David atop Briggs' Outpost pointing towards Mount Austen. Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, October 2018. Photo Credit: Bryan T. Stefancyk
NOTE: This is the first of four parts introducing the WAR HISTORIAN BATTLEFIELD EXPEDITIONS team for our upcoming expedition to the Solomon Islands.
David currently lives and works on Guadalcanal, and he is one of our key contacts on the island. He is a former US Marine and is an active battlefield explorer and researcher of the Guadalcanal Campaign. He is currently in the midst of working on several survey and research projects on the battlefields. When not working, David spends his free time on the Guadalcanal battlefields. Without further ado, lets get into the Q&A with David!
A new television series of interest to hardcore WW2 battlefield explorers began airing the end of October 2019 on the National Geographic Channel in the USA (link to the show in the UK). Ultimate Survival WWII consists of six episodes and is presented by adventurer/survivalist Hazen Audel. The show is an interesting, refreshing, and redefining take on the WW2 television documentary genre. Of note and pleasant surprise, the subject of one of the episodes, Desert Island Manhunt, is..., which is an area of our expertise and destination on our Solomons expeditions... Sentence about our team members mentioning the filming to us and they served as local handlers/assisted with filming of this episode. Instead of reviewing the series as a whole, I will comment and give my feedback on each of the six episodes. The official synopsis of the show reads: 'Hazen Audel travels across the globe to relive some of the most astonishing stories of wilderness survival from World War II. During this brutal conflict, soldiers, sailors and airmen became lost behind enemy lines in some of the most inhospitable places on Earth, beginning epic battles to stay alive. Now Hazen will retrace these journeys in the same locations and armed with the same supplies, to see if he has what it takes to make it out alive.'
1. POW Jungle Escape
2. Death in the Outback
3. Frozen Nazi Escape
We Die Alone, a classic of WW2 literature
4. Desert Island Manhunt
5. Death Railway Escape
6. Nazi Island Manhunt
Bryan T. Stefancyk is the founder/owner of WAR HISTORIAN BATTLEFIELD EXPEDITIONS, a division of WAR HISTORIAN, LLC.
in Q&A go into two distinct branches of War Historian, LLC
nothing like the rush of discovering a WW2 memoir just when you thought there is nothing new out there that you'd not heard about, or uncovering new research that changes entire perspective
Q: What is your favorite WW2 documentary?
A: Hands down my favorite is Hell in the Pacific (2001), followed by The Color of War (2001) as a close second.
Q: What is your favorite Vietnam War documentary?
A: think about this one but chose something like Anderson Platoon or something about the French
Q: What is your favorite WW2 movie?
Q: What is your favorite Vietnam War movie?
A: Hmmm this is a tough one... I don't have a favorite as most play off of the common tropes of the Vietnam War, but I appreciate aspects of Go Tell the Spartans (1978), The Odd Angry Shot (1979), Platoon (1986), Hamburger Hill (1987), Full Metal Jacket (1987), Platoon Leader (1988), Bat 21 (1988), Casualties of War (1989), The Iron Triangle (1989), 84 Charlie Mopic (1989), The Siege of Firebase Gloria (1989), Tigerland (2000), We Were Soldiers (2001), The Quiet American (2002), Rescue Dawn (2006). The Vietnam War scenes in Forest Gump (1994) are well done. I really want to see the French films Patrouille de Choc (1957), The 317th Platoon (1965), Le Crabe-Tambour (1977), Charlie Bravo (1980), and Dien Bien Phu (1992).
Q: What is your favorite movie in the history genre?
A: This is another tough one... I can't possibly narrow it down to just one! But the movies that have most influenced me/impacted my life are the following (listed in order of release date NOT preference!): Bridge on the River Kwai, The Great Escape, Zulu, The Charge of the Light Brigade, March or Die, Breaker Morant, Gallipoli, Das Boot, Bounty, Pirates, The Lighthorsemen, The Beast, Glory, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, Last of the Mohicans, Geronimo, Gettysburg, The Thin Red Line, Legionnaire, Master and Commander, Black Hawk Down, Alamo, Kokoda, The Proposition. Disney movies?