NEWPORT, R.I. - NWC Museum Director of Outreach George Eisenberg has just celebrated his 91st birthday, but 70 years ago, as a recent graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, he, along with so many others of his generation, joined the Navy to fight in World War II.
Assigned to the destroyer USS La Vallette (DD 448), Eisenberg was a third class radarman (RDM3) whose battle station was on the starboard wing of the bridge. Over the next three years, the “tin can” was in the thick of the fighting, serving first in the Atlantic during the Tunisian Campaign, and then in the Pacific Theater where she saw her greatest amount of action.
While aboard the young Sailor created more than 360 drawings and paintings that documented the daily events of the ship and crew. The collection depicted the quiet moments of relaxation, portraits of his fellow crewmembers, and records of daily activities that captured the emotional highs and lows that existed on a ship at war.
Supplementing the artwork are other artifacts that give a broader impact to the experience.
Of this total collection, the Naval War College Museum, working with the Eisenberg family, has selected 76 pieces for an exhibit entitled,” A Sailor’s Diary: The Art of George S. Eisenberg, 1942-1945.” The exhibition is located in the west gallery on the second floor of the museum and will continue through July 1.
By John Kennedy, Director of Naval War College Museum Education