First EditionJD Salinger's Rare yearbook of the army flight school located in Bainbridge, Georgia. A photograph showing Salinger with other graduates is found on page 83. Salinger was drafted into the army in the spring of 1942, several months after the US entered World War II. The war had a profound affect on Salinger. It loomed over him even before he was drafted: The character of Holden Caulfield was initially conceived in a short story about a disaffected teenager with "pre-war jitters". Bainbridge, however, presented a prosperous time for Salinger as a writer. He published several pieces while at Bainbridge in both The Saturday Evening Post and at Colliers, and for the first time decided to turn his short stories about Holden into a full-length novel. “This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise” one of Salinger’s most famous short stories, which is eventually adapted into Catcher in the Rye, is narrated by a young man “trying to keep out of the crazy Georgia rain, waiting for the lieutenant…”
Salinger eventually saw combat with the 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. He was present at Utah Beach on D-Day, in the Battle of the Bulge, the Battle of Hürtgen Forest, and in April of 1945 he entered Kaufering IV concentration camp, a subcamp of Dachau. During the campaign from Normandy to Germany Salinger arranged to meet with Ernest Hemingway and the two began corresponding; Salinger wrote to Hemingway in July 1946 explaining that their talks were among his few positive memories of the war. Salinger’s experience of combat permanently marked him. He was hospitalized for combat stress reaction after Germany was defeated; later he told his daughter "You never really get the smell of burning flesh out of your nose entirely, no matter how long you live." Biographers speculate that Salinger drew upon his wartime experiences in several stories, such as "For Esmé—with Love and Squalor," which is narrated by a traumatized soldier. In Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, he wrote, "I think I'll hate 1942 till I die, just on general principles." Rare yearbook depicting a young Salinger before one of the most profound experiences of his life. Blue cloth boards, 130 pages. Damp staining to verso. Light shelfwear. Binding tight and pages clean. In very good-to fine condition.