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Author Topic: Eastwood to direct WWII drama for Spielberg  (Read 56592 times)
movie_guy
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« Reply #100 on: January 05, 2005, 10:15:27 PM »

Lin:

Thanks - and it does seem like great news!
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Doug
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« Reply #101 on: January 06, 2005, 06:10:34 AM »

It's interesting to read that Eastwood will only be casting people 26 and younger in this new film. I guess that puts to rest the idea of Clint doing a film with Russell Crowe, since he's way over 26. That's too bad. I would have liked to have seen that. I just don't see that many good actors under the age of 26 working today, so I suppose that may mean that Clint is going to have to cast this film with largely unknowns. I wonder how that is going to turn out. 

I imagine it will turn out fine.  There are thousands of great actors waiting to be discovered, many of them 26 years of age and younger.  And thank goodness, Russell Crowe will have no involvement in this project --and hopefully none in any future projects of Clint Eastwood's! 
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« Reply #102 on: January 06, 2005, 11:21:33 AM »

And thank goodness, Russell Crowe will have no involvement in this project --and hopefully none in any future projects of Clint Eastwood's! 
Yeah I totally agree with you Doug ... Thank God ... fingers crossed, we're knocking on wood  ;)
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« Reply #103 on: January 08, 2005, 09:57:29 PM »

When I attended college back in 2001, I remember hearing about a little obscure book called "Flags of our Fathers" and how it was generating a lot of positive press by the media and the critics. A few weeks later, I heard that Spielberg and Co. bought the movie rights...and the rest is history.

Having been an avid reader of history, especially WWII history, I finally picked up the book and gave it a whirl last summer. To be honest, I found it sub-par in the "battle descriptions", but this is not a war book. A battle book is what you get an Ambrose book for (Band of Brothers, Citizen Soldiers, etc). What made "Flags" Stand out from the rest was the amount of heart that James Bradley gave the characters. The picture of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima in 1945 may be the most famous photograph of the twentieth century. Its fame was immediate, and immediately hitched to the wagon of publicity. The president summoned home the soldiers pictured to promote the government's final bond drive of World War II. After some confusion, the men were identified, but only three of the six flag-raisers survived the Battle of Iwo Jima. The survivors became celebrities. Bradley, the son of corpsman John Bradley, probes the nature of heroism--its appearance versus the reality. The reality was what happened on Iwo Jima: an 84 percent casualty rate inflicted on the flag-raisers' unit, Company E of the Second Battalion of the Twenty-eighth Regiment of the Fifth Division of the U.S. Marine Corps.

I remember a line in the book about one of the characters and how young he was...how he promised his high school football team that if they won the district championship that year, he would join the military and make his school proud. Well, the football team went undefeated and the very next day he and his teammates proudly joined the Marine Corps. Try finding that pride in today's society.

Something I will never forget, though, was a passage that the book's author wrote about this character:

"But it is doubtful in his short life that Harlon ever kissed a girl."

To me, that shows how young these boys were....17...18...younger than what you'd find in Iraq.

It is true that the book is more about the lives of 6 ordinary men tasked with extraordinary circumstances. As a matter of fact, very little is mentioned about the "flags" and that's a good thing because despite all of the glory and publicity, they were not the first ones to hoist that tattered flag on Iwo Jima....another platoon did it. But that's not the essence of the book.  I will warn you....there will be many groups that will boycott the film because of this.

btw...www.flagsofourfathers.net
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« Reply #104 on: January 13, 2005, 02:56:58 AM »

Jeffrey Wells:

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Clint's Furlough

After directing films for no other studio but Warner Bros. for 28 years straight (i.e., except for Columbvia's Absolute Power), Clint Eastwood will briefly jump ship when he makes his next movie -- a time-shifting father-son World War II flick called Flags of Our Fathers -- for DreamWorks this summer.

The film will be based on James Bradley and Ron Powers' book of the same name, which was published in 2000. It recounts the sometimes tragic tales of the six Marines who raised the American flag on Mount Suribachi (*) on February 23, 1945, during the American forces' battle for Iwo Jima against Japanese occupiers.

