Escape and Evasion Case File for Flight Officer Charles (Chuck) E. Yeager, 03/05/1944
On March 5, 1944, future test pilot Chuck Yeager’s P-51 Mustang was shot down while on a mission to Bordeaux, France and he was forced to bailout over Nazi-occupied France. His harrowing account details how he was nearly shot while descending helplessly in a parachute and narrowly escaped capture with the help of the French Resistance.
STARVE THE SQUANDER BUG. BUY MORE WAR BONDS
From the series: World War II Posters, compiled 1942 - 1945; Records of the Office of Government Reports, 1932 - 1947
Born 110th years ago on March 2, 1904, illustrator and author Theodore Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, designed the “Squander Bug” for World War II propaganda posters, inspired by a British creation of the same name.
During the war Seuss also worked on Army training films, such as those featuring the bumbling Private SNAFU.
Bringing Battle to the Home Front: With the Marines at Tarawa
Will you be watching the Oscars this Sunday? Did you know that a number of films produced by the United States government were nominated or won Academy Awards? One such film is With the Marines at Tarawa, which brought the experience of a major battle to the American public and consequently won the 1945 Academy Award for best documentary short.
With the Marines at Tarawa hit theaters March 2nd, 1944. Sunday’s Oscar broadcast marks the 70th anniversary of the film’s release.
The Unites States Marine Corps fought the Battle of Tarawa over four days in November, 1943. At the end of the battle, nearly a thousand Marines were dead, and over two thousand were wounded. Of those holding the island, there were nearly 4700 casualties. Only seventeen Japanese soldiers surrendered; of about a thousand Korean forced laborers, 129 survived the battle.
Beyond the strategic value of the victory, the battle is significant today because so much of it was caught on film by our combat cameramen. Seeing the footage made the experience real for those on the home front, and serves as a record of the horror of war for those of us who watch it now.
With the Marines at Tarawa was carefully crafted to bring viewers into the experience, from the somber mood during preparation, through the chaos of battle, the overwhelming sadness of counting and caring for the dead, and the sense of accomplishment as the American flag was raised on the island.
In addition, the film focuses on how lives were saved by competent medical personnel and the possibility of blood transfusions, a fact that would have provided hope to those with loved ones on the front lines. Viewers are left with a sense of grief, as well as patriotism in knowing that “our boys” were bravely fighting this “war we did not want.”
"Sounds harmless enough. Innocent stuff. But let’s take a look in, and find out what’s cookin’…"
Happy 110th Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to many as children’s author Dr. Seuss, was born on March 2, 1904. During World War II, Geisel contributed to the war effort through the production of instructional and cautionary cartoons featuring the negligent and aptly named Private Snafu, many with Seuss’ trademark rhyming and wordplay.
Watch more in the Private Snafu playlist on the U.S. National Archives YouTube Channel:
Notice to Aliens of Enemy Nationalities, 02/09/1942
From the series: Public Relations Records, 1940 - 1954; Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service
This is a Department of Justice notice directed towards aliens of German, Italian, and Japanese nationalities to apply for a Certificate of Identification by the deadline of February 28, 1942.
Red Cross workers assembled at the IP, Avenue C and 7th Street, Camp Patrick Henry.
Left to right, front row, are Edna Elizabeth Dick of Williamsburg, Kentucky; Mrs. Madeleine Carroll Hamilton; Marcia Hinrichs, Alexandria, Virginia. Left to right, back row, Megan Downey, Cleveland Heights, Ohio; Anne Hayes, Atlanta, Georgia; and Helen Hubbell, New York City.
Official photograph United States Army Signal Corps, Hampton Roads Point of Embarkation, Newport News, Virginia. 02/27/1944
Up from the Deep: Treating Records Salvaged from a World War II Shipwreck
Records recovered from the USS Peary, a World War II ship sunk Feb. 19, 1942. Can they be separated or not?
