War Journal: Major Damon “Rocky” Gause
War Journal tells the story of one of the most incredible escapes in World War II. Two Americans, both escapees of Bataan, Damon Gause from Corregidor as well who, in 1942, in a leaky 20-foot fishing boat, escaped and sailed from the Philippines to Australia and freedom.
It took Gause and fellow American William Lloyd Osborne 52 days and 3,200 miles to reach freedom. During the trip, the Americans faced typhoons, constant threats from Japanese ships, submarines and airplanes, lack of water and food and even a visit to a leper colony. When the two Americans arrived at General Douglas MacArthur’s office in Brisbane, Australia the only thing the General could say was “Well, I’ll be damned.” Narrated by actors Kyle Chandler (NBC’s Friday Night Lights) and Chandler Massey.
What makes this story so amazing is that both men kept a journal during their travels and also had a small camera on board given to them on one of the islands they visited.
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 strategy. 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 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.