‘Too Good to be Forgotten’ is a Snapshot of the Past in an Odyssey Shared by Father and Son

by Gordon Shelly

The 23-minute documentary Too Good to be Forgotten is snippet in time, retelling the tales of patrol craft sailors of World War II and the Korean War, with its emphasis primarily focusing on World War  II.

Filmmaker Andy Bystrom served 28 years in the Navy and retired a Captain in 2012. However, this isn’t just his story, but his father’s as well, Lieutenant John Bystrom, who joined the Navy during World War II.

Too Good to be Forgotten is a collection of film footage and photographs taken during this time, by the late Lt. John Bystrom, and it is narrated by his son.

Patrol crafts (or patrol boats) are small naval vessels designed for defense and rescue, with the vessels playing an important role in the wars of the 20th century.

Captain Andy Bystrom began the journey of Too Good to be Forgotten in 2019 as part of the “Veterans Make Movies” program through the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. And although Too Good to be Forgotten didn’t officially begin until 2019, Bystrom says it was a movie 77 years in the making.

Through his father’s footage, Bystrom compiles a unique documentary, that tells a compelling a story of a segment of the Navy, which is often “forgotten.” In fact, the motto of the Patrol Craft Sailors Association is where the movie finds its name — Too Good to be Forgotten.

The elder Bystrom took home movie footage and photographs that are seen by the public for the first time in this documentary, including unique footage of the Bikini Atoll, footage from patrol crafts, and another footage unique to the experience of a patrol craft sailor.

This is an interesting and compelling piece of history as told through the imagery of someone who experienced and witnessed it firsthand. The narration of Andy Bystrom, an experienced and retired Naval officer, brings an additional authority and authenticity to the movie.

To have this story shared by father and son, makes it even more sincere and impactful. Too Good to be Forgotten is an important piece of history with an impact that is more greatly felt because of the connection of the two men who essentially salvaged the memory this tale — John Bystrom through his footage and photographs, and Andy Bystrom by bring the journey full circle with this documentary.

In the end, Bystrom dedicates his documentary to the more than 50,000 sailors who served on patrol crafts, now in their 80s and 90s.