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Dashiel Hammett (1894 - 1961) had a pretty sweet resume by the time World War Two came along. He had a number of celebrated novels and short stories published as well as a few well-paying gigs writing in Hollywood. It was during this period, in the Thirties, that he had created some of the wonderful characters that are still remembered to this day, such as Sam Spade ("The Maltese Falcon") and Nick and Nora Charles ("The Thin Man"). During the war, it was rare but not unheard of, for an older man with such accomplishments to enlist in the army -and that is just what he did. This one page article clearly spells out Hammett's period serving on an Alaskan army base: his slow climb from buck private to sergeant, his discomfort with the brass and his enjoyment of simply being unknown.

Accompanying the article is a black and white image of the writer wearing Uncle Sam's olive drab, herringbone twill -rather than the tell-tale tweed he was so often photographed wearing.

Click here to read a 1939 STAGE MAGAZINE profile of his wife: Lillian Hellman.

     


A Writer in the Ranks (Yank Magazine, 1945)

A Writer in the Ranks (Yank Magazine, 1945)

A Writer in the Ranks (Yank Magazine, 1945)

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