An archive of 3D foam maps, photographs and documents from "Building 14," the Navy's top-secret World War II program to create three-dimensional foam maps to provide tactical support to U.S. landing forces in various arenas in Europe and the South Pacific. This collection includes four original foam maps, documents, original photographs, a project booklet and ephemera from one of the artists involved in the program.
The program was an effort to make 3D scale models of enemy terrain for reconnaissance, invading ground forces and aerial bombing. The program began in “Building 14” at Camp Bradford near Norfolk, VA and later moved to Moanalua Ridge above Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. It took three months to produce the maps for the Normandy invasion, and when all the sections were placed together the model measured 45 by 65 feet. This collection is rare and unique archive of World War II history from one of direct participants in the secret program.
- Four 3D foam maps, two of Angaur in the Palau Group of Islands in the Pacific (in varied stages of completion). One model map is in its "raw" form before color has been added (location unknown), and one section with greater topographical detail (location unknown - Normandy?). The sizes of the maps are: two at 24" x 17.5" (Angaur); one at 12" x 15" (raw map); and one with greater topographical features measure 7" x 7" x 1.25".
- A "Building 14" spiral bound booklet (38 pages), most likely produced after the war when the program was no longer top-secret, documenting the making of the maps and listing the participants in the program, with a photograph of each participant. The introduction/letter of appreciation printed in the booklet is by George Dunbaugh, Lt. Comdr. USNR.
- A three-ring binder of 24 original black and white photographs of the team working on the creation of the maps, and of various (recreational) activities in Hawaii. The binder also includes several commercially-printed photographs and heavy-stock printed photo cards that are possibly proof sheets from the creation of the spiral-bound booklet.
- Various Navy and VA documents for the program participant for leave, life insurance, etc.
- A folder labeled "Art App. First Session" of wartime magazine clippings of maps of Europe (1942-1944), the Pacific and other regions.
Condition Report: The completed map of Angaur (24" x 17.5") is in Very Good+ condition with spotting to areas of the ocean (visible in photographs). The second map of Angaur (24" x 17.5") is in Good condition with some cracking and chipping along edges of the map, and some scuffing to the map surface. The "raw" map is in Very Good condition with some aging and hardening to the foam along edges. The small topographical sample is is Good condition with some cracks to edges and surface areas of the map (visible in photographs). Some photographs and clippings have glue residue on the verso, otherwise Very Good. Glue residue has bled through onto the recto for some of the heavy-stock printed photo cards. Item #874.
Condition: See detailed notes above.