Actor Jimmy Hawkins Talks About WWII and the Making of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ – Under the Radar

This 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition of director Fran Capra’s Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.  Jimmy Hawkins, who played…

Source: Actor Jimmy Hawkins Talks About WWII and the Making of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ – Under the Radar

In his Mind, He was There Again.

by Bill Archer

On December 7, 1941, my father was aboard the USS Hornet CV8, an aircraft carrier, out in the Atlantic on training maneuvers, having been commissioned on Oct 14, 1941. Later, on Feb 2, 1942, my father, Chief Aviation Pilot Woody Stone and Capt.Marc Mitscher flew a Grumman J2F-5 float plane from the Hornet to Wolf Trap, VA, to make arrangements for 2 B-25 bombers to be hoisted aboard and taken out into the Atlantic to see if they could take off from the carriers deck. The take-off was successful and paved the way for Jimmy Doolittle’s ‘Raid on Tokyo’ on April 18 1942. My father made shoulder holsters for many of Doolittle’s plane crews and traded a pair of his own flight goggles to the copilot of Plane #10 for his ARMY issue goggles as a souvenir. I still have those goggles.

As my father was passing to the next life 5 years ago, he had regressed backwards and one of his last physical acts was to act like he was climbing down the rope over the side after his carrier was hit by Japanese torpedoes. In his mind he was there again.


A Buck A Brat Dandelion Challenge


Veterans’ Day 2016

Veteran’s Day ~ Remembrance — Pacific Paratrooper

“FOR TOO LONG, TOO MANY OF US HAVE PAID SCANT ATTENTION TO THE SACRIFICE OF A BRAVE FEW IN OUR MIDST. IT IS UNHEALTHY FOR A NATION TO BECOME DETACHED FROM THOSE WHO SECURE IT.”_______Howard Schultz, author of For Love of Country I first want to give my personal THANK YOU to each and every veteran that fights for […]

via Veteran’s Day ~ Remembrance — Pacific Paratrooper


by Allen D. Olson

When Anthony Rizzo caught the ball that ended the game that gave the Cubs their first National League Championship in 71 years, my thoughts reached back to the evening of October 7, 1945, when my kid brother and I took a bus from rural Indiana to Gary to board a South Shore commuter train to Chicago followed by an “Elevated” train ride to Wrigley Field. I had recently turned fifteen; a day earlier he had reached age thirteen. We were going to watch the Cubs play the Tigers in Game 6 of the World Series, the first World Series after World War II.

We carried a lunch our mother had packed and wallets holding enough cash for train fare, bleacher tickets, and snacks. We were going to spend all night in line for next day’s game at 1:20 p.m. About 7:00 that evening., we found ourselves in the second concentric line around the ball park, amazed to find that not only had the people in the first line been there since the end of that afternoon’s game, some had been hanging around for a couple of days. Nearly everyone was equipped with blankets, pillows, umbrellas, and radios. We were only in street clothes and a light jacket.

Some of the more seasoned fans were kind to us, lending us a blanket to lie on and sharing some of their snacks. A number of them were veterans just back from the War, eager to see some baseball and to tell us that these cement sidewalks beat fox holes for sleeping. We did sleep off and on, at first taking great pains to secure our wallets but gradually came to see that the Cub fans around us were as trustworthy as family. Food and souvenir vendors were on duty all night, but their numbers greatly increased at daybreak.

People in line began to stir around 9:30 a.m. because the box office would open at 10:00.

Somewhat after 10:00 the line began to move. But just before noon, the line dispersed; word was coming along that the seats and standing room were all sold. There would be no more fans admitted, not even two disappointed rural Indiana teenagers.

We had come too far, however, to retreat home. Besides, there was a lot of excitement all around us, so we decided to walk clear around Wrigley Field. On Waveland Avenue, paralleling left field, we saw some tall trees across the street from the wall which was low enough that we thought we could probably see the playing field from the upper branches of one of those trees, not an unrealistic belief to a naïve country boy used to climbing trees. (more…)

Preserving the Bataan Death March Markers

Memorial Day 2016

A Newsreel Cameraman’s View of D-Day

The Unwritten Record

Jack Lieb went to Europe in 1943 with two movie cameras: He brought his 35mm black and white camera to film war coverage for Hearst’s News of the Day newsreels and his 16mm home movie camera to shoot color film to show to his family back home. After the war, Lieb edited the color footage into a film that he would narrate in lectures around the country, in venues as varied as the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. and his daughter’s fourth grade class in Chicago.

In the film below, donated by the Lieb family to the National Archives in 1984, you’ll see D-Day from a perspective different than the official military film or commercial newsreel. With his personal footage, Lieb takes the viewer through the preparations in England, where he spent time with war correspondents Ernie Pyle, Jack Thompson, and Larry LaSueur, to the…

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Help Us Celebrate Month of the Military Child

In anticipation of National Military Brat Day (April 30), the Museum of the American Military (MAMF) is showcasing Brats through two initiatives.

We’ love your participation in the following:


Send MAMF a postcard with your Brat memory on it. Please write only your first name, your years affiliated, your branch, and a short story or memory.

We will add the postcards to our Brat Display celebrating National Military Brat Day in April. Postcards will be added to the nearly 500 in our collection– they get scanned and posted on our blog and then are stored permanently in our Special Collections Library. We really need more Brat stories represented.

Postcards can be mailed to:

Museum of the American Military Family & Learning Center
PO Box 5085
Albuquerque, NM 87185

DANDELION PHOTOS for our Facebook “Garden”:

We would like a photograph of Brats holding a dandelion, real or otherwise. ( We’ve seen postings of paintings and necklaces and beer coasters and pins of dandelions that you guys own, so we’d love to post you with the item) Please send your digital photo with your first name and branch of affiliation to:

These photos will be posted on our FB starting 1 April and going through the 30th. Let’s aim for 100 photos from Brats!