WLRN will premiere an hour-long television documentary Monday that tells the obscure tale of how Boca Raton played an important role in World War II.
The original film, dubbed “Boca Raton: The Secret Weapon That Won World War II,” explores how a tiny radar device — smaller than the size of a fist — changed the outcome of World War II.
More than two years ago, the public radio station began to research and interview several people who were familiar with the South Florida city’s involvement.
Among those interviewed: Peter Barrett, who moved to Boca Raton during The Depression and wrote “Boca Raton Diary” about his experience, and Susan Gillis, the author of “Palm Beach County During WW II” and curator, Boca Raton Historical Society and Museum.
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According to WLRN, the film explores how “Winston Churchill sent Britain’s top scientist to America with the military secrets of England.” Meanwhile, President Franklin D. Roosevelt hesitated to insert America into World War II.
“The risky gamble Roosevelt and Churchill embarked on is also the story of South Florida’s pivotal role in the conflict, one that made the small town of Boca Raton the new battle front that would prove decisive in winning the war,” WLRN said in a news release.
The documentary hit a road bump last year when the director of production and programming, Alan Tomlinson, died, leaving the film unfinished.
Adrienne Kennedy, the executive producer, said in a release that “it was extremely important that it be told as close as possible to Alan’s vision.”
Kennedy said that wasn’t easy and they decided to bring in Tomlinson’s wife, Francesca De Onis, to complete it.
What: “Boca Raton: The Secret Weapon That Won World War II”
When: 8 p.m. Monday on WLRN Channel 17. It will be replayed at 10 p.m. Monday, 11 p.m. Wednesday, and 7 p.m. Nov. 19.
For more information, visit wlrn.org.