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Mickey Strand - Veterans Series Mickey Strand - Veterans Series

The Veterans Portrait Series

Mickey is a retired Navy Photographers Mate, Chief Petty Officer, and was the Leading Chief of the Navy's elite Combat Camera Group Pacific. Mickey's current focus is the Veterans Portrait Series, which documents veterans' stories of service. He is focused on our Worlds' Greatest Generation. The veterans of World War II. 

Mickey interviews each Veteran, collecting and writing their service stories, archiving these notable historic figures and their stories for generations to come. Mickey has collected and displayed images and stories from over 100 warriors that at one point, signed the dotted line when our country needed their sacrifice of service most.  Mickey continues to collect Veterans from all services for the Veterans Portrait Series. In 2019 this body of work was displayed at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre Museum from Nov 11, 2019 — to March 1, 2020.

Mickey and the project were in the national spotlight, featured on the Sunday Today Show with Harry Smith Today Show Link to YouTube.  See the Google 360 Virtual walk through from the Palm Beach Museum Exhibit. Enjoy, and thank you for your help with this project. In 2022 Mickey has photographed over 25 more WW2 Veterans and will be hosting a print show in San Diego in November with an open house on Veterans Day.

Featured Veteran

Wayne C Davis
US Army
World War 2

     Wayne Davis was born on August 9, 1925, and grew up in Hollywood, California. He graduated from Hollywood High School in the summer of 1943 and was inducted into the Army at Fort MacArthur in San Pedro, California.
 After basic training, Wayne attended advanced individualized training as an airplane and engine mechanic with a MOS of 747(AEM). An AEM is responsible for examining aircraft wings, fuselage, stabilizers, flight control surfaces, propeller, and landing gear for evidence of damage or wear, such as cracks, bent or broken members, and looseness, which might cause dangerous vibration. AEMs correct defects by appropriate maintenance, minor repairs, adjustments, or replacement. 

   Wayne spent very few days working on aircraft and spent the majority of his service time with infantry units, where men were needed most.

   Private Davis served in Europe from June 1944 until January 1946 in campaigns including Northern France and the Rhineland, as well as the Central Europe campaigns. CPL Davis was promoted in August of 1945 and served as a CPL until he completed his tour in Europe. Corporal Davis was awarded the Bronze Star for heroism when he ran into a burning munitions dump that had been shelled. He returned three times and pulled three soldiers out to safety. Wayne has a key that he had worn around his neck that today bears a mangled piece of shrapnel embedded with the key that looks to have saved his life that fateful day.

   After he was discharged, Wayne flew with an Air Corps friend in a B-25, delivering mail all over Europe during the early days of the occupation forces. Wayne's sister, Marjorie Laverne “Margie” Davis, was a pilot in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) with the 2563rd Base Unit. She died October 16, 1944, in service on a cross-country flight at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, TX.  
 Wayne returned to the United States, serving stateside from 12 January 1946 until 2 February 1946, when he returned to Fort MacArthur in San Pedro, California, to separate from the service.

   Corporal Davis was Honorably Bischarged on February 11, 1946. He was awarded a Combat Infantryman Badge, the Bronze Star Medal, the European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, and a Good Conduct Medal.


Where can I donate?

I have created a way to accept donations to grow the project, use the WWII Veterans Portrait Series
  Go Fund Me.

Where are you located?

I live in the San Diego area but have traveled to many locations to interview and photograph Veterans.

How Long is an Appointment?

Appointments usually last 1 hour. But please free up time for Mickey to set up lights and cameras, hold the interview, and take some photographs for the project.

Do you accept reservations?

Yes is the simple answer to the question.  Each appointment is set up as an individual session. Group sessions have been set up when I visited a senior living facility or many of the California Veterans Homes.

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