In creating the landmark series WWII in HD, History conducted a worldwide search through archives and basements to locate lost films taken during World War II, uncovering hundreds of hours of rarely seen color footage. Today, much more video footage taken by World War II soldiers and reporters remains in storage, keeping memories and stories of the greatest generation hidden away.
History has developed the HISTORY Film Corps preservation initiative to help digitize and restore video footage taken during World War II. This community outreach project encourages families to gather the lost footage of World War II and unlock the history contained within these films.
Do you think you may have discovered lost footage from World War II? Submit a written description of these films to be considered for the HISTORY Film Corps project. Email the information on the form to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Film Corps.”
Here are some of our favorite stories:
Rick Conte was surprised to find out that his father–an Army MP during World War II– appeared briefly in a television documentary some 60 years after the war.
Albert Fagler’s grandfather was an Army Air Corps photographer during WWII and left behind film reels featuring dogfights and his own wedding.
Michael Curry’s grandfather was a medic during World War II and left behind meticulous notes to guide Michael through the films of his war experience.
Fred Linden’s father was a PBY naval aviator during World War II and left behind two reels of film documenting his service in the South Pacific.
Tom Southwick’s father caught amazing moments of life on a submarine on film as a naval photographer during World War II.
Dawn Letson befriended a World War II veteran who was a member of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) program, and shares her films from WASP training camp.
Jim Banks’ neighbor, Herm Graebner, shared with him the films of his journey through Germany and France during WWII.
The experiences of Bob Marken’s father as a chaplain during WWII are preserved on films he left behind for his family.
David Keran’s grandfather was an OSS agent working with the French Resistance during WWII and left behind films of his experiences.
Kay Nehring’s father was a pilot in the Pacific during WWII and Kay has found a home for his films shot during the war.
Kathy Wilczynski’s father was a veteran of WWII and was chosen to give the eulogy of a fallen soldier shortly after the war.
Judy Kent’s neighbor, George Dibbs, was a combat photographer follwing General MacArthur during WWII and shared his films with her.