"Navy Day / October 27" Vintage WWII Poster by John Falter, Circa 1940s

This is an original WWII chromolithographic poster, designed for the Navy. The poster is by John Philip Falter and was published in 1940s by the Office of War Information.

The poster features a dynamic and artful illustration of three Navy Avenger Dive-bombers flying over a friendly aircraft carrier and a destroyer. The dive-bombers have the Navy Star insignia on their left wings. At the top of the image, in yellow script, is the text “Your Navy”; this is paired with “Spearhead of Victory” below. Along the bottom margin, in bold red, is the text “Navy Day, October 27.” This chromolithographic poster is signed “John Falter USNR” in the stone by the artist.

The first “Navy Day “ was celebrated on October 27, 1922. October 27, 1922 was suggested by the Navy League to recognize Theodore Roosevelt’s birthday. Roosevelt had been an Assistant Secretary of the Navy and supported a strong Navy, as well as the idea of Navy Day. In addition, October 27, 1922 was the anniversary of a 1775 report issued by a special committee of the Continental Congress favoring the purchase of merchant ships as the foundation of an American Navy.

John Philip Falter (1910-1982) developed his artistic skills at an early age, even designing a mural for his local soda shop when still a teenager. For a few years, Falter worked as a comic strip artist on a strip entitled Down Thru the Ages, for the local Falls City Journal, in Falls City, Nebraska. He expanded his talents at the Kansas City Art Institute. After graduating, he won a scholarship to the Art Students League in New York City.

Falter’s first steady job started in 1933 with Liberty Magazine. For $75 dollars a week, he was hired to create three illustrations weekly. Increasingly aware of the lucrative nature of advertisements, the artist began seeking opportunities for such work. Some of his regular advertising clients included Gulf Oil, Four Roses Whiskey, Arrow Shirts, and Pall Mall.

Falter was very busy in 1943. Following the onset of World War II, the artist enlisted in the Navy. He was promoted rapidly, while designing over 300 recruiting posters for the government. Many of them served domestic purposes and were geared toward women, like the WAVES campaign (“Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service”).


Original chromolithograph. Poster is in very good condition. Color is original and bright. Paper is healthy, with no tears, creases, or marks.

Poster has been archivally framed, in a custom hand-built black and gold wooden frame. Framed dimensions: 40 ¾”H x 29 ½”W x 2 ½.

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