More than a handful of cartoonists, animators and artists of the 20th century got their start painting on duffel bags during World War Two. They often traded their skills for cigarettes and other essentials. We will likely never know who painted the pinup on Wild Bill's bag, but he did a fair job. Bill Guernsey kept track of his travels on the bag, and his visits to unfamiliar islands read like an index to the Pacific. From Guadalcanal to Guam.
Interestingly, the duffel bag continued being a part of popular culture after the war. Surviving soldiers who stayed in the Pacific after serving their country took up surfing, and the bags were soon as much associated with the sport as the war.
Hand painted and decorated World War Two Duffel Bag, circa 1940 Collection Jim Linderman