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Signal Corps Photographic Center won two Academy awards during World War II.

In case you were wondering what ever happened to those two gold statues, Mike Rodgers explains:

Hello out there... My name is Mike Rodgers and I work at the U. S. Army Signal Corps Museum at Fort Gordon, Georgia. This is a really great site and I like to come here every now and then... I've noticed no mention of the two Oscars that were presented to the studio... One was for "Toward Independence" (U. S. Army, 1948) and the other is "Seeds of Destiny" (U. S. War Department, 1946) ... We have the Oscars here as well as a copy of both films... If anybody is ever down this way drop in and take a look at the museum and the display we have of the studio... Thanks, Mike Rodgers.

Frank Capra won an Academy Award for "Prelude to War," but that Oscar isn't one of the ones held by the Army.  Robert P. Anzuoni, director of the Signal Corps Museum at Ft. Gordon, Georgia, wrote, "As far as I can tell, it was an individual award to him for best director, and was therefore not Signal Corps property.  It may be with his family.

The rest of that story is described in a news story by Staff Sergeant Carlos Laslo of the 302nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment at https://www.dvidshub.net/news/23278/academy-award-presentation:

"('Prelude to War') won for best documentary in 1942, but unlike today, the U.S. Army was awarded a plaque.  Because of newly introduced war effort, there was a shortage of metals and the Academy began presenting Oscars plaques made of plaster to awardees," said Sid Ganis, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

"After the war, everyone who had received a plaster Oscar during the war... and had received plaques had been replaced with shinny gold Oscars as well," said Ganis. The original replacement Oscar is still in the care of Maj. Frank Capra's family.

In 1958, the DOD contacted the Academy and requested a duplicate award that could be displayed as part of a special exhibition, said Ganis. The Academy approved and another statuette, with the same engraved citation and bearing the serial number 827, was given to the DOD, he added. After the exhibition, the statuette was displayed at the Army Pictorial Center in New York. After the center closed in 1970, the statuette disappeared, said Ganis, until earlier this year when Christie's Auction House posted an Oscar for sale, bearing the serial number 827.

When the Academy notified the auction house, the Oscar was returned to the Academy to be officially re-presented to the Army.

PRELUDE was produced by Maj. Frank Capra's U.S. Army filmmaking unit in 1942 and was the first film of a seven-part series titled "Why We Fight," aimed at demonstrating to troops and to the American population, the reasons for America's involvement in World War II. Commissioned by then Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall, PRELUDE became required viewing for all troops overseas after its release and was submitted to the Academy for consideration in the new documentary category by Capra.

"There was a nomination for Best Documentary Short Subject for 'Operation Blue Jay' in 1953."

Other Honors

Among other honors are these top awards: The U. S. Camera Achievement Award in 1942 in recognition of outstanding achievement in photography; National Headliner's Club Award for "best newsreel reporting” in 1944; National Committee on Films for Safety accorded highest honors in the general safety field for non-theatrical films produced or released in 1950 for "Once Too Often" and again in 1953 for "On Post Safety”; Venice International Exhibition of Cinematographic Art first prize for natural science film "Rodent Control" in 1951 and "Schistosomiasis" in 1948; Freedom's' Foundation Award for the film "Voices of the People" in 1949, "Communism" in 1950 and "International Communism" in 1953.

 

 

(Updated July 10, 2016))