In less than a month's time (from 2.19.45 to 3.10.45), more than 22,000 Japanese soldiers and 5,391 U.S. Marines were killed, with an additional 17,400 Americans suffering wounds.

One of the six flag-raisers was Bradley's father John, a Navy corpsman who later received the Navy Cross for bravery under fire. The senior Bradley, who died in 1994, never told his family about his heroism, and only after his death did James Bradley begin to piece together the facts.
 
As I understand it, the film will portray the younger Bradley's investigation of his dad's experience in a narrative, non-documentary, actors-speaking-lines fashion, as well as the back-stories of the other five flag-raisers, presumably with the use of frequent flashbacks and whatnot.

Eastwood couldn't be hotter right now with the nominations and coming Oscar noms for Million Dollar Baby, etc., and it does seem as if directing a film without Warner Bros. funding for the first time in nearly three decades would be a milestone of some kind. But making Flags of Our Fathers for DreamWorks doesn't mean he's pulling up stakes.

That would be a significant story, but a guy who's close to the situation is saying "nope."

Eastwood is not acting, he says, on an alleged long-simmering frustration with Warner Bros. execs, including president Alan Horn, over their purported lack of enthusiasm for his making Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby ...although WB execs were naturally delighted with both after they caught on.

Eastwood's frustration was very real last spring when the Million Dollar Baby negotations were hanging in the balance and Warner Bros. execs were exuding, I've heard, half-hearted enthusiasm over the boxing film.

Nor is Eastwood venting, I'm told, over Warner Bros.' reported lack of faith in both Baby and the earlier Mystic River as indicated by the Burbank-based studio having allegedly sold off foreign rights to both films at a lower price than their U.S. receptions would indicate.

That's all water under the bridge, my guy tells me. Relations between Eastwood and Horn these days are pleasant and amicable, he says.

Eastwood, I'm told, will simply direct the Iwo Jima film, working from a script that was completed last August or thereabouts by Million Dollar Baby screenwriter Paul Haggis. He'll then return to Warner Bros. after Fathers is wrapped and promoted to make another Haggis-scripted film, the details about which my source was unwilling to confide.

The DreamWorks deal, which had its first stirrings when DreamWorks partner Steven Spielberg, who'd worked with Eastwood on The Bridges of Madison County in '95, sent the "Flags of Our Fathers" book to Eastwood last year, with urgings that he consider directing a film version.

Eastwood read it, liked it and approached Haggis to adapt it in January '04. The intention to shoot the film for DreamWorks was more or less decided upon, I'm told, before the Million Dollar Baby animus happened last spring.

Although a DreamWorks spokesperson told me yesterday that nothing is really in place on the Fathers project, the closely-involved guy says it'll definitely film this summer, probably on Iwo Jima itself and perhaps also on one of the Hawaiian islands (i.e., somewhere where there are black-sand beaches).

No Fathers casting or anything else is happening just yet. Eastwood and DreamWorks are "going over budget issues" right now.

(*) The flag-raising by the six G.I.'s was actually the second that happened atop Mt. Suribachi on 2.23.45. Another U.S. flag was raised around 10 a.m. by five G.I.'s, but the event was repeated for p.r. purposes a few hours later with a second flag (on top of a 100-pound pole) and photographers capturing it for posterity.

Explanation: Clint's Absolute Power ('97) was initially distributed by Columbia, although Warner Bros. currently owns the title due its purchase of Castle Rock...even though the 35mm prints still open with the Columbia logo.

www.hollywood-elsewhere.com

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...He'll then return to Warner Bros. after Fathers is wrapped and promoted to make another Haggis-scripted film, the details about which my source was unwilling to confide...

Just a rumor, but interesting. Another Paul Haggis-scripted film...
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« Reply #105 on: January 15, 2005, 01:05:28 AM »

Hey, Ben and everyone else...

First, thanks for sharing that bit of info - it's interesting!

