WWII and my grandfather

My grandfather died at the beginning of February so I want to do a story on his service as a doctor in the Navy in the Pacific (specifically Guam) during World War II. But I want to add a layer, from the perspective of my own father. When my father was a child at bedtime, his father would sit on the edge of his bed telling him stories from the war. This began my father’s interest in World War II, which he would play out in fields behind his house with his friends in a game they called “Troopers”. Since we only have 7-10 minutes, I think this will create a layer of the story of my grandfather’s Naval experience and a younger generation’s reception of that story. A sort of father-son story.

For the video, I will use photos and pictures my family have of my grandfather’s time during the war and any other pictures I can find from that era, if the Navy or other relevant agencies have made their archives public. As far as sound, ideally I would like to tape my dad and have him tell the story. If I use music, I want it to be subtle, but not sad.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
4 Responses
  1. lparks says:

    This is an awesome topic! I love how you are interweaving your the history of your grandfather’s experiences during the war with the memory of them as he told them to your dad. It would be cool if you could jump back and forth between your dad telling the story he remembers and what your grandfather was doing, kind of like in movies where someone starts telling a story and then it flashes back and shows the scene.

    For your photographs, the best place to get in touch with the US Navy Museum at the Washington Navy Yard. I know they have a huge photographic collection, some of which are already available digitally. They also might have some command chronologies or after-action reports from your grandfather’s unit, which you could incorporate as well. One of the MA students at Mason works at the museum and I’m sure he’d be more than willing to help you find what you need. You could also look at the National Archives and Library of Congress, because they have most of the Signal Corps photography from WWII, all of which is in the public domain.

  2. cwarburton says:

    Wow. Thank you so much. That’s really helpful!

  3. jjanes says:

    I really like how you are weaving a very personal story with a large historical event. I think that is a great way to give perspective on the war, and it presents a different way to tell this type of story. I really think you should convince your dad to tell these stories, since it is how you know them; it will give your project a good storytelling environment and will also show the viewer how personal this subject is. I also think that this is a really nice way to preserve some special memories that your grandfather passed down to your family.

  4. mbergman says:

    This is a great topic! It connects a personal story with a larger historical event and is very much in the mold of the personal/identity narratives we have been talking about all semester. I’m looking forward to seeing your video.