Dwight Shepler was born on 11 August 1905 in Everett, Massachusetts. He graduated from Williams College in 1928. In 1942 he received a commission from the US Navy's officer-artist program and was initially sent to the South Pacific where he painted the landings at Guadalcanal and the Battle of Santa Cruz.
U.S. Navy artists, (left to right), Lieutenant William F. Draper, Lieutenant Dwight C. Shepler, and Lieutenant Mitchell Jamieson, conferring with Lieutenant Commander Parsons in the Navy Office of Public Relations, Washington, D.C., November 20, 1944. NHHC 80-G-47096
In 1943 he came to Britain to record the Normandy landings. First going to Northern Ireland in October 1943. Later he came to Cornwall to record the build up to the invasion. While here he painted several scenes in Falmouth and St. Mawes as well as elsewhere along the coast as far afield as Devon and Dorset. On D-Day itself he recorded the landings from the destroyer USS Emmons off the Utah and Omaha beachheads. He later went ashore to record scenes on and around the US landing beaches. Shepler then went home to Massachusetts to create more detailed paintings from his sketches and film footage.
Ancient Cornwall Watches
Platypus of Falmouth
St. Mawes Rendezvous
He later returned to the Pacific to observe the landings and operations in the Philippines. He again took all the images back home to create the last of over 300 paintings. He retired from the service with the rank of commander and was awarded the Bronze Star.
After the war he continued to paint landscapes, sport scenes and portraits in watercolour. He remained active in his later days as an educator and the President of the Guild of Boston Artists. He died on 2 September 1974 in Weston, Massachusetts.
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