You never know what you will find when you are looking through your basement. At times, there may be things that remain hidden for years. That is what Bruce Campbell experienced when he found some of the most important radio broadcasts from World War II buried in his basement.
Campbell and his wife purchased a cabin in Mattituck, New York in 1994. Prior to the time that they purchased it, it was owned by the vice president of a company that manufactured audio recording equipment. The basement was full of old boxes and tapes and Campbell started cleaning shortly after moving in.
“I ran across this stuff that says, 1944, VJ day, all these different things from the war,” Campbell told the Washington Post. “I put them all in a plastic bag, [thinking] ‘These gotta be something, I’ll look at them another day.’”
He then got busy doing something else and forgot about the tapes altogether.
Campbell later moved to Loxahatchee Florida and started thinking about the tapes. He was curious about what was on them so he got help from a British electrical engineer. Imagine his surprise when he found out he was the owner of some original D-Day dispatches from radio correspondent George Hicks.
“I’m listening to this, and I feel like I’m standing on the battleship with this guy,” Campbell said. “It made my hair stand up.”
The broadcast by Hicks is typically considered to be one of the best audio recordings from World War II. It is significant because he is one of the few journalists that was there covering the event as it happened.
Campbell decided to donate the tapes to the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford Virginia. He told the Washington Post, “That’s the place where the artifacts should be.”