I finished reading Flags of Our Fathers, and must say that if you haven't read it - DO.  As a former Marine and Pacific War history buff, there were about five or so MINOR details that were MINOR distractions (technical or editing errors) to me, but other than that, the book is flawless.

The story is absolutely the most poignant thing I think I've ever known, and it really doesn't "polish the image" or anything at all.  In fact, there were some parts of it that I thought were almost bitter toward the USMC and the US government, but such is life for a Marine.  Sometimes you just get tired of stuff and cop a little attitude.  So I see it was much the same, 40 years before I was in (I guess the traditions keep it that way!).

Anyway, DO read it.  To correct a couple things in the presented quote, I would like to point out these issues:
Although a DreamWorks spokesperson told me yesterday that nothing is really in place on the Fathers project, the closely-involved guy says it'll definitely film this summer, probably on Iwo Jima itself and perhaps also on one of the Hawaiian islands (i.e., somewhere where there are black-sand beaches).

An important part of the story is where they all came together, when they trained in Hawaii before they went to Iwo Jima.  This would be an important part of the story, as told by the author.  No love scenes, no room for Jennifer Anniston in the movie - but it is an important point where they all cross paths for the first time.  My guess is that the filming on Hawaii will all be done for that part of it, and the Iwo filming would be all done on Iwo - which is a Japanese military base island today, and regular civilians do not get to go there.  As an aside, after the month of fierce fighting, there were so many dead bodies, the US military decided they needed to control disease by killing all the bugs, so they covered it well with DDT, and today, there are STILL almost no bugs there; it's pretty barren.

(*) The flag-raising by the six G.I.'s was actually the second that happened atop Mt. Suribachi on 2.23.45. Another U.S. flag was raised around 10 a.m. by five G.I.'s, but the event was repeated for p.r. purposes a few hours later with a second flag (on top of a 100-pound pole) and photographers capturing it for posterity.
Actually, the first flag was THE flag - the battalion flag.  In the book, (I think it was) Admiral Spruance (maybe Halsey?) saw the flag at 10 AM and said he wanted that flag, so he ordered it brought back to him, and another flag in its place.  The first flag raising was when a few Marines went up Suribachi, throwing grenades into the caves, shooting attackers, etc.  The photographer was on a landing craft and missed that event.  The second flag was when Rene Gagnon brought a flag that had been salvaged from a ship at Pearl Harbor right after 12/7/41, and was being kept for posterity.  Rene Gagnon was ordered to make sure that flag went up and to bring back the other flag, so another group went up Suribachi, virtually unopposed.  When they got up there, there was no pole (the first flag was put up on a piece of pipe), so the guys looked for a larger pole, and found a MUCH larger piece of pipe - and it weighed about 100 lbs.  The guys fashioned a cord on there, and they were timed to raise the second flag as the first flag was lowered, and the photographers were there when it happened - and almost missed it.  It was NOT staged at all.  The weight of the pole, the size of the larger flag in the high winds, made it so the few guys pushing up the flag needed a little help, and a couple guys jumped in to help stand it up quickly and straight.

I have left out a LOT of details, but that was the deal - it was DEFINITELY NOT staged, and Mr Bradley absolutely debunks the claims that Rosenthal staged the shot. 

And after reading this bit of news, and seeing the other tidbits of info, and reading the book, I am absolutely convinced that this movie will be simply superb.  People will cry when they see it and feel like I did after I read it; I feel like I knew these guys.  And what's more, they WERE the guys next door - our friends, brothers, fathers, and sons.

And toward the end of the book, Bradley's daughter wrote a letter to his father that is very touching.  But you GOTTA read the book for it to make full sense of it.

Oh - and I finished the book on the way back home from California (Ironically, John Wayne Airport), and sat across the aisle from a very nice woman about my age, whose son-in-law was injured in Iraq and having some troubles sleeping.  Although my copy of the book was coming out of its binding, I offered it as a gift that she might read and share with her daughter.  They will most definitely be able to identify with the book much more than I - that's the kind of story it is.

