Bullets, blood, sweat and courage; all in a days work for war cameraman Damien Parer.

An in-depth look at one of the photojournalists. We still watch his newsreels today!

Rearview Mirror

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To be a war correspondent, photographer or camera person takes great courage. It isn’t your typical run of the mill occupation where you can decide to go home at the end of a long hard day. Often these people are exposed to the same harsh conditions as ordinary soldiers or other service people. Occasionally they are shot at and targeted by the enemy. International conventions are supposed to protect them from harm’s way, but the reality is often the opposite. On a fateful day on September 17th 1944, Australian cameraman Damien Parer, working under new employers from Paramount News, was filming footage of American marines advancing on the Island of Peleliu in the Pacific. As he was walking backwards to take cover behind an American tank, he was suddenly fatally shot by a burst of Japanese machine gun fire.

Damien Parer’s story is only one of millions of lives…

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on July 15, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. A very courageous gentleman of wartime journalism!

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  2. Excellent tribute to Parer, an exceptional war photographer, I believe that second picture is his iconic picture that most Australians will remember him for.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When you did your previous post I was screaming across the airwaves, “write about Damien Parer”, and here we are – you heard me. If memory serves me correctly, you featured some of his photos on posts a few months back – probably the New Guinea theatre. His contribution to truth in reporting was hugely important. He left a widow, by the way. The reference to Charles Chauvel is also interesting, although that trail leads back to WW1. In 1940 Chauvel made ‘ 40,000 Horsemen’ (I think that was the name of it), which related the story of the Light Horse Brigade in the Middle East in WWI, culminating in the charge at Bersheeba. Charles was the nephew of Sir Henry Chauvel, who had been in charge of the troops there, so no doubt was influenced by this – but of course the film had a subtle propaganda message for the boys of WWII to sign up and join the heroics.

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    • Thank you very much, Gwen for all that additional information; you are a treasure trove. Your memory is correct, I included one of Mr. Parer’s newsreels in a post previously. I greatly admire these people and I guess that shows, eh?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for highlighting a very brave individual (armed only with a camera). I appreciate the exposure via your blog too!

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    • You have an outstanding website, Robert. Any attention you receive and retain is purely due to your own expertise. If I have had anything to do with your work getting exposure – that makes my day!!

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  5. You are correct on the guys who did this during any of our wars – it is dangerous but without them we would only wonder what was going on with our loved ones. Great post.

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  6. Such a loss and agree that people didn’t understand how they put their lives at such risk.

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  7. What a tragic loss. His legacy lives on.

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  8. Was this job as dangerous during Desert Storm? We called it ’embedded’, but the footage I saw didn’t look nearly as life-threatening as these stories you’re sharing.

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    • I’m afraid I am not qualified to say, Jacqui. I get so wrapped up in the WWII research, I tend to neglect the current – my apologies. I don’t think the cameramen of today are in the service and fighting at the same time, but are kept in safer places than the 1940’s men.

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  9. I remember the Kokoda film very well. He was a sad loss to journalism, and one of many talented film-makers and reporters killed during the conflict.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Such a brave young man, very sad that he didn’t make it. The footage he took is still quite clear. I like what he said about the people at home on the mainland worrying about petty things like dances and tobacco and not taking the war seriously. I guess we are still like that with the war in the Middle East.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I was exactly one year old the day Pare died. 17 sept 1944

    Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: My Article Read (7-17-2015) | My Daily Musing

  2. Pingback: Bullets, blood, sweat and courage; all in a days work for war cameraman Damien Parer. | Home Sweet Home WY

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