Creation of the gallery and research on the Elizabeth Black portraits has been a painstaking but rewarding undertaking.
Sincere appreciation to the kind volunteers from across the United States who utilized their research skills so that I could connect the portraits to still-living veterans, or their surviving family members.
Lisa Froug-Hirano is a dedicated World War II era researcher in Honolulu, Hawaii. She was the first to reach out upon learning of this project and her many volunteer hours provided valuable leads and successful matches. Like Elizabeth Black, Lisa's mother was with the American Red Cross Clubmobile during WW2.
Kathy Kirchner of Grosse Pointe, Michigan has also provided numerous leads which resulted in wonderful "finds." Kathy has a great interest in American home front activities during both world wars and also enjoys researching war effort contributions. Kathy is featured in my 2015 documentary "Finding Elizabeth's Soldiers."
Chris Hamilton of Batavia, Ohio joined our volunteer researchers in 2015. Chris runs a process serving company and since 2004 has been successful in searches involving adoption, the military and more. He has now added the Elizabeth Black portrait project as one of his missions - and his success rate is amazing.
Sue Freilino of Akron, Ohio volunteered her research skills in June 2016 after seeing "Finding Elizabeth's Soldiers on her PBS affiliate. A passionate genealogist, Sue has spent the past decade researching the history of her husband's family. Now she is tackling and solving some of the most challenging Elizabeth Black portrait mysteries.
Christina Carlton, US Navy, ITC, Francesca Cumero, Christine Coleman Cook and Karan Ciotti are with Angelo's Angels, a California-based dog tag research and return organization. They learned of the Elizabeth Black portrait project and generously volunteered their research skills.
Norma Chase, a Pittsburgh attorney, has also volunteered her expertise in finding these veterans or their families.
The Elizabeth Black documentaries and videos were shot and edited by the talented Paul Ruggieri and Pierina Morelli.
Special thanks to the staff of WQED Interactive for their work on the Elizabeth Black web pages through the years: Jay Volk, Joan Guerin, Zack Tanner, Jeremy Saylor, Matt Planchak and Sarica Feng.
Paula Zetter shared her graphic design expertise. Maria Pisano and Dave Hallewell helped spread the word through marketing and social media.
Assisting in portrait research and Elizabeth's journal entries: interns Sarafina Brooks, Julia Carpey, Shannon Caruso, Katie Conboy, Brian Elliott, Chelsey Frey, Jeremy Erhlich, Samantha Gorsuch, Jodi Lincoln, Nathalie Martinez, Corey McDermot, Keaton Smith, Azia Squire, Hunter Tresnicky and Peter Vogel.
Above all, John and Kay Black have meticulously catalogued, researched and preserved his mother's portraits and memorabilia. Their commitment has helped preserve - in my opinion - a national treasure.
David & Mary Lou
"Portraits for the Home Front: The Story of Elizabeth Black" (2013 documentary)
"Finding Elizabeth's Soldiers" (2015 documentary)
Elizabeth Black Portrait Project (ongoing)