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A Strike at the Sun Completed Interviews


Paul Hilliard

Mr. Hilliard is a Marine Corp veteran of the Pacific War and Chairman Emeritus of the Board of The National WWII Museum. His lifetime of experience and devotion to the subject of WWII is unique in its staggering scope. Mr. Hilliard flew as a tail gunner in an SBD Dauntless dive bomber over the Philippines in 1945. Our 3+ hour conversation, captured in the heart of the WWII Museum, is something to behold.


Rod is a truly remarkable survivor and witness to the Manila massacres of 1945. On January 20th, Rod and his family were arrested by the Japanese Secret Police for a radio found in their home. His story of unimaginable loss and bitter survival is utterly heartbreaking while also a testament to the will to live, even in the darkest of days. Rod sadly passed in January of 2022, this production is extraordinarily grateful for having interviewed him in April of 2021.

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Dr. RYAN Paraiso

Ryan's grandmother is one of the most extraordinary females of WWII.  In this interview he reveals some amazing things he knows from his relationship with his remarkable grandmother, a freedom fighter who's name struck fear into the hearts of the Japanese and who's story is is one of the most interesting we've encountered.

Mary Lou Hedrick

Mary Lou Hedrick was 13 and living in Cebu City, the 2nd largest city in the Philippines, when the Japanese attacked. One day the City jail was opened, the convicts let out, and then it was re-filled with POWs. Mary Lou and her family among them. They went from living in luxury to sleeping on rotted jail floors full of rats and bed bugs and roaches with little water and less food.

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Dr. Antonio Quiroz

Dr. Antonio Quiroz was a teen living in the Philippines when the Japanese attacked and occupied. He witnessed many life changing events; some edifying, some terrifying. Throughout his long career in America as a sought after cardiologist, Dr. Quiroz never lost the twinkle in his eye while talking about his home province of Pampanga, and his childhood memories.

judge Steve ellis

Judge Ellis was a young deck officer on a landing boat during MacArthur's fabled return to the Philippines. His recollections of the many world changing events he was a first hand witness to are second to none. For example, his devastating recall of the time that he personally witnessed the first ever Kamikaze strike of WWII during the battle for the Gulf of Leyte.

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Angus Lorenzen

Angus Lorenzen was 9 when he, his mother and two siblings left Manchuria to escape Japanese imprisonment. They made it to Manila in 1941 thinking they would be safe because of the American presence. When the Japanese took the city they were placed in the Santo Tomas Internment Camp. Angus remembers not being able to walk up the stairs to his room due to starvation rations, he was 11 at the time. 

James Zobel

Jim Zobel is known by those who know as the world's preeminent scholar on Douglas MacArthur. He has been the Archivist at the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, VA since the early 90s. A Strike at the Sun's Archival Producer, Bonnie Rowan, has said that every archivist in the country looks up to Jim for his second to none collection and organization of everything MacArthur over the past 30 years. Jim is also a great guy and a dear friend of the show. Our 10+ hour interview recorded over the course of 2 days is nothing short of a marvel and testament to Jim's unrivaled knowledge, commitment and passion for his chosen subject.

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Dr. Ricardo Jose

Dr. Ricardo Jose of the University of the Philippines Diliman is the world’s leading expert on the Philippines during WWII. His peerless scholarship on the subject is front and center in this detailed interview that covers the WWII era in the archipelagic nation and beyond. From his passion for his chosen subject to his ever-present empathy for those who lived through these impossible times, Dr. Jose’s contribution to the scholarship on this subject and to this documentary series are simply priceless.

Carla Escoda Brooks

Carla Escoda Brooks is the granddaughter of Josefa Escoda. Josefa Escoda is one of the most accomplished and lauded Filipinas of the 20th Century. She started the Boys and Girls Scouts of the Philippines, she was instrumental in Philippines women’s suffrage and she was a powerful force in working with US and Filipino POWs during WWII. Carla’s stirring accounts of her grandmother’s heroism are papably contagious. 

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