Byrel William Burgess (April 5, 1914 - March 21, 1983), also known as 'Lefty' and 'Sgt. Crow' was an American career military engineer, as well as a comic and illustrator. Burgess was born in in Owosso, Michigan. In 1938 he was living in Flint, Michigan, where he married Evelyn Anderson and worked as a sign painter for the Works Progress Administration (WPA). He may have had as much as 1 years of college before entering the military. There is a great deal of confusion regarding the dates of his military service, as he seems to have repeatedly entered and left the army, but in general, he was consistently in the U.S. Army Engineering Corps from 1941 to 1962 and attained the rank of Master Sargent. In 1943, he was called to active service to fight World War II (1939 - 1945). He served in Burma and China under General 'Vinegar Joe' Stilwell (1883 - 1946). During his service, he may have met and been inspired by fellow pictorial mapmaker Frank Dorn (1901 - 1981), who also served under Stilwell. His first map, made around 1945, illustrated the city of Chongqing, China, where he was stationed on a covert base at the end of World War II. After the war, he was transferred to London, issuing a pictorial map of that city in 1951. Then to Frankfurt, where he issued his most popular and common map, the 1954 Sgt. G.I. Crows' Eye View of Frankfurt AM and PM, Germany. It is not clear if Burgess served in the Korean War (1950 - 1953), but he was in Seoul in 1957, when he he issued Sgt. Papasan Lefty's Map and Cartoon of the City of Seoul, with a Korean publisher. Around 1960, Burgess was in San Francisco, where in October, he filed copyrights for two maps, A Crow's Eye View of Fisherman's Wharf, Telegraph Hill and part of the Embarcadero and Nite Owl's Map of Chinatown and Nite Club Land. These may never have een published as there are no known examples. Burgess then relocated to San Leandro, where he contributed cartoons to Oak Leaf, the in-house publication of the Naval Regional Medical Center of Oakland. He then lived in Yountville, Napa. He was buried in the San Francisco National Cemetery. Of his several maps, only the map of Frankfurt is obtainable. His map of Seoul is known in only 2 surviving examples. His other work is known only from secondary sources, such as copyright filings and articles. As a pictorial cartographer, his work is significant and unique in capturing U.S. foreign military life at ephemeral historical moments.

Out of Stock Maps