CHICAGO — Kip Reiserer has no ties to World War II, but the 28-year-old Lakeview resident is obsessed with the topic.
Reiserer is the creator of wildly popular Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages devoted to World War II history, facts and photos.
The Texas native and Kansas graduate credits "Saving Private Ryan" for kickstarting his "wild fascination" with World War II, and after starting his three sites a few years ago, all three have tens of thousands of followers.
"It took patience to grow them, but I knew that with a large vault of content and information that was important to people all over the world it would have a chance to reach so many," Reiserer said. "I was already looking at all of these photos and watching videos online, so I'd try to build a platform I'd share with others who enjoy history."
Chicago played a crucial role in World War II history.
• "By D-Day in 1944, the average Chicago block had given seven residents to the military."
• "The city's diversified industrial base made it second only to Detroit in the value — $24 billion — of war goods produced."
• "The first steps toward creating the weapon [atomic bomb] that would end [the war] had taken place in deep secret under the grandstands at the University of Chicago's Stagg Field."
Reiserer finds his photos from public federal archive websites plus a few other sources. He said the coolest part of the sites is when followers tell him a relative served in a specific unit or area where the photo was taken, or they learned something new.
"There are a lot of aspects of the war which are unknown to the general public," Reiserer said.
Check out some of the photos and facts below: