The new documentary Letters Home to Hero Street, produced by WQPT-PBS and Kelly & Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films, is well under way with the new discovery of letters written by brothers Frank and Joseph Sandoval during WWII and sent home to loved ones in Silvis, Illinois.
P.F.C. Frank Sandoval entered the U.S. Army on October 3, 1942. He served in North Burma with Co. C 209 Engineer Combat Battalion. Frank was listed as “killed in action” on June 26, 1944.
His brother, P.F.C. Joseph Sandoval, entered the Army in 1944 and served with Co. I 41st Armored Infantry Regiment. His company position was overrun on the Bank of the Elbe River near Schonebeck, Germany and he was reported “missing in action” on April 14, 1945. After a one-year investigation he was listed as “killed in action” on April 15, 1946.
The Rundles spent a recent afternoon talking with Irene Mawson and Tommie Shadden who found a box of personal correspondence in their mother’s home.
“She was Frank and Joe Sandoval’s sister. She kept everything and liked to write,” said Irene of her mother, Jennie Garcia, who had recently passed away. Jenni kept detailed journals and notes throughout her life reflecting her quick wit and creativity.
The yellowed envelopes were carefully sorted, bound and their contents preserved for nearly seven decades.
WQPT, the Quad-Cities PBS station, was awarded a grant from the Illinois Arts Council for the creation of the new documentary with the Rundles–a completely separate project from Fourth Wall Films planned feature-length documentary “Hero Street: A Block and a Half Long and Eight Men Wide.”
The 30-minute documentary will reveal correspondence from Hero Street soldiers to their families as the men fought and died in World War II and the Korean conflict.
“It will be a short documentary that focuses on a fairly specific way of telling the story through letters,” said producer/director Kelly Rundle. “We get to concentrate more on visual creativity.”
The documentary will be completed by the end of December 2014 and will premiere on WQPT in early 2015.
For those who have letters from the heroes: Tony Pompa, Frank Sandoval, William Sandoval, Claro Soliz, Peter Masias, Joseph Sandoval, Joseph Gomez and John S. Muños; photographs or other materials related to Hero Street that may be considered for the documentary project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.