Christmas Mystery: Who are the WWII sweethearts in this film?


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – It’s a Christmas mystery that you might be able to help solve. A 1942 film reel discovered in a Knoxville antique store has archivists hoping to identify the couple seen celebrating Christmas 79 years ago, amid World War II.

The video, shared by the Tennessee Archive of Moving Sound & Image, a historical collection created by the Knox County Public Library, shows a young woman and an unknown U.S. servicemember in uniform together in front of a Christmas tree. The two appear to be sweethearts.

Eric Dawson, an TAMIS audiovisual archivist, said the reel was found in a Knoxville antique store about six years ago, but its unknown where the video was recorded or who is being shown.

The Tennessee Archive of Moving Sound & Image (TAMIS) contains over 5,000 reels and videotapes dating back more than 100 years, depicting East Tennessee history through home movies, television programming, advertisements and other historical recordings. The audio collection also includes radio programming and other audio recordings dating back to the 1930s.

TAMIS staff do not know if the couple in the film is local to East Tennessee or what their story might be, but they’re hoping to find out. Anyone who might recognize the couple in this video is urged to contact TAMIS or send WATE an email.

Hundreds of antique videos collected by TAMIS can be viewed by the public at

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