UU topic: ‘The Carpetbagger Project’


By Phil Swearngin

Special to The PREVIEW

The Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (PUUF) invites you to attend a program titled “The Carpetbagger Project,” with Phil Swearngin, for its regular service this Sunday, July 2.

One of the best-kept secrets of World War II was The Carpetbagger Project. The American Army 8th Air Force 801st/492nd Bomb Group, code name “Carpetbaggers,” along with British Royal Air Force Special Forces, flew highly classified special operations to deliver arms, supplies and secret agents into enemy-occupied Europe.

Together with the American Office of Strategic Services and the British Special Operations Executive, The Carpetbagger Project equipped resistance groups from Norway to Yugoslavia.

The success of the operation, the bravery of the men and women involved and their anonymity served to inspire Swearngin to create a film in commemoration. The result is “The Carpetbagger Project,” a film containing actual film footage, interviews and rare photographs of this secret WWII operation that will be shown following Swearngin’s talk.

Swearngin is a television producer and director. He worked for Fox Sports in Los Angeles for 12 years producing and editing on-air promotions for major league sports. He was a former student of professor John Graves, who retired and moved to Pagosa Springs in 1996.

After producing and directing the documentary “The Carpetbagger Project,” Swearngin moved with his family to Pagosa Springs, where he was the video production manager at Parelli Natural Horsemanship for the past five years.

Swearngin is married to Melissa, whose grandfather, Jim Jackson, was a B-24 pilot during World War II. He and his crew are featured in the documentary, and they were the inspiration for Swearngin to study the history of this classified military operation.

This program reflects the Unitarian Universalist principles of “Justice, equity and compassion in human relations” and “The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all.”

PUUF is a caring, inclusive fellowship dedicated to spiritual growth, justice and serving the needs of our larger community. As a Welcoming Congregation, we invite everyone to share in our faith community. We cherish diversity and foster a safe environment for all.

Enjoy refreshments and conversation after services, which are held Sundays at 10:30 a.m. in Unit B-15 of the Greenbriar Plaza. From North Pagosa Boulevard, turn onto Park Avenue, then turn into the Greenbriar Plaza, drive to the east side of the parking lot and look for the Unitarian Universalist sign, facing north.

For further information, see pagosauu.org or call 731-7900.