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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

James Forrester
US Navy
World War 2

James Forrester was born November 21, 1920, and served as a Fire Controlman during WW2. James enlisted in 1939 and served in the US Navy for 30 years.

He is a survivor of the sinking of the aircraft carrier USS Wasp CV-7. James was a plank owner onboard and served aboard from her commissioning day, 25 April 1940, to the day she was sunk on 15 September 1942 by three torpedoes from the Japanese B1 type submarine (I-19) at the Battle of Guadalcanal.

James, an FC1 at the time, remembered the Captain declaring abandoned ship over the 1MC "Public Address system" about 30 min after the strikes. He donned his Kapok life vest and jumped into the water on the port side. He was separated from his shipmates while swimming away from the sinking ship until late at night. James recounted, during the night, while praying and making his peace with God, when he saw the light of a motor whaleboat. He caused a lot of noise, splashing and yelling until the coxswain saw him. The small boat was already full of survivors, but James grabbed the trail line with three other men and was towed back to the USS Farenholt DD-491.

The Farenhold saved 143 Wasp Sailors, including James. James returned to San Diego for survivors’ leave and still gets emotional about the day he pulled back into San Diego, realizing he would be okay. Four destroyers pulled the survivors out of the Pacific that night, with the Wasp losing 193 of her over 2100 sailors.


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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