US Aircraft Carriers Go to WarWorld War II Flat Tops in Action
The videos on this DVD have audio and video restoration. See & hear what that means
The Battle of Midway (1942, Color, 18:00) Academy Award Winning Documentary, Directed by four time Oscar Winner John Ford (The Quiet Man, The Grapes of Wrath, Stage Coach, The Informer) New Color Corrected Edition from archival sources. This stirring documentary was shot by Drector John Ford during the intense June 4th Japanese carrier plane attacks on Midway Island and by Navy Combat Cameramen abordthe USS Yorktown during the epic carrier battle, along with color gun camera film of air to air and air to sea combat.. Highlights include memorable scenes from the Marine Base on Midway, airfield B-17s leaving to attack the Japanese fleet, patroling PBYs,. action packed Japanese attacks on the Yorktown and Midway, and up close shots of the Yorktown's squadron VF3 and their F4F Wild Cats, including aces John S. "Jimmy' Thach ("The Thach Weave") and Lt. E. Scott McCuskey. And it wouldn't be a John Ford movie without some of the most vivid combat cinematography you have ever seen, a touching and dramatic score by nine time Oscar winner Alfred Newman, and some folksy narration by Henry Fonda. Like many World War II period pictures, the facts presented in "The battle of Midway" are not always historically accurate, but there is no denying that these are some of the most powerful images we have of this epic battle, a turning point in World War II. The America people needed a shot in the arm after Pearl Harbor and '"The Battle of Midway" supplied it in spades!
The Fleet that Came to Stay (1945, B&W, 22:00) In March, 1945, the US Army, Navy and Marines, with the support of the British Pacific Fleet, launched "Operation Iceberg" against the Japanese Island of Okinawa, in the Ryukus, a key stepping stone for the invasion of the Japanese home islands. US troops landed successfully, leading to one of the bloodiest land battles in world War II. In response over the next tree months,the Japanese launched a series of terrifying kamikaze suicide aircraft attacks from land bases only 350 miles away against the screening Allied naval forces. The Japanese flew 1,900 sorties, sinking dozens of Allied ships and killing more than 5,000 U.S. sailors at the cost of 1,465 kamikaze planes. 2,200 other Japanese and 763 U.S. aircraft were also destroyed during the battle. Although no major warships were lost, several fleet carriers were severely damaged and knocked out of action. "The Fleet that came to stay" tells the high tension story of the defense of the landing beaches with some of the most exciting and dramatic air combat footage to come out of World War II. You'll see nonstop action including determined Kamakazi attacks through a forest of FLAK, extensive gun camera film taken from US carrier planes defending the ships, and exciting air to ground attacks as Admiral Mitcher's planes struck back at Japanese air bases. An added bonus are some remarkably clear shots of a captured (?) Japanese Kawasaki KI 61 Hien "Tony" fighter.
The Second Battle of the Philippines: The Battle of Leyte Gulf (1945, B&W, 22:00) The Second Battle of the Philippines, popularly known today as 'The Battle of Leyte Gulf," was the largest Naval engagement in history, swirling around the 1944 invasion of Leyte Island and the Japanese navy's surprise counter strike. You'll see dramatic naval surface battles and carrier air footage from several engagements, including "The Battle of the Sibuyan Sea" (24 October), battleship action at "The Battle of Surigao Strait" (25 October), "The Battle off Samar" (25 October) where the gallant jeep carriers and destroyers of Task Unit 77.4.3 turned back Japanese Admiral Kuita's massive Center Force Fleet on Leyte's door step, and "The Battle off Cape Engaño" (25–26 October) where Admiral Mitscher's Task Force 38 carriers pounded Japanese Admiral Ozawas carrier force which was being used to decoy American forces away from Kurita's strike on the Leyte landing. Not to be missed!
The Life and Death of the USS Hornet (1943, B&W, 18:00) This documentary tells the dramatic story of the legendary aircraft carrier, the USS Hornet (CV-8) , from her launching by Newport News Shipbuilding on Dec 14, 1941 through her dramatic loss on 27 October 1942 after the Battle of Santa Cruz off Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. In between , you'll see some of the best footage we have of the Hornet's role in the launching of Col. Jimmy Doolittle's amazing B-25 bomber strike on Tokyo from here heaving flight deck on 18 April, 1942. You'll also see memorable scenes from her participation in the Battle of Midway, including up close footage of the immortal heroes of Torpedo Squadron 8 (VT-8), all of whose members, except one lone survivor, Ensign George Gay, lost their lives flying unescorted against the Japanese fleet in their out-dated Douglas TBD Devastators. Their sacrifice helped draw protecting Japanese fighters away from their carriers, leading to the loss of three of them that day to US dive bombers. Hornet received four battle stars for World War II service. Torpedo Squadron 8 was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation "for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service beyond the call of duty" in the Battle of Midway.
The Saga of the USS Franklin (1945, Color, 24:00) New Print! This inspiring documentary shows how the gallant officers and men of the distinguished Essex class carrier USS Franklin overcame incredible battle damage inflicted by a devastating bomb hit to save their ship and bring it home. Remarkably, combat cameramen happened to be aboard ship to capture the action. The film also contains rare and informative color footage of late war Vought F4U Corsair and Curtiss SB2C Helldiver combat operations from the Franklin right off the coast of Japan. Perhaps most memorably, you'll see the officers and men of the USS Franklin first ably going about their daily business and then catapulted by fate into performing selfless acts of heroism under extraordinarily difficult circumstances.