Five D-Day veterans return to Normandy and re-visit the locations they landed on June 6, 1944, sharing their own very personal stories of war. New England region Emmy Awards for writing and photography. Airing on American Public Television.
Chronicles the building and dedication of the first-ever United States Navy monument in Normandy, France. Dozens of interviews with Navy D-Day veterans are included. New England region Emmy Awards for writing and photography. Airing on American Public Television.
Narrated by Dan Aykroyd.
Tells the story of an individual who owns the largest private collection of World War II artifacts in the world. Over 50 interviews with veterans and survivors of the war help tell the story of the meaning of the over 7,000 individual items in the collection of Kenneth W. Rendell. Airing on American Public Television in fall of 2012.
They were the “other” Band of Brothers. A Company of Heroes features interviews with many of the men not focused on in the book “Band of Brothers” by Stephen Ambrose or in the television mini-series by the same name. Never before seen video and photos are also included in this film.
We follow 94 year old 82nd Airborne veteran James “Maggie” Megellas from Wisconsin to Europe where he fought in some of the most savage battles of World War II. “Maggie” is the most decorated officer in the history of the famed 82nd Airborne Division.
Narrated by 2012 Emmy Award-winner Damian Lewis, who played Richard D. Winters in HBO’s Band of Brothers.
Tells the story of the building and dedication of the Richard D. Winters Leadership monument in Normandy, France in June of 2012. The film focuses on the leader of World War II’s “Band of Brothers” and the leadership skills he possessed. A never before seen interview with the late Major Winters is utilized, as well as interviews with the “Band of Brothers” who are still alive. The film also touches on the relationship the Major had with those in Normandy post-WWII, including the family who has owned Brecourt Manor for centuries. Brecourt was the location of famed assault (then) Lt. Winters led on D-Day to take out the four German 105mm guns firing on American troops landing on Utah Beach.
We re-trace the steps of Holocaust survivor Israel Arbeiter as he returns to Poland and Germany for the final time to look for items buried in 1939 in the basement of his old home in Plock, Poland as the German army advanced. We also travel with “Izzy” to Treblinka death camp where he parents and younger brother were murdered and to other camps, most notably Auschwitz-Birkenau, where “Izzy” used the motivation of his father’s final words to him to stay alive. He is also reunited with those who, at great risk, helped him to stay alive. A somewhat strained impromptu meeting with a former German soldier is also chronicled.
Two American 101st Airborne (Screaming Eagles) medics caught in a church in Normandy, France during the opening hours of D-Day. Outside a savage battle raged all around them. The church changed hands several times with American and German forces over-running the village of Angoville-au-Plain. Inside the small church the wounded wore both Allied and Axis uniforms and civilian clothing. The American medics, Robert Wright and Kenneth Moore of the 2nd battalion, 501st PIR, treated all who were brought into the 12th century Norman church, no matter whether they were friend or foe.
Films Currently in Post-Production
2013 Escape from Davao
Based on the book by John D. Lukacs.
Narrated by Dale Dye (Saving Private Ryan, Platoon, Band of Brothers)
April 4, 1943, ten American prisoners of war and two Filipino convicts executed a daring escape from one of Japan’s most notorious prison camps. The prisoners were survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March and the Fall of Corregidor, and the prison from which they escaped was surrounded by an impenetrable swamp and reputedly escape-proof. Theirs was the only successful group escape from a Japanese POW camp during the Pacific war. Escape from Davao is the story of one of the most remarkable incidents in the Second World War and of what happened when the Americans returned home to tell the world what they had witnessed.
Davao Penal Colony, on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, was a prison plantation where thousands of American POWs toiled alongside Filipino criminals and suffered from tropical diseases and malnutrition, as well as the cruelty of their captors. The American servicemen were rotting in a hellhole from which escape was considered impossible, but ten of them, realizing that inaction meant certain death, planned to escape. Their bold plan succeeded with the help of Filipino allies, both patriots and the guerrillas who fought the Japanese sent to recapture them.
Their trek to freedom repeatedly put the Americans in jeopardy, yet they eventually succeeded in returning home to the United States to fulfill their self-appointed mission: to tell Americans about Japanese atrocities and to rally the country to the plight of their comrades still in captivity. But the government and the military had a different timetable for the liberation of the Philippines and ordered the men to remain silent. Their testimony, when it finally emerged, galvanized the nation behind the Pacific war effort and made the men celebrities.
2014 Above and Beyond
The incredible World War II story of former Rhode Island Governor Bruce Sundlun.
During overseas active duty beginning in June 1943, Sundlun served as a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot in the England-based 384th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force at Grafton-Underwood Air Base. His plane the Damn Yankee was shot down over Nazi-occupied Jabbeke, Belgium on 1 December 1943 after the plane was damaged by flak during the bombing of Solingen, Germany, on his 13th mission.
After six months time cooperating with the French Resistance under the code name Salamander, he made several attempts to enter Spain near Biarritz, and later near Foix. But after deciding that there was too much danger of capture or loss in the snowy Pyrenees, he made his way on stolen bicycles north-eastward across France and escaped into Switzerland on 5 May 1944 near Fêche-l’Église.
Before escaping into Switzerland, he was engaged with the Maquis in acts of sabotage near Belfort against German Army units under the command of Russian defector General Andrey Vlasov. Later, he was recruited by Allen Dulles working out of the U.S. Embassy in Bern to reenter France under the auspices of the Office of Strategic Services to act as a bombardment spotter for the Allied invasion of Marseilles in August 1944.
Additional source: Wikipedia.
2014 War Brides
Love, War and an Act of Congress
“Not since the 1920’s had so many people, particularly women, immigrated to America in such a short period of time. These war brides came here not seeking economic opportunity nor religious or political freedom, they are unique among other great waves of immigrants. They left their countries not for greener pastures, but for the love of US Servicemen and US Servicewomen.” (Martin Nobida, The Campbell Reporter, June 1, 2005.)
Because war brides scattered when they arrived, not clustering, as other immigrant groups commonly did in Little Italys’ or Chinatowns or in any one social strata, historians have largely overlooked them.”
They met in wartime, then fell in love. And though it’s been 67 years since the War Brides Act passed, the women who followed U.S. GIs home after World War II remember the romances — and sacrifices — as if they were yesterday.