I’m in the process of going through various video sources to augment the notes I’ll give students over WWII. Let’s say the quality of what is available . . . varies widely. And some things can’t get through various filters.
So, I was hunting for newsreel footage of some things, and started hearing music playing in my head. And grinned, because I hear that music every single time I start talking about WWII in the Pacific. [Waits for OldNFO to flee]
Waaaaayyyy back when, when I was in grade school, PBS ran a bunch of WWII cartoons, “Know Your Enemy” films, and Victory at Sea. I remember sitting with my parents and Sib, watching every episode. We also watched WWII movies that came on the Big Three networks, films like The Enemy Below; Run Silent, Run Deep; Midway; Away All Boats; The Longest Day; Mr. Roberts, and the like. But mostly Navy movies. It it was a Navy movie, we watched it. Dad served in the Navy, had grown up sailing, and stayed “in touch” with his nautical roots even though we were pretty land-locked (Nebraska).
After watching the entire series, I can hear the opening notes and see waves rising and falling, and almost feel the ship moving beneath me.
“Beneath the Southern Cross” is probably the other tune from the score that many people have heard. Anything by Richard Rogers is good—some better than others—but he did a great job with this one. For some reason, I now link it in my mind with the version of “Poinciana” recorded for an Allied propaganda broadcast by Glen Miller just before he was killed. [Song starts about 30 seconds in, after the recruiting ad]
I also heard a lot of sea chanteys. So when I read about them being used during the efforts to save the USS Franklin, I could hear the voices in my mind.
For a very long time, to me, WWII was all the Navy and the Pacific, and some army guys doing something “over there.” 🙂