By WAYNE FORD Friday, February 20, 2015 –
A documentary on World War II soldier Damon “Rocky” Gause took another step toward completion recently, when more filming was done in Gause’s hometown of Jefferson.
The soldier’s exploits were told in the book “War Journal: The Incredible Journey of Damon ‘Rocky’ Gause,” which is based on Gause’s journal documenting his escape from the Japanese in the Philippines and his 3,000-mile trek to freedom in Australia.
“We met a lot of people who helped support the film; a lot of financial supporters and others who helped make this a reality,” film producer Tim Gray said by phone from Kingston, R.I.
The documentary is a production of the nonprofit World War II Foundation, of which Gray is chairman.
Gray spent Feb. 7 in Jefferson, where he conducted interviews and made video of some downtown Jefferson locations.
“We met up with Rocky’s grandson, Lance, who has all of the original photos and artifacts from Rocky’s World War II experiences,” said Gray. “That was so invaluable — like a treasure trove.”
The book on Gause was written by his son, Damon Gause Jr., who died in 2006. He used his late father’s journal as a basis for the book.
After Gause’s remarkable escape from the Japanese, he was transferred to the European theatre, where he was killed.
“It’s a great story. One of the best stories from World War II I’ve ever come across, so we’re excited,” Gray said.
The documentary will premiere in Jefferson near Veterans Day in November, but the venue for the showing has not been announced, Gray said. The documentary will air nationally on PBS during 2016.
Gray said he enjoyed his visit to Georgia.
“I’ve got a nice University of Georgia hat. I’m wearing it now,” said Gray, who said he considered going to UGA but attended a university in Rhode Island, where his father worked.
Gray is also working on a documentary about Denver Truelove, another Georgia native who was one of the original Doolittle Raiders who conducted a key bombing raid on Tokyo during World War II.
For the Truelove film, Gray filmed Vernon Carter of Jefferson, who was at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack.
After the war, Carter married the widow of Rocky Gause.
The World War II Foundation has produced 11 documentaries on the war.
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