by Bernard K. Means
The Virtual Curation Laboratory has been working to help tell the stories of and by American women and men who fought in various wars, especially World Wars I and II. This effort really began with Jim Triesler in November 2013 when he was a history teacher at Clover Hill High School. We have also helped the Virginia War Memorial, where Mr. Triesler now works, tell the story of World War II Russell Scott. A 3D printed replica of Russell sits alighted precariously on the tail of a large replica of a B-25 Mitchell Bomber in the great hall of the Virginia War Memorial–reflecting the real Russell’s death-defying perch on a real B-25 during World War II. More recently, thanks to Mr. Triesler, who is now with the Virginia War Memorial, we 3D scanned Domenick D’Adamo and the small piece of flak that nearly brought down his aircraft during this same conflict.
We also are continuing our partnership with the Virginia World War I and II Commission, especially through their Communications Manager, Rusty Nix. Mr. Nix has been adding our scanned World War I and World War II items to a virtual museum. Recently, Mr. Nix arranged for us to scan some artifacts from collections held by the National D-Day Memorial. These were loaned to the lab by Maggie Mitchell, Associate Director for Programming and Events at the National D-Day Memorial Foundation.
The items include three World War II toys, an American grenade from World War II, and a Nazi helmet recovered from a deceased German soldier who died on D-Day. These artifacts are being added to a special D-Day Memorial collection on our Sketchfab site.