Museum of the Gulf Coast will present Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam, a temporary exhibit of graffiti salvaged from a troop ship, June 6 through Aug. 30, 2015.
The General Nelson M. Walker was re-discovered in 1997 by Jack Fisk, production designer of The Thin Red Line and Art Beltrone, a military artifact historian, who was advising Fisk on correct uniforms, weapons, and equipment for the film. The troopship was in Virginia’s James River Reserve Fleet and contained intact berthing, galleys, and an almost-functional bridge.
When inspecting the ship for possible use in the movie, they discovered that many of the canvas bunks had graffiti drawings and messages written on them by troops going to Southeast Asia in 1966 and 1967. Also found were pieces of equipment, snacks, and personal items belonging to the men on the ship.
Their stories reflect the attitudes and events of a turbulent decade of the nation’s history – the 1960s.