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The Rear Gunner (1943)

Not Rated | | Short, Drama, War | 10 April 1943 (USA)
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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Pvt. L.A. Pee Wee Williams (as Lieutenant Burgess Meredith)
...
Lt. Ames (as Lieutenant Ronald Reagan)
...
Instructor Sergeant
...
Benny (as Bernard Zanville)
...
Commanding Officer
Knox Manning ...
Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Genres:

Short | Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 April 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Broadway Brevities (1942-1943 season) #10: The Rear Gunner  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (shortened)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Burgess Meredith and actual Lieutenant in the US Army Air Corps at the time of filming (Later reached the rank of Captain) portrayed a Private in the movie and was promoted to Corporal late in the movie. See more »

Quotes

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

Featured in Warner at War (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

The Army Air Corps Song
Written by Robert Crawford
Sung by a chorus during the opening credits and played often in the score
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Historical Comment
26 November 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Aircraft in the movie is a B-24 Liberator and not a B-17 Flying Fortress. The B-17 was the first long range heavy bomber used by the U.S.A.A.F. The B-24 could carry a heavier bomb load. The B-24 could fly longer range than the B-17, which is was designed to augment in the arsenal of air power. The rear gun position did not look as in the movie, but was probably used to allow the viewer to see Burgess Meredith. The top turret shown in the film was never used on the B-24 or the B-17. That turret would have been found on the Martin bomber of the 30s and not used afterwards. In several shots they also showed Lockheed Hudsons as the bomber being flown. Hudsons were used greatly by the Brits, especially in their "moonlight squadron" operations. Agents were flown in Hudsons to occupied territory in the Hudson, although this was not the only use for the Hudson. A multitude of craft were used to parachute them.


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