Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Air Force Veteran Arthur “Art” James Mainzer. Art served during World War II as a motion picture cameraman.

Art enlisted in the Air Force in November 1942. He attended the Air Force Photo Technical School in Denver, Colorado. In April 1943, he went to Culver City, California, with the 1st Motion Picture Unit. In November 1943, Art’s unit went to Northern Ireland for gunnery training and then London, England, where he provided film coverage of U.S. bombing missions.

On April 11, 1945, the 3rd U.S. Army liberated Buchenwald, a concentration camp near Weimar, Germany. Art arrived in Weimar a few days after the liberation and spent a week there filming and photographing the concentration camp. He provided film coverage of the reactions of the citizens of Weimar upon seeing the atrocities that had been taking place right next door to them throughout the war.

Art was featured in the 2000 documentary “Shooting War” about combat cameramen of World War II, as well as the 2014 documentary “Night Will Fall” about German concentration camps. Art’s footage of Buchenwald went on to be used as evidence during the Nuremberg Trials. For his work in documenting concentration camps, Arthur received the National Order of The Legion of Honor in the rank of Chevalier, the highest award given by the French government.

Thank you for your service, Art!

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission. 

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at

Graphic By Lilian Vo: Lilian Vo is an undergraduate senior at George Mason University studying Global Affairs and Intelligence Analysis.

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Published on May. 31, 2018

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