In 1942 Jim enlisted into the Army and was assigned as a Captain to the 23d Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized. In 1945 the 23d moved through the European Theater. They arrived in Le Havre France on February 19 and moved into Kaiserslautern, Germany April 18. They committed to battle near Ingolstadt, Bavaria and subsequently pushed into Nürnberg and into Czechoslovakia by May 7.
Jim told a friend that he was involved in the Nürnberg Trials in a capacity that we do not know.
On July 2, 1945 Captain James S. Russell received a Citation for Bronze Star Medal for his service between February 19 and May 8, 1945. Jim was involved in making and breaking codes and other intelligence. His efforts and efficient manner in which his unit performed was largely responsible for the success of the squadron. From the Citation, Throughout this entire period Captain Russell inspired others by his devotion to duty and his quiet, efficient manner of performance.
It is interesting that Jim was adept at coding and code breaking since much of his future artwork would be based around and inspired by James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake that was a novel fully written as a code of sorts.
On the way home Jim made some photographs of the ship and the soldiers. Click on the photographs to open the gallery.