Guide to the United States Signal Corps Film Unit Records

Processed by T. Lewis
Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9010
Phone: (805) 893-3062
Fax: (805) 893-5749
© 2007
Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Title: United States Signal Corps Film Unit Records
Date (inclusive): 1945 - 1946
Collection number: Bernath Mss 139
Extent: .3 linear feet (1 oversize box)
Repository: University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Department of Special Collections
Santa Barbara, California 93106-9010
Physical location: Del Sur
Language of Material: Collection materials in English

Access Restrictions


Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.

Preferred Citation

United States Signal Corps Film Unit Records. Bernath Mss 139. Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 2005.

Scope and Content of Collection

This collection consists of a large binder containing caption sheets, critical evaluations, and other paperwork relating to films shot during 1945 and 1946 by soldiers serving in the U.S. Army Signal Corps film units, particularly one Sergeant William McClure. Events covered by the material in the collection include the war crimes trials of two Japanese generals, Tomoyuki Yamashita and Masaharu Homma; German atrocities discovered in Hanover; the liberation of American POWs; reactions among soldiers to V-E Day celebrations; activities of the Red Cross; the plight of displaced persons; the conversion of the port of Bremen for use by American forces; and even boxing matches held in Manila. Also included are several Motion Picture Coverage Reports, marked "Confidential," which discuss issues of technique while evaluating the output of the various film units; as well as copies of the newsletters Photo News, Front Focus, and The Pathe Rooster.
The caption sheets provide both specific information on the technical aspects of the filming and detailed descriptions of what was captured on each roll, including summaries of what the subjects were saying. Occasionally, direct quotations are transcribed as well. The evaluations deal primarily with technical problems, but also shed light on the Army's desire to maximize the propaganda potential of the footage while it was being shot.
The film footage created by the U.S. Army Signal Corps is now housed at the National Archives Special Media Archives Services Division in College Park, Maryland.