More than two hours of rare films!
The First Fighter Squadron in New Guinea 1942-1944 (Color 30:00)
1981 retired Air Corp's Lt. Col. Ken Gerrish donated home movies he
shot during his service on Papua New Guinea between 1942 and 1944. As
Engineering Officer he was responsible for maintaining P-39s for the
36th Fighter Squadron and P-38s for the Eighth Fighter Group of the
Fifth Air Force. They were the first American Air Corps unit to
operate on the island. This is a unique “Behind the Scenes” look
at every day life on remote front line fighter bases, in this case
set in one of the most primitive environments in the World. The fact
that its in color makes it virtually one of a kind. You'll see P-39
Airacobras, P-38 Lightnings and B-25 bombers operating from muddy
airstrips carved out of the jungle, along with the men who maintained
and flew them. There are frequent contacts with colorfully dressed
indigenous tribesmen, AKA “Head Hunters,” who had never had
contact with outsiders at all until airfields were suddenly built
near their villages. An added bonus are scenes of Aussie infantry
who accompanied the 36TH FS when they relocated to a new base by
ship. Gerrish added music and his own first person narration to his
16mm film to create this presentation. The content has been edited
slightly here for brevity and to make it suitable for viewers of all
ages. A memorable account.
Film Communique 1943 (20:00 B&W)
Detroit - A huge marshaling yard is built from scratch in a
Mediterranean port where massive transportation crates are unloaded
from ships containing trucks, jeeps, bulldozers, road graders and
other motorized transport. The equipment is assembled on the spot by
specially trained troops and quickly sent on it's away to front line
military units. A “gearheads” delight.
Carrier Command - New Guinea Operations Airborne troop transport &
supply was vital for maintaining combat operations where roads were
few and combat units were isolated by mountainous terrain and dense
jungle. The remote airfield at Wau was a critical forward hub linking
New Guinea and surrounding Islands. See C-47s providing a wide range
of services, accompanied by P-39s to protect them from the constant
threat of Japanese fighters.
Price of Rendova A massive amphibious assault, supported by air
and naval bombardment is launched against the Japanese held island of
Redova, stepping stone for seizing the nearby airbase at Munda, on
New Georgia. After fierce fighting, and under constant Japanese air
attacks, patches of muddy jungle are cleared for 155m “Long Toms”
& other artillery that are used to shell Munda, across a narrow
strait, before it was attacked and seized by Allied forces. Another
now forgotten island battle in the Pacific that deserves to be
remembered because of the sacrifices that were made there.
World War 2 G.I.s “Baptism of Fire” (32:00 B&W 1943)
your first battle, your worst fight isn't with the enemy, it's with
yourself," is theme of this gritty, no holds barred World War 2
training film, nominated for an Academy Award in 1944. Tens of
thousands of American "citizen soldiers" were going into
combat against a determined enemy for the first time. It was only
natural to have fear of the unknown. How to forget all they had left
behind in civilian life and focus entirely on the task at hand.
Dealing with seeing comrades severely wounded or dying before your
eyes. Explosions and gunfire all around you in the chaotic fog of
war. Killing another human being for the first time. Fighting the
impulse to just turn and run away from the carnage and more. The film
follows three infantrymen into battle and records how each of them
deals with those fears, each in their own way. This film is not a
Hollywood glamorization. It pulls no punches in showing the horrific
experience of close combat.
Army- Navy Screen Magazine highlights – shown only to members of
the Armed Forces (1942-1945, B&W, 60:00)Attack
in the Marshalls In one of the first major amphibious operation in
the Pacific, the strategic Island of Kwajalein is seized from the
Japanese, a key airbase for the upcoming “Island Hopping”
campaigns using combined force. Lots of dramatic action at sea and in
the air, much of which you won't see anywhere elese.
in Italy American 10th Mountain Division troops train
for steep terrain assaults with an elite Italian “Alpini” unit
that had recently switched sides from Mussolini's Fascists.
Army Mobile American Expeditionary Radio Stations. AES trucks in
Italy were specially equipped to function as mobile radio stations,
broadcasting popular records, radio shows like”The Shadow” and
live USO shows with stars like Marlene Dietrich to front line troops.
They moved forward as the campaign progressed and were avidly
listened to. A taste of home.
- American and Filipino POWs are liberated and from Japanese camps
and interviewed after enduring extreme hardships,including “The
Bataan Death March.”
War Horses U.S. Army Railroad Battalion troops are trained at a
specially constructed base at Camp Claiborn, Louisiana, before being
deployed to operate railroads overseas, including maintaining a wide
variety of locomotives & rolling stock and quickly repairing
bombed out track & bridges.
from the Japs See captured Japanese films showing elite troops
being trained for amphibious landings before the Pacific campaign was
Fighting Dutch Thousands of Dutch soldiers, sailors and airmen who
escaped from occupied Netherlands or were stranded in the Far East
after the Japanese occupied Dutch colonies were trained and
organized into effective fighting units in the Pacific theater. Of
particular note was an all Dutch B-25 bomber squadron shown here
operating against the Japanese.
Day Pass in India” American servicemen & women who may have
never ventured beyond their town back in the U.S.A. are given useful
tips on adapting to Indian culture when they get some time off from
Was There A U.S. Army nurse describes her experiences during the
fall of the Philippines to Japanese forces, accompanied by vivid
Outpost Rare footage of daily life in an American forward
observation post in Northern Burma, set in almost impassible jungle
terrain. Elephants had to be used to get there and the base was
supplied by air drops. Their task was to provide early warning of
Japanese air attacks during the Burma campaign and the building of
the Burma and Stilwell roads.
Outpost After bitter fighting to take it from the Japanese, the
strategically vital air strip at Munda, on the Island of New Georgia
in the Solomons, was rebuilt using heavy equipment and subsequently maintained by the Afro-American 828th
The field had been destroyed during fighting and had to be rebuilt
from scratch. Scenes of a variety of construction activity & off
duty daily life.
Snafu In the Aleutians, Iles of Enchantment (Oh Brother!) A
humorous look at duty on the frigid Alaskan island chain. The Private
Snafu cartoon series combined slap stick entertainment with useful
lessons on life in the Armed Forces.