Ernie Pyle Killed

Before he became a WWII correspondent, Indianan Ernie Pyle wrote a popular syndicated column for the Scripps-Howard newspapers about the lives and hopes of typical American citizens in the 1930s. In 1942, Pyle went overseas as a war correspondent where he covered the...

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Censorship WWII USA

This 1944 U.S. Army instructional film about censorship incorporates the humor, sexuality and racism of the time. During the war, U.S. government control of the news by the Office of War Information was comprehensive. All correspondence between active duty military...

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U.S. Pilot Defects

For years a devotee of the ultra-conservative radio ministry of Father Charles Edward Coughlin, a 23 year-old USAAF P-38 pilot named Martin James Monti defected to the Axis powers in October 1944. Why a young American might actually defect to the Axis is hard to...

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Japan Faces Defeat

  By the end of 1943, with no prospect of joining forces with its German allies who were being pushed out of Africa, and American forces penetrating its defensive ring, Imperial Japan was having great difficulty maintaining its distant holdings in the Western Pacific....

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Die Große Liebe

  Die große Liebe (The Great Love), which premiered in 1942, became the most commercially successful film in the history of the Nazi Germany. From the film's musical score: "Davon geht die Welt nicht unter" and "Ich weiß, es wird einmal ein Wunder gescheh'n" became...

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Censorship – USA

We were all a part of the War Effort. We went along with it, and not only that, we abetted it. Gradually it became a part of all of us that the truth about anything was automatically secret and that to trifle with it was to interfere with the War Effort. By this I...

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Mutilation of Dead Japanese Soldiers

Despite official prohibition by the U.S. military, some American servicemen mutilated the bodies of dead Japanese soldiers throughout the Pacific campaign. Body parts (mostly skulls and teeth) were often kept as “souvenirs.” Early on, this grisly practice was openly...

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It’s Everybody’s War

With patriotic music and narration by Henry Fonda, this short subject about the home front in 1942 is fascinating. The Pearl Harbor attack was  "stab in the back by an enemy we had tried to help." The fall of Corregidor brought the grim reality of war to America. Now...

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Bugs Bunny

This 1942 Bugs Bunny cartoon plug for War Bonds also embeds blackface comedy (still deemed politically "OK" at the time). For most of 1942, the war was not going well for the USA. It is likely that an American theater audience singing the national anthem at the end of...

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