Grandpa’s War Story Goes #Viral

1942 | War in Europe

THE FILM: Narrated by Liev Schreiber.

Social Media is an essential tool in telling the real-life stories of World War II’s Greatest Generation.

For Alaskan teenager Henry De Hoop, social platforms such as Facebook have proven to be an incredible resource in sharing his grandfather, James Schmidt’s story, with a global audience.

Jim Schmidt, like 16 million others of his generation, served in World War II.

But the war journey of Henry’s granddad is anything but routine. It’s unlike anything most of us have ever heard or even thought possible. Jim Schmidt was keeping a big secret from the military and from his family too.

This incredible journey begins in a movie theater in 1942 with the film Parachute Battalion playing on the big screen in San Rafael, California. The United States is now at war on two fronts.

The story continues after World War II in Korea at the infamous frozen Chosin Reservoir.

It ends in the sweltering jungles of Vietnam more than two decades after WWII is over.

To use a 21st Century expression: Grandpa’s War Story is About to Go #Viral thanks to Jim Schmidt’s social media savvy grandson Henry De Hoop.

And what an amazing story it is!


Each of our documentary films has a corresponding quiz or essay question for use in the classroom by teachers and educators.

We encourage you to choose one of the PDFs below that is the best match for your students. It’s up to each educator if you would like to offer either the exam or the one-question essay. An answer sheet corresponds with each quiz.  Our goal is not to overwhelm students with dates, treaties, and strategies. Instead, we would rather focus their attention on the individual stories of the subjects of our documentaries. We find these visual stories to be inspiring, impactful, and educational.

We hope that after viewing one of our films, students will want to learn more about the personal stories of the World War II generation. Maybe they do this by reading a book, watching another documentary, or perhaps a full-length film.  Maybe our films will inspire your students to ask an older family member about their role, or inquire about another relative’s story, in World War II.

We recommend the below curriculum for grades 7-12 and college.


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