Best wishes to all,
--RG
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movie_guy
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« Reply #106 on: January 17, 2005, 05:56:58 PM »

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« Reply #107 on: January 19, 2005, 12:06:35 PM »

I don't think it's a question of whether it was staged or not (I agree, it was not staged), but that everyone associates the 2nd flag raising as the ONLY flag raising, when it fact, it was the 2nd one to be raised. Also, the people who rose the first flag came under intense enemy fire doing so.

Regardless, they were all heroes in my book.
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« Reply #108 on: January 20, 2005, 01:12:35 PM »

It's very nice of you to have given the lady your book on the plane. I've enjoyed your comments, and please do feel free to come on back here and comment again. 
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« Reply #109 on: January 22, 2005, 09:36:52 PM »

I don't think it's a question of whether it was staged or not (I agree, it was not staged), but that everyone associates the 2nd flag raising as the ONLY flag raising, when it fact, it was the 2nd one to be raised. Also, the people who rose the first flag came under intense enemy fire doing so.

Regardless, they were all heroes in my book.

Yes, indeed!  I am absolutely 100% in agreement with you!  The first flag up was a definite fight to the top which we almost never get to hear about.  This book sure does tell that story, too.  Really, I also know the guys who raised the flags (both flags) were doing what they needed to do that day - as were all the other Marines there at the battle.

When you read the book, you get to know some of the other guys who didn't raise the flags.  One Marine was a particularly unusual young man, and his off-beat thinking was one thing that seemed to stick with anyone who remembered him.  It seems this youg man from Montana was a really big guy, and he didn't brush his teeth because he thought it would wear his teeth down.  His "thinking outside the box" was something that helped save a number of other Marines.  And, I might add, made me really think about some of the people I know who think a little differently, and confirmed that it may be best to let them do JUST THAT...  Who knows?  It could save some lives.

But, yes...  Most Americans think there was only one flag that went up that day.  In fact, in 1945, most people thought so, too.  I don't begrudge anyone for thinking so - it's easy to be misled by the "World's Most Printed Photo" and conclude that was what happened.  But this book describes what really happened in as accurate of a story as I could have ever hoped, and I REALLY hope the movie shows all of this.

Thanks,
RG
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« Reply #110 on: January 22, 2005, 09:58:32 PM »

It's very nice of you to have given the lady your book on the plane. I've enjoyed your comments, and please do feel free to come on back here and comment again. 

AKA:

Thanks - I think she really needed the book, right then; it seemed a bit more urgent than just recommending it, and she started reading it immediately.  I'm glad you've enjoyed the comments - and I do hope you'll get the book and enjoy it as much as I did!  I normally don't read books more than once, but this one was so good (in an unusual, unexpected way) that I am sure I will buy a few copies and share them - and I'll read it again for myself.  It's tough to set aside much time to read a book these days, but this one is definitely worth the time and money.  At about $15, it will give you hours of enjoyment, at a dollar-to-hour-ratio that no movie could ever give. 

Plus, after the movie, you'll also be able to sound like one of those snobs who always says, "Bah, the book was better..."  JUST KIDDING!!!!   ;)

Seriously...  A story this great, in book form - it's really THAT good.  And, the fact that Mr Eastwood is on the case, I am really confident the movie will do the story justice.  Better than the book?  I'd really doubt it, as a book can afford to print details that would cost millions to simulate on film.  Our imaginations can really make up a lot of the difference in a book.  But the movie will almost certainly be one of my favorites. 

Best wishes,
RG
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« Reply #111 on: January 23, 2005, 11:03:59 PM »

According to Variety Warners is considering co-financing Flags of Our Fathers with DreamWorks.
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« Reply #112 on: January 25, 2005, 01:18:27 AM »

BIG BIG PROPS to Brendan. Always first to find out, that is great info right there.
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« Reply #113 on: February 21, 2005, 12:40:58 PM »

Last Saturday was the 60th anniversary of the start of the battle for Iwo Jima. As 'Flags of our Fathers' gears up I thought you might be interested in this article from The Wall Street Journal:

Quote
  Iwo Jima
The famous battle offers lessons for us 60 years later.

