Spotlight: Remembering Ernie Pyle

On April 18th, 1945, war correspondent Ernie Pyle was killed by enemy fire on  Iejima* during the Battle of Okinawa. At the time of his death, Pyle, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, was well-known for his intimate and personal storytelling that highlighted the experiences of the "average" soldier. Pyle was able to tell the stories … Continue reading Spotlight: Remembering Ernie Pyle

“Tunisian Victory”: Operation Torch Gets the Hollywood Treatment

This post was written with Heidi Holmstrom. In the spring of 1943, Frank Capra, Hollywood director and colonel in the Army Signal Corps, began work on a film about the Allied campaign to take North Africa. The stakes were high—the film needed to demonstrate the strength of the Anglo-American relationship and build support among the … Continue reading “Tunisian Victory”: Operation Torch Gets the Hollywood Treatment

Shooting World War I: The History of the Army Signal Corps Cameramen, 1917-1918

For the past two years, the National Archives Motion Picture Preservation Lab has been digitizing a series of Army Signal Corps films as part of a larger project to commemorate the centennial of World War I. Meanwhile, technicians from the Still Pictures Branch and the Digitization Division have scanned tens of thousands of Signal Corps … Continue reading Shooting World War I: The History of the Army Signal Corps Cameramen, 1917-1918

John Ford and the First Battlefront of World War II

John Ford’s War Mention John Ford’s name today, and most people think of Westerns. Stagecoach, Fort Apache, or The Searchers might come to mind. But Ford actually directed a lot of films that weren’t Westerns, not the least of which were made while serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. While no one … Continue reading John Ford and the First Battlefront of World War II

Mechanical Computers and Sound Collectors: World War I Anti-Aircraft Technology

This post was written by Harry Snodgrass. Harry is working on a project to preserve and digitize World War I and World War II films and photographs. As we remember and applaud our veterans for their service on Veterans Day, I wanted to bring attention to a lesser-known film in the collection at the National … Continue reading Mechanical Computers and Sound Collectors: World War I Anti-Aircraft Technology

The First D-Day Documentary

This post was written by Steve Greene. Steve is the Special Media Holdings Coordinator for the Presidential Libraries System. Previously, he was the audiovisual archivist for the Nixon Presidential Materials. Despite being cataloged, described, and housed at the National Archives for decades, the films created by the U.S. Military during World War II still hold … Continue reading The First D-Day Documentary

Supporting Troops on the Homefront: The North Platte, Nebraska Canteen

The story of the North Platte, Nebraska canteen reads more like a Frank Capra movie rather than an Army film production. As the story goes, a rumor had started that a train carrying troops from Nebraska would be arriving at North Platte on Christmas Day 1941. About five hundred townspeople came to greet the train bearing food and … Continue reading Supporting Troops on the Homefront: The North Platte, Nebraska Canteen

Dr. Seuss Beyond Snafu: Your Job in Germany

This week, part two of our history of Dr. Seuss's service in Frank Capra's Army Signal Corps unit during World War II.  Last week we told you about Theodor Geisel’s work on the Private Snafu cartoon series, but his war-time service consisted of more than writing verse for delightful animated training films. One of Geisel’s … Continue reading Dr. Seuss Beyond Snafu: Your Job in Germany