This World War I veteran wore his uniform to enter Santa Anita Park assembly center. He joined other people of Japanese ancestry evacuated from the West Coast during World War II.
Dorothea Lange took this photograph on April 5, 1942.
Just a few weeks before, on February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt had signed Executive Order 9066. The War Department used this order almost exclusively to intern thousands Americans of Japanese descent until the order was rescinded in 1944.
Today is the Day of Remembrance for Japanese Americans interned during WWII. Read more about the Executive Order 9066 on the OurPresidents Tumblr.
Image: National Archives, 210-G-3B-424
Today is the Day of Remembrance for Japanese Americans Interned During WWII
On February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 granting the War Department broad powers to create military exclusion areas. Although the order did not identify any particular group, in practice it was used almost exclusively to intern Americans of Japanese descent.
Although there were no reliable reports that Japanese-Americans on the United States West Coast presented a subversive threat, on March 2, 1942 the military declared California, Oregon and Washington State strategic areas from which Americans of Japanese decent were to be excluded.
More than 110,000 Japanese-Americans (64% of whom were American-born citizens) were required to abandon their homes and jobs and to live in 10 relocation camps.
The United States Supreme Court finally ruled that continued detention without cause was unconstitutional, and the military relocation order was rescinded in December 1944.
Japanese Americans near trains during Relocation. Circa 1942.
Baggage check during Japanese Relocation. Circa 1942.
Exclusion order posted at First and Front Streets in San Francisco directing removal of persons of Japanese ancestry from the first section of the city to be affected by evacuation. Evacuees will be housed in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration., ca. 07/1942.
Photograph of Dust Storm at Manzanar War Relocation Authority Center, 07/03/1942.
-from the FDR Library
Who were the Real Monuments Men?
German loot stored in church at Ellingen, Germany found by troops of the U.S. Third Army. 4/24/45.
Can’t make tonight’s The Monuments Men talk with Robert Edsel at the National Archives? (Watch it online on the usnationalarchives Ustream channel). Or want to brush up on your history in advance? Read about the real “Monuments Men.”
Made up of art historians, museum curators, archivists, and architects, the men and women from the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFA&A) Section of the Allied Expeditionary Forces, aka the “Monuments Men,” were assigned to protect Europe’s cultural heritage.
Learn about individual Monuments Men in the recent series on the Text Message blog:
- Walter Kirtland Hancock, Hometown Hero: St. Louis’s Monuments Man
- Ronald Balfour, A British Monuments Man Killed in Action
- Sir Charles Leonard Woolley, An Unlikely Monuments Man
- Walter J. Huchthausen, A Monuments Man Killed in Action
- Seymour J. Pomrenze, A National Archives Monument Man
- Mason Hammond, the First American Monuments Man in the Field
- Edith Standen, A “Monuments Man” in Germany 1945-1947
- Karol Estreicher, The Polish Monuments Man
- S. Lane Faison, An Office of Strategic Services Monuments Man
- Sir Hilary Jenkinson, An Archivist Monuments Man
- Walter Horn, A Monuments Man Investigator
- Douglas Cooper, A British Art Historian and Collector Monuments Man
Read up on the author of many of these pieces: Greg Bradsher: Monuments Men expert at the National Archives
More on the Monuments Men at:
- Media Matters » The Real Monuments Men
- Prologue: Pieces of History » Nazi Art Looter’s Diary, Long Missing, Found and Online for the First Time
- Prologue: Pieces of History » You won’t see this in the Monuments Men movie
- Monuments Men and Nazi Treasures by Dr. Greg Bradsher, via Prologue Magazine
- Hi-res and public domain images relating to looted art
- Dr. Greg Bradsher’s extensive online finding aid to these materials
- In 2011, the National Archives launched the International Research Portal to Nazi-era records, providing digital access to millions of Nazi-era cultural property–related records through a single portal for the first time.
- The Eisenhower Library has a number of records related to the Monuments Men.
