Tuesday, September 8, 2020

See 12 Stunning Portraits Of World War II Veterans

As time passes we are losing the members of the Greatest Genereration who served and fought in our greatest war, World War II. 

So I was most interested in a fine piece by Meilan Solly at Smithsonian.com on photographer Zach Coco, who has spent  five years documenting the stories of more than 100 men and women veterans.

Growing up, Zach Coco’s hero was his grandfather Anthony, a veteran who served in World War II’s Pacific theater as a sailor aboard the U.S.S. Rushmore. Though the Los Angeles-based photographer had always wanted to interview his grandfather about his wartime experiences, Anthony passed away before he could do so. Faced with this loss, Coco decided to embark on an ambitious venture: namely, connecting with as many World War II veterans as possible.

“Each time I do an interview, it’s kind of like I get to spend another day with my grandfather,” he says.

Five years later, Coco has photographed and interviewed more than 100 men and women who served during World War II. In 2019, he published a selection of these portraits and testimonies through his nonprofit organization, Pictures for Heroes. (The book is available for purchase via the project’s website, https://picturesforheroes.com/book/wwii-heroes-book)

Smithsonian spoke with Coco to learn more about his project—and the individuals he’s dedicated his life to honoring. The photographer also shared a selection of 12 portraits featured in the book..

 What have you learned from your discussions with these men and women?

I’​ve learned so much more about the war in general and how multifaceted and involved the entire thing was. When I was in school, they just touched on the big events, like Pearl Harbor and the atomic bomb. You don't really get to do a deep dive into a lot of that stuff, so just learning about things that I had no idea had even happened was fascinating.

 You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Note: The top photo is of Anthony D’Acquisto, who joined the Navy at age 17 and served aboard the U.S.S. Randolph, participating in the battles of Okinawa and Iwo Jima.

The above photo shows Zach Coco (right) posing with World War II veteran E.T. Roberts.

And below are two old photos of another WWII veteran, my late father, Edward Miller Davis, who was a chief UDT frogman in the Pacific. 

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