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Beyond the Line of Duty (1942)

Approved | | Short, Biography, War | 7 November 1942 (USA)
Narrated by Ronald Reagan, this Warner Brothers short in support of the war effort focuses on the exploits of Army Air Corps Captain Hewett T. Wheless and his exploits just after the U.S. ... See full summary »




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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Hewitt T. Wheless ...
Himself (as Captain Hewett T. Wheless)
Narrator (voice)
Himself (voice) (archive footage) (as Franklin Delano Roosevelt)
Hubert R. Harmon ...
Himself (as Major General H.K. Harmon)


Narrated by Ronald Reagan, this Warner Brothers short in support of the war effort focuses on the exploits of Army Air Corps Captain Hewett T. Wheless and his exploits just after the U.S. entry into World War II. He was a ranch hand before enlisting and the film recreates his training with Wheless eventually commanding a bomber. On a mission, his aircraft encountered 18 Japanese Zeros but he managed to safely return to base, despite the severe damage to his aircraft. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his heroism. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Biography | War


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

7 November 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Air Force Film 119  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science's (AMPAS) on-line database, as well as its set of looseleaf pages listing all nominees and winners, this wartime dramatic short is incorrectly identified as an entry in Warner Bros.' "Broadway Brevities" series, which comprises musical two-reelers. See more »


Whelless's Air Force Buddy: Hey, knock over a couple of Japs for me, will ya?
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Crazy Credits

Narrator Ronald Reagan identifies the credited actors listed below his name. See more »


Featured in Warner at War (2008) See more »


The Army Air Corps Song
Written by Robert Crawford
Performed by a chorus
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User Reviews

Fine Film Of True Heroism
9 March 2002 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

A Warner Brothers Short Subject.

Hewitt T. Wheless, a young Army Air Corps pilot, acts BEYOND THE LINE OF DUTY in returning his badly damaged Flying Fortress safely to base during the Japanese attack upon the Philippines.

Wheless, a former Texas cowboy, plays himself in this excellent little film, which was awarded the Oscar for Best Two-Reel Short Subject of 1942. Without a wasted moment or unnecessary scene, it shows how he had all the ‘right stuff' to become one of the first of America's combat heroes of World War Two.

When this Short was released in November of 1942, Captain Wheless was 29 years old. When he retired in 1968, he was the Assistant Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Lieutenant General Wheless died on September 7, 1986, at the age of 72, during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, who narrated BEYOND THE LINE OF DUTY 44 years earlier.

After Pearl Harbor, Hollywood went to war totally against the Axis. Not only did many of the stars join up or do home front service, but the output of the Studios was largely turned to the war effort. The newsreels, of course, brought the latest war news into the neighborhood theater every week. The features showcased battle stories or war related themes. Even the short subjects & cartoons were used as a quick means of spreading Allied propaganda, the boosting of morale or information dissemination. Together, Uncle Sam, the American People & Hollywood proved to be an unbeatable combination.

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