Documentary Film Support at OPHF

Part of our mission at Old Primero Historical Foundation is to help make possible new documentary films that shed light on American military history and the men and women who made a difference in that era. Our interest is in preserving the history of ordinary people who served in times of danger and unrest. The story of the homefront and the battleline are interweaved into the fabric of American history, and OPHF is determined to bring those stories of the past to generations of new Americans now and in the future. Film is the media that can bridge the gap between the past, the present, and the future. Towards that end, OPHF has provided support for several films this year that accomplish that goal.

Patton and Pancho: A Clash of Cultures

During the first year of operation, the Foundation has contributed to the support of certain pre-production and post-production operations of several new documentary films. In March 2016, Patton and Pancho: A Clash of Cutures, produced by Old Segundo Productions, premiered in Tucson, Arizona at the Arizona Historical Museum. The documentary website includes a trailer and a host of other information relating to film's production, the history of Pancho Villa, the attack on Columbus, New Mexico, and on Lieutenant George S. Patton, Jr. and the military intervention into Mexico in 1916. The website also provides a donation venue for those who might wish to support the film and assist in making it available to schools, libraries, and other institutions for educational programming.

The website also presents a digital version of the 50-panel museum exhibit that also premiered at the Arizona Historical Museum, in conjunction with the film's screening. The event took place on March 9, 2016, exactly one hundred years since Pancho Villa's attack on Columbus, New Mexico. The OPHF is pleased to have played a small part in bringing these stories to life and shine a light on the people of Mexico and the United States who struggled to make the world better and find a place for the families. It was an extraordinary story, and the history of that time has lessons for each of us today as we struggle with issues on the border.

Fortress for Freedom: The 388th Bomb Group and the Air War in Wartime Suffolk, 1943-1945

On Veteran's Day, November 11, 2016, a new documentary film on the 388th Bomb Group (H) in the Eighth Air Force will premiere in Clinton, South Carolina. Titled Fortress for Freedom: The 388th Bomb Group and the Air War in Wartime Suffolk, 1943-1945, the documentary film traces the story of the 388th Bomb Group (H) from activation and training in the United States to combat operations in the European Theater of Operations during World War II.

Based at Knettishall, east of Cambridge in wartime England, the men of the 388th took the war to Germany. Beginning on July 17, 1943, the 388th flew 314 missions during three years of active operations. During the war, the Group suffered 91 aircraft lost, 524 men killed in action, 801 taken prisoner, and 2 missing. Supported by British families in the surrounding villages and towns, these young men of the 388th made a difference in the the victory won in the skies over Europe. The film is a unique look at the men who spearheaded the air war against Germany and the price that they had to pay.

Empire Marine: Littleton W.T. Waller and the Growth of American Imperialism, 1856-1926

This new documentary film explores the life of Littleton W.T. Waller and examines the role he played in the development and growth of the Marine Corps within the context of the emerging empire of turn-of- the-century America. Waller's service (1880-1920) corresponded with the growth of the Marine Corps and the exportation of American power in the 1890s and beyond.

His service included episodes of U.S. political and military expansion in South America, the Philippines, China, Panama, Cuba, and Haiti. Waller's experiences reflect the new emerging role that Marines played in the execution of American policy in the world.

As naval power became the accepted tool of expansion and a necessity for success as a world power, it became apparent that new tactics and expertise would be required to handle the demands of the new responsibilities of imperialism. Increasingly, the Marines were called upon to spearhead that policy of expansion and as time went on, were able to demonstrate the capability to achieve tactical and often, political goals. Empire Marine focuses on the theme of change and transition and illustrates how Waller's career revealed those changing roles for the Marine Corps.

The premiere of this new documentary film on the Marines and Waller is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 2 pm in Norfolk, Virginia. The Foundation is pleased to partner with Old Segundo Productions and the Slover Library in Norfolk, Virginia to present this new documentary on the American empire period.