THE WAR Pennyslvania Shared Stories
Credit U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

WPSU Documentary
"Pennsylvania War Stories: The Lucky Ones

The Pennsylvania State University ©2007

From the attack on Pearl Harbor, to the Battle of the Bulge, to the celebratory shouts when the end of the war was announced, "Pennsylvania War Stories: The Lucky Ones" recounts the stories of Pennsylvanians who experienced WWII firsthand.

The documentary weaves World War II era films and stills with personal accounts of life both on the home front and in the trenches. A veteran describes how young boys in his patriotic small town wanted to sign up and get into the fight—influenced by movie stars like John Wayne, and by government-produced newsreels. An airman remembers what it was like to be shot down, captured, and imprisoned in a German prison camp. One Navy man survived the Battle of Midway with only rope burns on his hands, while another dive bomber pilot watched the raging inferno caused by a kamikaze attack on his aircraft carrier.

For a war that took the lives of more than 400,000 Americans, including over 26,000 Pennsylvanians, these remaining veterans remember the epic event.

The Pennsylvania Military Museum provided photographs and 8mm movies of Pennsylvania's own 28th Infantry Division as well as information. Special Collections at the Pennsylvania State University Libraries also provided home movies and a collection of 16mm newsreel films from the 8th Air Force Archives.

Watch the documentary on Penn State On Demand.