Issued by President Franklin Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, this order authorized the evacuation of all persons deemed a threat to national security from the West Coast to relocation centers further inland. In the next 6 months, over 100,000 men, women, and children of Japanese ancestry were moved to assembly centers. They were then evacuated to and confined in isolated, fenced, and guarded relocation centers, known as internment camps.
The U.S. Government would eventually be compelled to compensate surviving internees for their treatment in 1988.
Executive Order 9066 dated February 19, 1942, in which President Franklin D. Roosevelt Authorizes the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas, 02/19/1942
Read more at Our Documents
It’s an evening dedicated to the Monuments Men on Wednesday, February 19, at 7 p.m. at the National Archives in Washington, DC.
Robert Edsel has dedicated years to painstaking research about the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program–the group known as the Monuments Men–and has written several books including The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History.
Edsel and a panel will discuss his books, the recent film adaptation starring George Clooney, his work as founder and chairman of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, and the work of the Monuments Men.
The panel includes Greg Bradsher, senior archivist at the National Archives and author of Holocaust-Era Assets: A Finding Aid to Records at the National Archives at College Park, MD; Nancy Yeide, head of the Department of Curatorial Records at the National Gallery of Art; Michael Kurtz, professor at University of Maryland College of Information Studies and former Assistant Archivist for Records Services at the National Archives; and Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, President Clinton’s special representative on Holocaust-era issues.
A book signing of The Monuments Men and Saving Italy will follow the program.
Image: Artworks that were confiscated and collected for Adolf Hitler, seen here examining art in a storage facility, were designated for a proposed Führermuseum in Linz, Austria. (242-HB-32016-1)
"Members of the Nation’s first Negro Navigation Cadets, who will receive their commissions in the Army Air Forces on February 26th, visited City Hall as guests of Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia this afternoon. They are shown on the steps of City Hall as the mayor greeted their commanding officer, Maj. Galen B. Price.", 02/16/1944
Before “Your Show of Shows”: Sid Caesar and the Coast Guard
Pioneering entertainer Sid Ceasar passed away earlier today, February 12, 2014. Learn about his early experience in the Coast Guard’s “Tars and Spars” troupe during World War II in this post from our archival blog “The Text Message:”
Not long ago, an Archives I reference staff member came across a Muster Roll for the USCG unit “Tars and Spars”–a touring entertainment troupe created to bolster the morale and support of World War II USCG personnel. In reviewing the document, the third name on the list was unmistakably recognized as a name synonymous with early television comedy: Sidney Caesar.
Record Group 26 (Records of the U.S. Coast Guard), Entry 108A: Military Muster Rolls, 1941-1949, File: “Headquarters Muster Roll, Sept. 1945”
A graduate of the Julliard School of Music, Caesar played saxophone in the 1930s with several prominent Big Bands including those led by Claude Thornhill, Charlie Spivak, and others. In 1939 he joined the Coast Guard and was assigned to play in military shows. After routinely displaying his comic wit with other band members, “Tars and Spars” show producer Max Liebman brought Caesar out of the orchestra and put him in the limelight of the show’s comedy sketches.
The series of Military Muster Rolls 1941-1949 (entry 108A) in the Records of the US Coast Guard (Record Group 26) serve as roll call lists of the personnel assigned to units in the Coast Guard, and each “muster” or roll call was taken once a month. The Muster Roll for the “Tars and Spars” for September 1945 documents that Sidney Caesar served the Coast Guard in the rank of Seamen 2nd Class. Caesar left the Coast Guard soon after this muster and went on to star in several Broadway and Silver Screen revues based on the comedy sketches of the “Tars and Spars” shows. Later, Caesar ventured into a new medium, creating and starring in the classic TV program “Your Show of Shows.”
Other famous people have served in the US Coast Guard including actors Lloyd Bridges, Humphrey Bogart, Buddy Ebsen, and Marlene Deitrich. For Sid Caesar, however, serving in the Coast Guard proved to be his big break.