The award-winning non-profit World War II Foundation has begun work on its 15th World War II documentary film, set to premiere in Georgia on November 8 of this year. Following its initial showing, War Journal: The Incredible World War II Escape of Major Damon “Rocky” Gause will be donated to American Public Television as part of the educational mission of the WWII Foundation.
World War II Foundation films rank in the top 5 of most requested programs by PBS affiliates in the United States. To date, the foundation, in cooperation with Tim Gray Media, has produced 14 HD films chronicling the personal stories of the World War II generation.
War Journal is being narrated by Chandler Massey, 3-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning soap opera actor, Kyle Chandler, star of NBC’s Friday Night Lights (as head coach Eric Taylor) and Tom Kane, former voice of the Academy Awards and numerous characters on network television.
The film was shot by Jim Karpeichik and will also be edited by multi-Emmy Award-winner Karpeichik (Ocean State Video). Mr. Karpeichik is the Director of Photography and Editor for all WWII Foundation/TGM films.
“War Journal tells the story of one of the most incredible escapes in World War II,“ said the film’s producer, writer and director Tim Gray. Gray is also Chairman of the non-profit World War II Foundation and President of Tim Gray Media. “Two Americans, both escapees of Bataan, Damon Gause from Corregidor as well who, in 1942, in a leaky 20 foot fishing boat, escaped and sailed from the Philippines to Australia and freedom,” Gray said.
It took Gause and fellow American William Lloyd Osborne 52 days and 3,200 miles to reach freedom. During the trip the Americans faced typhoons, constant threats from Japanese ships, submarines and airplanes, lack of water and food and even a visit to a leper colony. When the two Americans arrived at General Douglas MacArthur’s office in Brisbane, Australia the only thing the General could say was “Well, I’ll be damned.”
“What makes this story so amazing is that both men kept a journal during their travels and also had a small camera on board given to them on one of the islands they visited,”Gray said. “So we have their daily thoughts and emotions to guide us during their long and treacherous journey, plus some incredible photographs that the men took on their trip,” Gray continued.
“We are also fortunate in that we filmed in the Philippines just a few years ago,” Gray said. “We have footage in Bataan, Corregidor, Manila and other locations where Gause and Osborne’s story actually played out. All the elements are there for a great film. One in fact that will be 90 minutes long, our first at that length, as all our other 14 documentaries have been an hour long,” Gray said.
Just this month the WWII Foundation finished its 14th film project titled: The American Saint Nick, filmed completely in Wiltz, Luxembourg. The film will air nationally in December.