Richmond: WWII classic “The Story of G.I. Joe” showing Thursday on the SS Red Oak Victory

The next classic war-era film showing on the SS Red Oak Victory gets down and dirty with the dogfaces, grunts and G.I Joes, as the called them. “The Story of G.I. Joe,” also known as “Ernie Pyle’s The Story of G.I. Joe,” screens at 7 p.m. Aug. 8 on the historic ship at 1337 Canal Blvd. in the Port of Richmond.
The 1945 film is based on the experiences of Pyle, the best-known war correspondent of World War II, who brought across the human side of the regular guys facing combat in the U.S. Army, personalizing the stories of the grunts doing their duty in a global conflict far from home.
Pyle, who lived the experiences the soldiers did and died in combat in the Pacific in 1945, was honored with the Pulitzer Prize.
The film, featuring Burgess Meredith as Pyle and Robert Mitchum as Lt. Walker , came out two months after his death.
According to IMDB, “The extras in the film were real American GIs, in the process of being transferred from the war in Europe to the Pacific. Many of them were killed in the fighting on Okinawa – the same battle in which Ernie Pyle was killed by a Japanese machine gunner — never having seen the movie in which they appeared.”
Boarding on the Red Oak starts at 6:30 p.m. The screening is free after a $5 donation to board the ship and of course there will be popcorn and refreshments on sale.

Chris Treadway