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The Rear Gunner (1943)

 -  Short | Drama | War  -  10 April 1943 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 126 users  
Reviews: 3 user

A young rural enlistee is initially disappointed with his job as an air mechanic, but his great marksmanship skills make him a tail gunner in a bomber.



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Complete credited cast:
Pvt. L.A. Pee Wee Williams
Lt. Ames
Tom Neal ...
Instructor Sergeant
Benny (as Bernard Zanville)
Jonathan Hale ...
Commanding Officer
Knox Manning ...
Narrator (voice)


Documentary-style drama on training of aerial rear gunners in World War II. Private PeeWee Williams, a Kansas farm boy, transforms his home-grown shooting skills into those necessary to an aerial gunner in the tail turret of: an American bomber. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Drama | War


Not Rated




Release Date:

10 April 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Broadway Brevities: The Rear Gunner  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (shortened)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Vitaphone production reel #A1111 See more »


Narrator: The gunnery schools are always on the lookout for men short on height but long on ambition.
See more »


Featured in The United States Service Bands (1943) See more »


The Army Air Corps Song
Written by Robert Crawford
Sung by a chorus during the opening credits and played often in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

A great short film to laugh at.
25 August 2004 | by (Elizabethtown, KY) – See all my reviews

"A short film bout a B-17 gunner starring Burgess Meredith and Ronald Reagan. Approximately 20 minutes - B & W."

I guess, back in 1943, you were supposed to join the armed forces after seeing this short film. It's pretty much a recruitment film. Meredith plays a stuttering soldier who finds his place as a rear gunner aboard a B-17. Ronald Reagan plays the part of the pilot.

I found this film on a DVD of WWII films that I bought at Wal-Mart for about five dollars.

It's a great film to make fun of with your friends. Just imagine all the lines from Rocky and Grumpy Old Men that you can quote while watching Meredith shoot down Japanese fighters over the Pacific.

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