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Published on Oct 15, 2007
As a combat cameraman, Hatch has a very different perspective of the war though the lens of his camera, as he begins, "I was living in the movie, I was disassociated with everything that was going on around me." Hatch risks his life to document the brutal battle on Tarawa island as the Marines assault the beach head and take the island. Because a cameraman's combat stance is upright, "it is like having a target on your back." Hatch's footage is riveting and he captures on film the first and only time in the Pacific war in which both the enemy and our troops are in the same frame of film, fighting against each other. Viewers will see this historic footage as several Japanese soldiers run across the screen with our Marines firing at them. Another historic aspect of his footage was showing war casualties to the general public for the first time, as Hatch describes it, "up close and dirty". The film won an Academy Award for outstanding documentary short subject in 1944.