In 1942, Victor A. Lundy (born New York 1923 to a Russian immigrant family), an architecture student at New York University specializing in the Beaux Arts style, enlisted in the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP). Established by the United States Army in December 1942, the ASTP served to identify, train and educate academically-talented enlisted men as a specialized corp of Army officers during World War II.
Victor A. Lundy served in the U.S. 26th Infantry Division during World War II… Excited about rebuilding Europe post-war, he and other college men enlisted in the ASTP. But, by 1944, with D-Day planned, the Army needed reinforcements, and Lundy and his company were thrown into the infantry. Lundy couldn’t believe it and recalled during an oral history interview that during lectures, he “never listened, I was busy sketching.” But soon, “I sort of took to it. … war experience just hypnotizes young men.”
Lundy recorded his time in the U.S. 26th Infantry Division in books of sketches, from training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, shipping out across the Atlantic from New York harbor, arriving in Cherbourg, France, to front line duty before his wounding in combat in late 1944.
A surgeon noticed his sketches while Lundy was getting treated for his war injuries (he filled up more than two dozen sketchbooks overseas, eight of which survived), and recruited him to sketch a new medical procedure he was developing, allowing him to miss eight dangerous months on the front.
“For me, drawing is sort of synonymous with thinking.” – Victor A. Lundy
“When I think thoughts, I draw thoughts.” – Victor A. Lundy
“Then, we’re in Cherbourg! And let me tell you, at that point, you begin to gulp, because I think it was in Cherbourg that we saw some of the real battle-hardened 4th Armored Division guys going there for a well-earned rest, passing in trucks and looking at us all squeaky clean.” – Victor A. Lundy
After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, he completed a degree in architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Winning the prestigious Rotch Travelling Scholarship allowed him to travel abroad. In 1954, Lundy opened an architectural firm in Sarasota, Florida. In 1967, the American Institute of Architects named him a Fellow–one of its highest honors. Lundy moved to Houston, Texas, in the 1970s. Among the notable buildings designed by this master artist-architect are churches with soaring roof lines, the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Tax Court, and the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka.
Retired and living in Houston, Lundy still spends his days painting and sketching, continuing to fill up notebooks with ideas and thoughts, as he’s done his entire life.