The World War II Exploits of Darby's Ranger and Combat Photographer Phil Stern

Snapdragon cover


The combat photography and wartime experiences of Phil 'Snapdragon' Stern, an iconic photographer of JFK, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean, published for the first time and beautifully presented.

Prior to Phil Stern's death on December 13, 2014, his original, unfinished, tattered wartime memoir was discovered, stashed away in an old folio box in his cluttered Hollywood bungalow. Best remembered for his iconic images, his remarkable service during World War II as a combat photographer with Darby's Rangers has remained largely unknown. Until now.

Stern's catchy 1940s lingo, honest and intimate observations, and humor, paired with his striking combat photography, transport the reader 70 years back in time to meet the hardscrabble Rangers and experience some of the key battles of the Mediterranean Theater. Snapdragon is an artifact of that time, told not by a man reminiscing in his twilight years, but by a young soldier fresh from the battlefields.

Table of Contents

Preface: The Discovery
Introduction: Back in the USA

Part I: The Beginning
Chapter 1: So you want to be a Ranger
Chapter 2: Onward We Stagger
Chapter 3: HMS Royal Ulsterman
Chapter 4: Shipping Out

Part II: North Africa

Chapter 5: Operation Torch
Chapter 6: Adapt and Prepare
Chapter 7: Don't you know there's a war on Son?
Chapter 8: The Pigeon and the G.I.
Chapter 9: Tebessa
Chapter 10: Sened Station Raid
Chapter 10: Kasserine Pass
Chapter 11: El Guettar
Chapter 12: Wham, I'm hit!
Chapter 13: Casablanca Hospital

Part III: Sicily
Chapter 14: Operation Husky
Chapter 15: Vincere “Victory”
Chapter 16: Postwar Life

Epilogue: The Final Patrol and Legacy

Product details

Published May 31 2018
Format Ebook (Epub)
Edition 1st
Extent 256
ISBN 9781472828514
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Series General Military
Short code GNM
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Liesl Bradner

An award-winning journalist with more than 15 year…


Phil Stern

Described by Vanity Fair editor David Friend as th…


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