WWII – As a historian, my personal interest is World War II. Not just anything about it, but any personal letters, maps, orders, documents, manuals and regulations, (ours, allies or captured enemy documents); personal photographs, booklets from graduations, post cards and base guides, like the item shown on the right, etc. and I’m always interested in momentos and souveniers that GIs brought back, especially if there are interesting stories behind them.
A few years ago I spotted a beat up old WWII-era 16mm Army movie projector at a flea market. The seller had inherited it from his brother, who had been a combat photographer in WWII and had the projector and three boxes of original films among his things tucked away in a closet. Well, the seller had thrown the films away in a dumpster in New York because he didn’t think anyone would be interested but kept the projector because he thought he could get a couple of bucks for it. Who knows what previously unseen historical footage went into that landfill.
As the Greatest Generation disappears, I hope to be able to prevent some of their stories from vanishing with them. I lost my own dad, a WWII Navy vet, in November 2011 – he was 95 and my sister and I spent a lot of time sorting through his personal things from his military service. They are really enlightening.
I’ll be happy to accept donations of photos and other documents, or loans with permission to copy and return the original. I’ll be happy to pay for postage. The example at the left is a personal photo that I was allowed to copy. It shows actor/comedian Jerry Colonna and others in a USO show on a Pacific Island . Click on the photo for an enlarged view and the back browser arrow to come back here when done. Talking to the vet who took this photo was an inspiring experience for me. For other unusual articles, I might be enticed to pay a nominal amount if I am interested, but I’m not trying to build up a collection by buying WWII items and I do not sell anything sent to me. Unfortunately most of the things for sale these days have lost their personal connection to someone. That connection is really what I’m looking for. So don’t throw it out or put it in a box no one will ever see and/or really understand. Contact me. Maybe I can help you preserve some memories. If I get enough interesting things and stories, I’d like to put them together in a book someday. Of course, I will only do so with your permission.
See the CONTACT JIM tab for how to get in touch with me.