The Doodler

Helicopter pilot Glen Opheim of the 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry doodled as a youth. He continued this pastime during his voyage to Vietnam aboard the Walker, putting his doodles on the metal overhead, or ceiling. In Vietnam he put similar graffiti on a board wall that separated him from a fellow pilot. Before leaving Vietnam he photographed his work, and recreated it on an original unused Walker berthing canvas for the Vietnam Graffiti Project.

Asked about the meaning of what he created, the former pilot explained, “everyone that did doodle did so and left their mark in a way. I was twenty-one years old and trying to be intense and deep and obscure and misunderstood and manifesting it with a ball point. There really was no emotional meaning behind any of the drawings I did.”

Audio Track: Doodling

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Exhibit Schedules

    Part of the Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam is currently at the New York Historical Society in Manhatten through April 22, 2018. Information about the full Vietnam exhibit is available here

    Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam will be open at the USS Kidd Memorial in Baton Rouge, LA, from October 27, 2017 through February 28, 2018.