Earwitness Report

Many don’t realize the B&W combat footage taken by Marine cameramen were shot in color. These, then, were copied onto B&W 35mm format film for use in newsreels. However, the original color footage had no sound. Any sound you hear was added in after being transferred onto the B&W film.

As the author points out, this post contains REAL audio from the beaches. Excellent reporting by scared audiomen.

First Battalion, 24th Marines

Here’s a simply fascinating piece of history.

In addition to photographers and motion picture cameramen, the Marines also occasionally deployed audio technicians to combat operations. These guys (who were, needless to say, almost senselessly brave) carried bulky recording equipment into battle, sometimes even while wading ashore. The sound, of course, is tinny and crackly; the microphones weren’t equipped to pick up the thunderous drumfire of a bombardment, but you can hear rifle shots, machine guns, and the occasional *zip* of a bullet overhead as plain as day.

And the technicians weren’t just recording – they were commentating on what they saw, too, often with no more excitement than if they were describing a baseball game. (This, to me, is the most impressive feat of all.)

Here’s a recording from Iwo Jima – listen for the yell “Spread out, SPREAD OUT!” as they dodge incoming fire.

And here’s a famously dramatic…

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