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Guadalcanal was a nightmare that went on for months, but something different – something special - happened there on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in 1942.
A Marine’s Christmas letter home, and recently discovered Life Magazine photos tell of tenderness and gentleness.


DocuWest International Film Festival


Australia Independent Film Festival


IndieFEST Film Awards


Twenty years ago, Jay Maloney received a mysterious shoebox mailed to him from a distant uncle. The box was filled with letters from his dad, Joe Maloney, written decades earlier when Joe was in The Pacific with the First Marine Division. There was one letter – a special letter dated December 26, 1942 – that spoke of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in 1942 on Guadalcanal. Just recently, Jay discovered a trove of raw photos taken by Life Magazine photographers on that same Christmas Eve and Day on Guadalcanal. All of them matched what Joe Maloney wrote home about, penned on scraps of paper from deep in that dense jungle so far away and so long ago. This film is an undiscovered story told by an eyewitness and revealed by long-gone photographers.

Guadalcanal 1942:
A Christmas Story 

Listen to Jay Maloney and Patty Butler Spiers, co-directors of the WWII Guadalcanal 1942: A Christmas Story documentary, as they explain why they made the movie and why it is getting so much attention as it makes the film festival circuit. The interview was aired July 19th with Keith Simon, host of Culture Zone on KCME 88.7 FM and Jazz 93.5 FM



Patty Sue Spiers



Jay Maloney



Rick Gibson



Michele Strilich



I don’t think I will ever have a Christmas again without hearing Joe’s voice in my head describing the lights on the tent with the choir and the men holding candles. And those photos! It will really bring it home to my gang when I tell them how all he longed for was to be home with the rest of the Maloneys attending Mass at Resurrection on Christmas Day. Just like we are lucky enough do every year. 

Deidre Burbank
Joe Maloney’s niece

Excellent insight into the minds and hearts of combat warriors of every and any era. They always seek comfort in their world of turmoil, fear, and uncertainty. I have lived it in Viet Nam, and I saw it in the men I commanded. This documentary is very well done.

Frank Moen
LTC, US Army (Ret)

Guadalcanal reminds us of the human realities behind the headlines and the history books. Heartrending and profoundly humane, Patty Spiers film transmutes the fragments of stories that might have been lost into a fully realized meditation on the things that matter most.

Craig Werne
co-author of We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of Vietnam

Guadalcanal 1942: A Christmas Story is a powerful documentary showing the importance of the local connection to the WWII servicemen. This film was inspired by the recent discovery of letters from a Guadalcanal serviceman to his family back in Rye, NY. Guadalcanal 1942: A Christmas Story is powerful and a must see to understand the emotions felt by our veterans during wartime. Impeccably filmed-highly recommended.

Walter Hart
Former KWHS-TV Executive


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