Public TV 13 travelled across the U.P., interviewing veterans, historians, and others who lived through the war. They talked about D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge, and the success of the submarine wolf pack the "Darter" and the "Dace" in the Philippines. Residents shared their memories as well as their personal photographs, which weaved with vintage newsreels and film footage paint a vivid image of victory and of loss.
Many viewers may not realize the important role the U.P. played in winning WWII. Upper Peninsula iron ore production went into jeeps, tanks, helmets, and guns. Workers at the Ford auto plant in Kingsford made 7,500 stealth gliders. Overseas, the 10th Mountain Division turned the tide in Italy.
According to Larry Chabot, author of “The U.P. Goes to War,” U.P. residents fought hard and died in nearly 46 countries, making WWII a costly struggle. On the home front, residents did their part by conserving resources and watching for air attacks that threatened the mines and the Soo Locks, vital to iron ore shipping.
Two Northern Michigan University faculty members contributed to the making of the program. Professor Russell Magnaghi from the History Department authored “World War II Comes to the U.P.: 1939-1945.” In the documentary he will talk about the victory gardens, the German POW camps in the U.P., and the soldiers on skis of the 10th Mountain Division. Associate Professor Marcus Robyns from the NMU and Central U.P. Archives will discuss the role men and women played in mining during the war.
Major funding for “The UP Recalls The War” was provided by a grant from the Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters; Henry Ebeling of Norway, Michigan; and the Cleveland Cliffs Foundation.
DVDs of "The U.P. Recalls the War" are available for $29.95 including postage and handling.