Friday, March 10, 2006

Bridge on The River Kwai - a Crossing


Vic Campbell, adjunct professor at SCCC released this month a DVD re-master of the historical documentary, "The Last Stand of USS Houston". The 2 part DVD includes the battle history of the ship in the early months of the Pacific War as flagship of the doomed United States Asiatic Fleet. After the loss of the ship (plus the US Asiatic Fleet and Allied Combined Fleet as well ) in the Java Sea, in March of 1942, the survivors were rounded up and placed into slave labor building the famous Death Railway in Burma ("The Bridge on The River Kwai"). The DVD contains "extras" that were not possible with the VHS version released in 1997. Of the veterans who appear in the film, few remain. However, Otto Schwarz (of Union, NJ), who was a 17 year old seaman at the time of the "Last Stand" is still with us, though severely limited by total blindness and adjusting to his new quarters in the VA Nursing Home in Lyons, NJ. Mr. Schwarz receives regular visits from Campbell, who keeps him supplied with DVD's to give to his friends and those who help him in his new life as a total dependent. The DVD will be marketed through Customflix.com, a subsidary of Amazon.com. More history about the USS Houston is found at www.usshouston.org. A few years ago, a graphics class at Sussex County Community College redesigned the website for the USS Houston Association. Prof. Campbell uses New Media in many of his productions. Some interviews from "The Last Stand" and other veteran documentaries (Battle of the Bulge, and liberating a Concentraion Camp - for instance) are featured at www.wme3.org, a "Public Access" TV Station on the web, which Campbell founded.
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