Women’s History Month: The artist behind the Honolulu Memorial’s battle maps

To end this year’s Women’s History Month, the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) spotlights the woman behind the battle maps housed in the Honolulu Memorial’s pavilions.

Mary Morse Hamilton Jacobs, a well-known artist from Baltimore, Maryland, has twice redesigned the mosaic battle maps displayed in the pavilions at ABMC’s Honolulu Memorial, which honor the American armed forces who fought in the Pacific during World War II and the Korean War.

The first maps were originally designed by Richard and Carlotta (Gonzales) Lahey of Vienna, Virginia, and made according to an Italian technique which did not withstand the Hawaiian weather and required replacement. The four new maps made of precast tinted mosaic concrete and colored-glass-aggregate were designed and fabricated at Early Studios in Manassas, Virginia, under Jacobs’ supervision.

However, a major conflict was not represented and a new pavilion dedicated to the Vietnam War was added in 2012. Again, ABMC worked with Jacobs for the design of the conceptual art for continuity. Constructed by The Armbruster Company of Glenview, Illinois, the two additional maps honor the service members who fought during the Vietnam War. They show the overall theater of the war and major battles sites. Those mosaic maps are unique works of art, vibrant in color and in keeping with the existing t World War II and Korean War maps.

You can learn more about the battle map mosaics and the creation of the Vietnam War pavilion at the Honolulu Memorial here: Commemorating the Vietnam War at the Honolulu Memorial - YouTube

The ABMC’s mission is to honor the service of the U.S. Armed Forces by creating and maintaining memorial sites, commemorating their service and sacrifice, and facilitating the education of their legacy to future generations. The ABMC was founded in 1923 following World War I, and its 26 cemeteries and 31 monuments honor the service men and women who fought and perished during World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, as well as some who fought during the Mexican-American War. The contributions of women like Josephine L. Bentley and Cora W. Baker—the agency’s first two female commissioners – or Jacobs, and all of those who have served with ABMC over the last 100 years continue to move the agency and its mission forward.

Battle map of the fighting at Okinawa during World War II


Battle map illustrating the liberation of the Philippines during World War II
Battle map illustrating the operations against North Koreans during the Korean War.
Battle map illustrating the American ground war in south Vietnam between 1965 and 1973.

Sources:, ABMC Historical Services, Vietnam War Memorial Battle Maps (