The Art of War

The paintings of Tom Lea, Life magazine’s artist-correspondent during World War II.

P-40s in China

November 18, 1943: “It’s cold as hell—I wish I had brought some warm clothes. I spent the morning with Tex Hill and his fighter group and made some drawings at one of his alert shacks. He has really got some good boys flying his P-40s. The charcoal stove in the alert shack was very comforting—it was miserable trying to sketch outside in the cold.” November 20: “I’m all squared away in China now and hope to leave here and go over the Hump to Assam tomorrow….If I do get my ride this will be my last night in China…. I am in no way sorry to go; yet I am sure that when I am on the other side of the world, the days I have spent here will rise in my memory, and I will feel around me sharp and clear the vast unbreaking tide of China’s life.”

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