How to Research: Photographs Relating to World War II Navy Ships

When it comes to research in the Still Picture Branch, our staff would agree that World War II photographs are by far some of our most requested records. Given their popularity, our How to Research posts are intended to be a quick reference guide, with some tips and examples of how to effectively search through our … Continue reading How to Research: Photographs Relating to World War II Navy Ships

Operation Watchtower: The Guadalcanal Campaign

Co-Authored by Kelsey Noel and Corbin Apkin.   This August marks the 75th anniversary of Operation Watchtower, otherwise known as the Guadalcanal Campaign. Operation Watchtower was a series of engagements between the Allied forces (comprised heavily of U.S. Marines) and the Japanese military. The campaign began on August 7th, 1942 with the first amphibious landings … Continue reading Operation Watchtower: The Guadalcanal Campaign

Lost and Found: The Story of ‘Lady Be Good’ and Her Crew

Lost On April 4, 1943, a B-24D Liberator nicknamed Lady Be Good took off from Soluch, an airstrip located near Bengazi, Libya, for what would be her first and final mission. During that fateful trip, Lady Be Good carried nine members of the 514th Squadron, 376th Bomb Group, 9th Air Force. Their names: 1st Lieutenant … Continue reading Lost and Found: The Story of ‘Lady Be Good’ and Her Crew

Christmas in Wartime: Battle of the Bulge

This post was written by Kaitlyn Crain Enriquez. **Edit: Seven additional photographs were added on 12/21/2018. ** In December 1944, American forces had been spread across a 75 mile stretch of the Ardennes Forest. The Ardennes was considered to be a minimal fighting area and therefore, the troops that had been placed in the area … Continue reading Christmas in Wartime: Battle of the Bulge

Photos from the Nazi Archives

Please Note:  This post contains images of sensitive content The National Archives has a large collection of seized foreign records. Within the Still Photos Branch, the vast majority of these records pertain to Nazi Germany. Notable series include photographs taken by Heinrich Hoffman, Hitler’s official photographer, and a number of albums from Eva Braun, Hitler’s … Continue reading Photos from the Nazi Archives

Louis Zamperini: The Story of a True American Hero

For forty-seven days Louis Zamperini drifted idly in the Pacific Ocean.  Armed with a few small tins of drinking water, a flare gun, some fishing line, and a couple of Hershey D-Ration candy bars, Zamperini and two other soldiers struggled to stay alive.  Their struggle was exacerbated by vicious sharks, blistering heat, treacherous swells, and … Continue reading Louis Zamperini: The Story of a True American Hero

Home Movies from the War Front: The First Fighters in New Guinea

This post was written by Criss Kovac. Criss is the supervisor of the National Archives Motion Picture Preservation Lab.  Home movies aren’t usually thought of as a rarity – especially these days as we happily capture our kids, friends, families, and pets on our smartphones-- but home movies taken during war on the front lines are … Continue reading Home Movies from the War Front: The First Fighters in New Guinea

This Week in Universal News: The Invasion of Poland, 1939

On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland, marking the official start of the Second World War. Sixteen days later, Russia invaded Poland from the east. By the end of September, Poland had succumbed to the dual attacks. The nation was divided between Russia and Germany according to boundaries established in a secret clause of a nonaggression … Continue reading This Week in Universal News: The Invasion of Poland, 1939

The Real Monuments Men

Nestled within the Italian Alps, in the small village of San Leonardo, behind the doors of an abandoned jail cell, sat some of the world’s most cherished pieces of art. Together with a nearby repository in Campo Tures, it was estimated that the hidden artwork was worth about 500 million dollars. That was in 1945. … Continue reading The Real Monuments Men