In 1945, as the last months of fighting in the South Pacific drew to a close, the radio section of the Division of Public Relations of the United States Marine Corps recorded a group of tired GIs as they sat in their bunks about 7,000 miles off the coast of sunny California. February 14 was just around the corner, and the fighting men of the First Marine division from Milwaukee, Wisconsin were given the chance to send valentines and love poems to their mothers, wives, and sweethearts back home. Their loving words, often stammering and always from the heart, were pressed into records and sent back to the States as rare audio messages. A copy was also preserved at the Recorded Sound Division of the Library of Congress. Marine Valentines is the result.
Recorded in the South Pacific. Premiered February 13, 2000, on Weekend Edition Sunday.
This documentary comes from Sound Portraits Productions, a mission-driven independent production company that was created by Dave Isay in 1994. Sound Portraits was the predecessor to StoryCorps and was dedicated to telling stories that brought neglected American voices to a national audience.