Willard Bowsky was one of them.
Willard G. Bowsky was born in 1907, the second son to parents Herman and Emma Bowsky. The Bowskys were married in the spring of 1898 and welcomed their first son, Merle on Christmas Day 1904.
During Willard's childhood the family lived on both sides of the Hudson River, jumping between homes in
By the time of Willard's tenth birthday they were living at
Bowsky began his work at the Fleischer Studios in the late 1920s and by 1930 had elevated to the level of a credited animator. His animation work can be seen in the Talkartoon, Color Classics and Screen Song (Bouncing Ball) films, but he is well known for animation on dozens of Betty Boop and Popeye cartoon shorts.
In later work on the Popeye films his work has been described as that of director, a credit generally reserved for Dave Fleischer. In any case, Bowsky was at least a supervising or directing animator, though he never received a credit beyond that of animator.
In the fall of 1938 Bowsky had relocated to Florida to the beautiful new home of the Fleischer Studios in
Early in 1942 Max and Dave Fleischer were gone and the studio was under control of
Motivated by a personal sense of duty (coupled with a possible disenchantment with the direction of the studio,) Willard Bowsky, unmarried at the time, enlisted in the Army on October 14, 1942. His older brother Merle had enlisted some time earlier.
Following training, Willard was assigned to the 14th Armored Division. He was a platoon leader with 50 men under his command in the 94th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron. He also made an artistic contribution to his squadron by designing the unit’s insignia (at left.)
The 14th Armored Division arrived at
Willard’s was among the squadrons that comprised The Division’s Combat Command A (CCA). They were soon ordered to advance into an area southwest of
He was awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart and is interred at the
We remember Willard Bowsky today and honor his service to his county, his contributions to the field of animation and celebrate the centennial of his birth.