Howell Dodd: Illustrator and war correspondent
I picked up a collection of WWII uniforms a while ago, and one of them intrigued me. He had the War Correspondent badge on the jacket sleeves and a painted helmet with “WAR CORRESPONDENT/US” painted on the front and “DODD” on the right side. War correspondent gear is pretty rare, so it definitely caught my eye. I loaded it up with the rest of the gear and took it back to the office. It took a few weeks before I had a chance to sit down and spend some time watching it.
The group consisted of the helmet and a Model 1941 field jacket as I mentioned, but there was also an Eisenhower jacket with the correspondent’s badge, as well as a side cap with the same badge. But the M1 fixed bullet helmet intrigued me because it was named on the right side. I pulled out the liner and saw that the front was marked with the same hand-painted correspondent’s badge. It was also branded on the front inside edge of the helmet shell with the same “-HOWELL-/DODD/WAR CORRESPONDENT” paint, which was really cool! A quick search revealed illustrator Howell Dodd whose signature on his artwork is nearly identical to the signed helmet shell.
Howell Dodd was born in 1910 and is believed to have died in 2005, although there is not much information about his life. I found a few images of Dodd in uniform, including one with him wearing the helmet. What we do know is that his illustration work in the 50s and 60s is quite interesting. He did a lot of covers for Police inspector, true factual crime, and many other pulp fiction magazines and periodicals. During World War II he worked for the Associated Press in Normandy and made sketches and drawings of troops in action which seem to appear online from time to time. His work is really well done and his pulp work is racy at times.
It’s always interesting and fun to come up with a name and find out more about the soldier, or in this case the correspondent’s life. This helps breathe more life into items and makes them more collectible.