Nightmare in New Guinea,
a Documentary on the Red Arrow Brigade
Together the Grand Valley State University History Department, the School of Communications and the former Grand Rapids City Historian Gordon Olson produced Nightmare in New Guinea, a documentary film based on the experiences of the Red Arrow soldiers from the time they entered the service through their first major battle at Buna in New Guinea. It follows the men as they battled horrible weather, impossible terrain, inadequate supplies, equipment and training, not to mention determined Japanese resistance, to win the US Army's first victory in the Pacific.
Students worked together on this ambitious project with Professor Smither and documentary filmmaker Frank Boring from the School of Communications. The project brought history alive and introduced students to the compelling medium of documentary filmmaking.
Nightmare in New Guinea has been shown to live audiences in Grand Rapids, Lowell, and Holland, and it has been aired by WGVU television. Nightmare was featured at the College's first Homecoming Film Festival, Mindgating, with several of the veterans in attendance.