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Posted on May 17, 2004 in History News

WebWarrior: The DropZone.org

Jim H. Moreno

In 1999 I was a consultant for DreamWorks’ award-winning mini-series BAND OF BROTHERS. I’ve also been a consultant or "talking head" for documentaries produced by the BBC, Fox News, and The History Channel. I’ve recently worked on two "Command Decisions" documentaries produced for the History Channel that allow the viewer to review the command decisions of some of history’s greatest battles.

ACG: Has anyone helped you to build your site? In what ways, if so?

Patrick: From time to time friends have helped me work on the site. Recently, Stephen Haas, a crack developer at Microsoft, has designed and developed the OSS portion of the Dropzone.org. After reading a copy of Into the Rising Sun, Steve was inspired to create a website dedicated to the 41st Infantry Division: www.41stdivision.com. He’s currently preserving their legacy by gathering e-histories and oral histories.

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ACG: Are there any military historical sites near where you live (battlefields, museums, etc)?

Patrick: I live in Fairfax Station, Virginia. Northern Virginia has tons of Civil War sites. I’ve been to all of them. I’m also a huge armor and ordinance buff and make frequent trips to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. German and American WWII armor fascinates me.

ACG: In what specific ways does the computer help you with your study of military history?

Patrick: The entire purpose of the site and my books is to preserve and share the stories of America’s WWII veterans. Hundreds of people have also told me how they recorded their father’s or mother’s oral history. I have scores of emails and letters from veterans, or their family members, who gained some closure from reading the books. For me that makes my day every time I get something like that. For instance, I recently received an email from Mara Bertani, whose grandmother was a circus acrobat turned spy for the OSS, and her photo is on the front cover of Operatives, Spies, and Saboteurs. I found Ms. Bertani’s dossier and mission report buried in a box at the National Archives and revealed her amazing story which her family learned for the first time in my book.

ACG: What are some stats about your website?

Patrick: I receive about 180,000 hits per month. Most people that visit the Dropzone.org seem interested in the stories, the history of the units, or are trying to research information on their family members.

ACG: What’s next?

Patrick: I’m currently working on my most ambitious project which covers the secret history of MI6 and some of the greatest untold spy stories of the 20th century.

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Stay Alert, Stay Alive!

Jim H. Moreno

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