The US Navy Bombers DVD
* The Brewster SB2A-4 "Buccaneer" Scout/Dive Bomber (1943, B&W, 17:00) Was it really "the worst aircraft of World War II?" See the video and judge for yourself! (Look for the little clues in the narration.) Though this training film goes out of it's way to sing the Buccaneers praises, her flaws are all too obvious if you watch and listen carefully. Even so, many Marine trainee pilots learned the ropes of dive bombing in the big Brewster.
- * Black Cat PBY (1945, B&W 20:00) New Print New revised edition
- The identities of the previously undisclosed secret PBY base shown in this film and the men who flew from it are revealed for the first time in this exclusive new release. What was that mysterious plane swooping down out of the night sky on unsuspecting Japanese ships and bases, hundreds of miles from any known American airstrip? The answer was, as you'll see in this good humored, affectionate film, the slow, ungainly, but deadly "Black Cat" PBY. Originally designed primarily as a reconnaissance and antisubmarine amphibious patrol plane, the big twin engined Catalina's super long range, all weather capability, capacity to lug both bombs and radar, ability to loiter for hours hunting convoys and operate from anywhere in the watery PTO, made it an ideal naval night attack bomber. One of the least known stories of the war in the Pacific, these black painted PBY "VPB" ('Patrol Bombing") squadrons spread destruction and chaos far out of proportion to their relatively small numbers. A frequent tactic was to cut their engines and float in almost silently on their prey. As this film shows, night ops were very risky, but the rewards could be huge, including the sinking of a 6,000 ton Katori class light cruiser by Lt. William B Sumpler, of VPB-33, for which he was awarded the Navy Cross.
- * Aerial Torpedo Attack - High Speed High Altitude NEW (1945, B&W; 30:00) Every once in a while, a previously unknown film comes out of the past that raises the curtain on a forgotten chapter of military history. This film does just that, illuminating the science of naval aerial torpedo attacks. Originally developed to educate pilots about newly developed torpedoes that could be dropped from higher (and therefore less vulnerable) altitudes and speeds, the film also gives a through grounding in torpedo attacks in general. You;ll learn about depth setting, range estimation, target angles, leading the target, the effect of crosswinds, working with fighters and dive bombers during an attack, using radar, countering evasive ship maneuvers and much more. You'll also see how far we've come from an analog world where printed charts were cross referenced during combat. All in all, a very interesting and revealing film
- * Flying the TBF Avenger (1943, B&W, 23:30) The Grumman TBF/TBM "Avenger" Torpedo Bomber. This
was Dubya's Dad's WWII ride. The Avenger was a tough and accurate
bomber that had a reputation for taking punishment and bringing it's
crew home. Relatively easy to fly, the big Avenger was surprisingly
nimble. The TBF could pack up to 500 lb bombs or one Mk1 13-2 torpedo,
and with all three tanks topped up with 335 gallons of fuel, could
strike targets up to 260 miles away. More than 7,500 TBF/TBM Avengers
were produced in 20 variants, which fought with distinction in most
major naval battles in the Pacific and was well liked by the Royal navy.117 page Grumman TBF/TBM pilot's manual with photos, systems diagrams, performance charts, flight procedures & more.
* Introduction to Dive Bombing (1943, B&W, 24:00)
you leave the deck in that Dauntless, you'd better learn how to dive
bomb properly. The US Navy pioneered dive bombing techniques after
World War I and it shows in this informative film, produced by the
Department of the Navy in 1943. You'll learn everything from the basic
theory of dive bombing to how to put your egg on a real target,
including ships at sea.* Deploying Aerial Mines (1944, B&W, 16:34) New This
film describes World War II aerial mine warfare at sea,. You'll learn
the basics of mine laying, including strategy and tactics. You'll also
find out how mines were fused and armed to be ready for deployment,
along with detailed diagrams of their inner workings. You'll see rare
footage of actual aerial mine laying missions by PBJs in the Pacific.
Although seldom dealt with in general histories of World War II, aerial
mines were often used with deadly effect by both Axis and Allied forces.
66 page Douglas SBD3 "Dauntless" dive bomber pilot's manual with
photos, systems diagrams, performance charts, flight procedures &
more. This tough, capable aircraft delivered decisive strikes against
Japanese carriers at the Battle of Midway.