W Eugene Smith British Sailor and First Soada Life 16th June 1941
W Eugene Smith documents the shore leave of a young British sailor arriving in the United States for the first time. He is shown indulging in gastronomic pleasures, unknown to a young man from ration ravaged Britain. In Washington DC he is seen silhouetted against the Lincoln memorial, a symbol of universal freedom.
The story appears in mid 1941, set against the backdrop of the Battle of the Atlantic. Gamester is a Royal Navy gunner on an oil tanker which had just completed the hazardous Atlantic crossing, under constant threat of attack from U-Boats. The convoys from the United States are providing an essentail life- line to Britain's war effort. Increasingly the US is being drawn into the conflict, as now their own merchant ships have become targets for the U-Boats.