BY ARTHUR HERMAN
Saturday, February 19, 2005 12:01 a.m. EST

Sixty years ago today, more than 110,000 Americans and 880 ships began their assault on a small volcanic island in the Pacific, in the climactic battle of the last year of World War II. For the next 36 days Iwo Jima would become the most populous 7 1/2 square miles on the planet, as U.S. Marines and Japanese soldiers fought a battle that would test American resolve even more than D-Day or the Battle of the Bulge had, and that still symbolizes a free society's willingness to make the sacrifice necessary to prevail over evil--a sacrifice as relevant today as it was 60 years ago.

The attack on Iwo Jima capped a two-year island-hopping campaign that was as controversial with politicians and the press as any Rumsfeld strategy. Each amphibious assault had been bloodier than the last: at Tarawa, where 3,000 ill-prepared Marines fell taking an island of just three square miles; at Saipan, where Army troops performed so poorly two of their generals had to be fired; and Peleliu, where it took 10 weeks of fighting in 115-degree heat to root out the last Japanese defenders, at the cost of 6,000 soldiers and Marines.

Iwo Jima would be the first island of the Japanese homeland to be attacked. The Japanese had put in miles of tunnels and bunkers, with 361 artillery pieces, 65 heavy mortars, 33 large naval guns, and 21,000 defenders determined to fight to the death. Their motto was, "kill 10 of the enemy before dying." American commanders expected 40% casualties on the first assault. "We have taken such losses before," remarked the Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Holland M. Smith, "and if we have to, we can do it again."

Even before the attack, the Navy's bombardment of Iwo Jima cost more ships and men than it lost on D-Day, without making a significant dent in the Japanese defenses. Then, beginning at 9 a.m. on the 19th, Marines loaded down with 70 to 100 pounds of equipment each hit the beach, and immediately sank into the thick volcanic ash. They found themselves on a barren moonscape stripped of any cover or vegetation, where Japanese artillery could pound them with unrelenting fury. Scores of wounded Marines helplessly waiting to be evacuated off the beach were killed "with the greatest possible violence," as veteran war reporter Robert Sherrod put it. Shells tore bodies in half and scattered arms and legs in all directions, while so much underground steam rose from the churned up soil the survivors broke up C-ration crates to sit on in order to keep from being scalded. Some 2,300 Marines were killed or wounded in the first 18 hours. It was, Sherrod said, "a nightmare in hell."

And overlooking it all, rising 556 feet above the carnage, stood Mount Suribachi, where the Japanese could direct their fire along the entire beach. Taking Suribachi became the key to victory. It took four days of bloody fighting to reach the summit, and when Marines did, they planted an American flag. When it was replaced with a larger one, photographer Joe Rosenthal recorded the scene--the most famous photograph of World War II and the most enduring symbol of a modern democracy at war.

Yet, in the end, a symbol of what? Certainly not victory. The capture of Suribachi only marked the beginning of the battle for Iwo Jima, which dragged on for another month and cost nearly 26,000 men--all for an island whose future as a major air base never materialized. Forty men were in the platoon which raised the flag on Suribachi. Only four would survive the battle unhurt. Their company, E Company, Second Battalion, 28th Regiment, Fifth Marine Division, would suffer 75% casualties. Of the seven officers who led it into battle, only one was left when it was over.

But the Marines pushed on. Over the next agonizing weeks, they took the rest of the island yard by yard, bunker by bunker, cave by cave. They fought through places with names like "Bloody Gorge" and "The Meat Grinder." They learned to take no prisoners in fighting a skilled and fanatical enemy who gave no quarter and expected none. Twenty out of every 21 Japanese defenders would die where they stood. One in three Marines on Iwo Jima would either be killed or wounded, including 19 of 24 battalion commanders. Twenty-seven Marines and naval medical corpsmen would win Medals of Honor--more than in any other battle in history--and 13 of them posthumously. As Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, said, "Among the Americans who served on Iwo Island, uncommon valor was a common virtue."

