Story Behind an Odd WW2 Newark Newspaper

by Nat Bodian


Four or five former Newark Evening News journalists had links to the European Army publication "Stars and Stripes." But insofar as I know, with my Star-Ledger experience, I was the only Newark journalist in World War 2 whose name appeared on the masthead of "YANK" - the Army Weekly.

I had been listed on the Yank Masthead from 1943 to 1945, gaining my first listing after my appointment as field correspondent by Major Hartzall Spence.

I was Yank's field correspondent during those years, but this assignment was to be in addition to my normally assigned duties, which included editing base newspapers at three Army Air Force bases in the South Atlantic, and subject to local censors.

Enter the Bugle

During my free time from my assigned duties, I also published a Newark NJ - oriented mimeo newspaper called the "Bodian Bugle and News." Because it did not deal with base matters or the military, it had pre-clearance for mailing to a circulation that varied from about 60 to 75 at various times.

The "Bugle" featured back-home happenings about wartime Newark and news from and about Newark friends serving in the armed forces around the world, each was considered a correspondent and expected to make submissions to the paper. Jerseyites on my bases also received copies of each issue.

The Bugle's news contents came mainly from Newark newspaper clippings or written word of Newark happenings sent by Newark family and friends, or from Bugle "correspondents."

The Bugle's motto, included in each issue, was "The world's smallest world-circulated newspaper."

Newark Reaction to Bugle

Under my entry, Revisiting the High Street "Y", is a reproduction of a "Friendly Letter" that the 'Y' sent to 2,000 former Newark 'Y' members in World War 2 service. Not shown, but following is an excerpt from the "Friendly Letter" of November 1943:

"Pfc NAT BODIAN has the distinct honor of publishing a paper at a USAAF overseas outpost, especially for his friends in the Newark NJ area, in the armed forces. It is called the Bodian Bugle and contains newsy news."

Wartime mayor Vincent J. Murphy, a recipient of the Bugle, gave recognition to the Bugle (letter - page 1 , page 2 ) and invited Bugle readers to visit him in the Newark City Hall when next in Newark.

In my entry "The Big 3 Department Stores" there is a front page of a Bugle issue published on Ascension Island. Despite its newsy look, that issue and others of the Bugle were published for a year from my Ascension Island base, a spot that John Gunther (Feb. 1944 Readers Digest) called "the loneliest place I have ever seen on land or sea.:

On Ascension Island, the Bugle had a circulation manager and a staff artist. The circulation manager was Ted Wardell of Chino, California. The staff artist was Jack Levine from Boston. As the illustrated Bugle page under the Bamberger entry (Bamberger obituary) shows, I later learned to my surprise that my staff artist was a celebrity.


Email this memory to a friend.
Enter recipient's e-mail: