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Since 1988 a group of dedicated volunteer oral historians for the National Museum of the Pacific War have been collecting interviews from World War II veterans.  The collection, which contains close to 5,000 interviews, was used extensively in the groundbreaking new eight-part mini-series The Pacific War in Color from the Smithsonian Channel. The series premiers Sunday, June 24, at 8 p.m ET/PT on the Smithsonian Channel.


In each episode of THE PACIFIC WAR IN COLOR, viewers hear unvarnished first-hand accounts from the men and women who lived it, revealing their humor, fear and courage as they confront the limits of the human experience. As Executive Producer John Cavanagh shared, “The narrator can describe the nuts and bolts of history, but only the men and women who lived it can describe the experience.   It’s like a sports broadcast — our narrator often does the play-by-play, and the oral histories provide the color commentary.   We focus on stories that really bring a moment to life — what the war felt like, sounded like, and meant to them. It’s their stories that viewers will remember. The Pacific War is huge – we wanted to make it personal.”


From Series Producer Dan Wolf:

“We researched archives and museums all over the world for films, correspondence, and photos.   When we discovered the online oral history collection at the National Museum of the Pacific War, we were like kids in a candy store. The stories were jaw-dropping, and the sheer volume of material allowed us to find a voice for just about any Pacific War storyline, combat or not.  For example, I could keyword search “New Guinea” and pull up all the veterans who talked about their service there.  With the Museum’s permission, we made them our primary source of first-person accounts for the entire series.”


The National Museum of the Pacific War is always looking to add to our oral history collection in order to preserve the legacy of the Greatest Generation.  If you or someone you know lived through World War II and have a story to share please contact Archivist and Librarian Chris McDougal at or at 830-997-8600 ext. 264 to schedule an interview. You can access the digital archives at


The National Museum of the Pacific War is a Texas Historical Commission property supported, operated, and managed by the Admiral Nimitz Foundation

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