Yet even this valor and sacrifice is not the full story of what Iwo Jima means, or what Rosenthal's immortal photograph truly symbolizes. The lesson of Iwo Jima is in fact an ancient one, going back to Machiavelli: that sometimes free societies must be as tough and unrelenting as their enemies. Totalitarians test their opponents by generating extreme conditions of brutality and violence; in those conditions--in the streets and beheadings of Fallujah or on the beach and in the bunkers of Iwo Jima--they believe weak democratic nerves will crack. This in turn demonstrates their moral superiority: that by giving up their own decency and humanity they have become stronger than those who have not.

Free societies can afford only one response. There were no complicated legal issues or questions of "moral equivalence" on Iwo Jima: It was kill or be killed. That remains the nature of war even for democratic societies. The real question is, who outlasts whom. In 1945 on Iwo Jima, it was the Americans, as the monument at Arlington Cemetery, based on Rosenthal's photograph, proudly attests. In the jungles of Vietnam and Cambodia in the 1970s, it was the totalitarians--with terrible consequences.

Today, some in this country think the totalitarians may still win in Iraq and elsewhere. A few even hope so. Only one thing is certain: As long as Americans cherish the memory of those who served at Iwo Jima, and grasp the crucial lesson they offer all free societies, the totalitarians will never win.

Mr. Herman, a historian, is the author, most recently, of "To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World" (HarperCollins, 2004).

http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110006317
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« Reply #114 on: March 01, 2005, 04:00:50 PM »

Anybody got any updates on this project? O0
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« Reply #115 on: March 01, 2005, 04:15:01 PM »

Other than the fact Clint mentioned it as his next film at the Oscar press conference ........... 'fraid not .
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« Reply #116 on: March 01, 2005, 05:26:12 PM »

A film that has Clint Eastwood in it is always....always more enjoyable!!!
"Mystic River", as great as it was, didn't have Clint in it   :( so it is not a film I will be seeing again any time soon. "MDB"had our guy in it so this is one to see over and over along with all the rest!!!
 O0
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« Reply #117 on: March 01, 2005, 06:59:15 PM »

 :)Thanks aka, this is the story I have been waiting for. Not only did the duke do a great job on the sands of iowa jima, but now I can add Clints contribution of this war to my dvd collection 8)
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« Reply #118 on: June 03, 2005, 01:30:14 AM »

Found this nice little piece of news:

http://www.wishtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=3404383&nav=0Ra7aPmM

Quote
World War II Ship Might Go On Loan To Hollywood For Spielberg-Eastwood Film

(Evansville)  --   A World War II ship could debut in a Hollywood movie directed by Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood before finding its new home in southern Indiana.

Warner Brothers has filed a letter of intent to use the U.S.S. LST 325 in the filming of "Flags of Our Fathers," a movie that would be based on the James Bradley book about the famous photograph showing the raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima.

The August and September filming dates would delay the ship's arrival at its new home port at Marina Pointe. Evansville's mayor says the delay would not hurt area tourism as long as the ship was docked by October First. That's when the first LST-related convention was scheduled in the city.

The LST is identical to vessels built at the Evansville Shipyard from 1942 to 1945.
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« Reply #119 on: June 04, 2005, 09:35:32 AM »

 8)  Thanks, Brendan.  That's a nice snippet.

I found the Official USS LST 325 Memorial site

LST stands for Landing Ship, Tank.  It seems that during World War II, LST 325 was not used in the Pacific theatre, but in Europe.

Quote
LST-325 was part of Force "B", the back-up force for the troops going ashore at Omaha Beach on 6 June. On 7 June they anchored off Omaha Beach and unloaded the men and vehicles onto DUKW's and LCM's.

Quote
The day before the ship was to sail to the Pacific the news came that Japan had surrendered and the war was finally over.

But the same class of ship was used in landings in the Pacific, so that should work nicely for the movie.


Here she is in 1944 on a pre- D-Day exercise in England.



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