in Northern Ireland. The progenitor of World War II’s daily established an offspring in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Plans were unified, and with Washington’s blessing, the flat bed in the printing shop of Hazell, Watson and Viney ran in Soho, London, from April 18, 1942 to October 1942. At that time, it was a sort of country weekly because there was no fighting in this area. The subscription amounted to eighteen shillings and included Yank, the army magazine.



Apart from the mimeographed newssheets composed by Charles Kiley in Sainte-Mère-Eglise from Friday, June 16, 1944 onwards, for which we do not know the number of issues published, and the failure of the Carentan plant, the soldiers in Normandy had to rely on the London Times edition of The Stars and Stripes, flown daily to the beachhead. The first issue was published on Monday, June 12, 1944. This was Volume 4, N° 189, a special issue entitled “Liberation Issue”.

It is known that the London Stars and Stripes was published six times a week. From Tuesday, June 6, 1944 to Monday, July 3, 1944, nineteen issues were published, from Volume 4, N° 189 to Volume 4, N° 207. The “Liberation Issue” was a special edition giving the news for the dates Tuesday, June 6, to Saturday, June 10, 1944. Among these nineteen issues, only two are eight-page papers. They are N° 189, the “Liberation Issue”, and N° 201, dated Monday, June 26, 1944, which corresponds to the American capture of Cherbourg, which, according to the SHAEF communiqué published in N° 203, Wednesday, June 28, 1944, page 1 : “(The fall of Cherbourg) ends the second phase in the campaign of liberation”. In this N° 201 is printed an important article explaining the GI Bill of Rights. These two events, the capture of Cherbourg and the GI Bill of Rights, justify the unusual size of this particular eight-page issue. The seventeen other issues were only four pages in length. The London Times edition was distributed through food and amnunition depots.


Although the “Liberation Issue” was the first Stars and Stripes distributed to American Forces after June 6, 1944, the regular London Times Stars and Stripes was distributed daily, except Sundays, as usual to other subscribers from June 6, 1944 to Saturday, June 10, 1944. The “Liberation Issue” was the only issue published for Monday, June 12, 1944 by the London Times Stars and Stripes. From Mr. Dornbusch, it is also known that Monday issues were regularly eight pages in length. It is not surprising, therefore, that the only two issues with eight pages are Monday issues, and their unusual size is explained by the fact that they were published just after D-day and after the capture of Cherbourg.



The rebirth of The Stars and Stripes in World War II was due mainly to the increasing number of American soldiers waiting in England or in Northern Ireland for the invasion of Europe, and that, for reasons of circulation, but also because The Stars and Stripes wanted to be  “a paper for Joe”, the paper had to send reporters wherever Joes were fighting.

This was why, prior to the invasion of North Africa, The Stars and Stripes was an Air Force paper, since the soldiers who were fighting belonged to the Air Force. But, with the invasion of North Africa, The Stars and Stripes became a daily newspaper, since the soldier-readers needed everyday information on the fighting on the African front. The different places of publication of this North African branch of The Stars and Stripes have been given earlier. When the imminence of the decisive offensive on the continent of Europe became known, the staff of The Stars and Stripes got prepared to cover the information on this great event.


It seemed likely that The Stars and Stripes would not be covered on the paratroop action whenever action started ... About the 20th of May, Bucknell disappeared from the office ... Just after one o’clock on the morning of June 6, Phil Bucknell spilled out of a C. 47 transport along with the men of the 82nd Airborne Division toward the blackened countryside of the Cherbourg peninsula.

Bucknell, an American who had spent twelve years on British papers, enlisted in the U. S. Army and was assigned to The Stars and Stripes, collected the first award won by a Stars and Stripes man on the Continent. It was a Purple Heart, for injuries in action sur le continent européen.

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