For sale is a 1956 “Trench Art” or Military Art, Sequestering Tent Maker Award to 1st Lt William J. Thompson, a US Army Ranger at the end of his German assignment with the 2nd Armored Division. This hand drawn military gag award was probably a farewell gift at the end of Lt Thompson’s tour. Every deployed unit needs a scrounger and apparently, Lt Thompson fill that role for his armored unit. Judging by the poster’s illustrations, he was from Brooklyn who unsuccessfully strived to be a ladies man. Lt Thompson’s wheel barrow includes nylons and there’s a frustrated cupid in the corner of the poster. The poster also hints that the Lt is more popular with the Grandmother crowd than girls his own age. This colorful framed military art poster measures 30 1/2 inches by 22 inches. A great military collectible from the early days of the cold war.
William John Thompson was born January 4, 1931. In 1949, He graduated from Ft. Hamilton High School, Brooklyn, NY. In 1953, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Regular Army and attended Ranger School. He was a career Army officer who served multiple tours in Vietnam. He retired as a Lt Col.
The commander who presented the award also had a rich military career. In 1940, John “Jack” M. Gaustad enlisted in the 36th Tank Company of the Texas National Guard. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the 36th was called into Federal Service. In 1942, after graduating from the newly created Officers Candidate School, he was assigned to the 3rd Armored Division at Fort Polk, Louisiana as a tank company commander. During WWII, after landing in France, Jack fought in the Battle of the Buldge in the Netherlands and also in Belgium, Germany and Austria. He was seriously wounded in Austria and was evacuated to a field hospital. After his wounds were treated he made it back to his unit, arriving just after VE Day. When WWII ended, he held the rank of Major. After the war, Jack had assignments at Fort Knox, Korea, Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala.; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; and Fort Monroe, Virginia. Jack returned to Germany in 1954 to command the 67th Tank Battalion of the 2nd Armored Division. During this assignment, on 29 December 1956. he presented Lt Thompson with “SEQUESTERING TENT MAKER” award. Jack retired from the Army in the rank of Colonel after serving 32 years. He and his family continued to live in Frankfurt, Germany while he pursued his passion of collecting Mettlach Beer Steins.