During World War II, an insubordinate fighter pilot finds the shoe on the other foot when he's promoted.



, (additional dialogue)

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An American Army officer is recruited by the yet to exist Israel to help them form an army. He is disturbed by this sudden appeal to his jewish roots. Each of Israel's Arab neighbors has ... See full summary »

Director: Melville Shavelson
Stars: Kirk Douglas, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra
Marooned (1969)
Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Three American astronauts are stranded in space when their retros won't fire. Can they be rescued before their oxygen runs out?

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Gregory Peck, Richard Crenna, David Janssen
Certificate: Passed Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In the wake of Pearl Harbor, a young lieutenant leaves his expectant wife to volunteer for a secret bombing mission which will take the war to the Japanese homeland.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Van Johnson, Robert Walker
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

During the WW2 housing shortage in Washington, two men and a woman share a single apartment and the older man plays Cupid to the other two.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn
Gog (1954)
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A security agent investigates sabotage and murder at a secret underground laboratory, home of two experimental robots.

Director: Herbert L. Strock
Stars: Richard Egan, Constance Dowling, Herbert Marshall
Gun Fury (1953)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In Arizona, Frank Slayton's gang robs a stagecoach and kidnaps Ben Warren's fiancée, prompting Warren to pursue Slayton.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Rock Hudson, Donna Reed, Philip Carey
Kismet (1955)
Adventure | Musical | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A roguish poet is given the run of the scheming Wazir's harem while pretending to help him usurp the young caliph.

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, Stanley Donen
Stars: Howard Keel, Ann Blyth, Dolores Gray
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A married woman, her husband and her lover.

Director: Frank Tuttle
Stars: Roland Young, Thelma Todd, Cary Grant
Action | War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The lives, loves, and battles of fictional characters in the Army's First Ranger Battalion during WWII.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: James Garner, Etchika Choureau, Jack Warden
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

West Point graduate Lt.Hazard is posted to Fort Delivery,Arizona,where he has to deal with lax discipline,romantic complications,Apaches and his conflicting feelings toward the Indians.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Troy Donahue, Suzanne Pleshette, Diane McBain
Sea Devils (1953)
Adventure | Drama | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Gilliat,a fisherman/smuggler is in jail, and is offered a pardon, if he undertakes a mission to sail to France to rescue Douchette, an English agent, whose cover has been blown,and who has now been jailed. Gilliat accepts the challenge.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Yvonne De Carlo, Rock Hudson, Maxwell Reed
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An older woman discovers that her multi-million dollar fortune was based on embezzlement, so she sets out to right the wrong. She goes to America to meet the young woman who is the one and ... See full summary »

Director: Curtis Bernhardt
Stars: Priscilla Lane, Jeffrey Lynn, Ronald Reagan


Complete credited cast:
Capt. Stuart L. Hamilton
John Rodney ...
Col. William 'Bill' Brickley
Tom D'Andrea ...
M / Sgt. James F. Dolan
Brig. Gen. Mike McCready
James Holden ...
Lt. Tennessee Atkins
Walter Reed ...
Capt. Duke Chappell
Shepperd Strudwick ...
Brig. Gen. Mel Gilbert
Arthur Space ...
Maj. Sanford
Lt. 'Shorty' Kirk
Bill McLean ...
Pvt. Wilbur (as William McLean)
Mickey McCardle ...
Captain (scenes deleted) (as Richard Taylor)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rory Mallinson ...
Guard (scenes deleted)


At an American air base in England, 1943, is conniving Sergeant Dolan, who manipulates everyone, and insubordinate ace fighter pilot Major Ed Hardin. When Ed is promoted to commander of his group, he must fight his former anti-authority stance as well as the enemy; tension grows as D-Day approaches. Generally lighthearted between moments of technicolor gore; lots of air combat footage, much of it genuine. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Those Guys in the Skies with Wings on Their Hearts Bring a Roaring New Thrill to Yours! See more »


Action | War


See all certifications »





Release Date:

27 November 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Escuadron de combate  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film debut of Rock Hudson. See more »


When the squadron attacks the German airfield, we see an attack view from the air, then a view on the ground, and an explosion with fire and smoke on the ground before the scene moves back up to the planes that are just starting to dive into the attack. See more »


Gotta Be This or That
Music by Sunny Skylar
Played when Lt. Kirk introduces himself to Lt. Col. Hardin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

well-paced action and a fitting storyline
16 March 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Of course 'Fighter Squadron' employed P-51D Mustangs to depict Luftwaffe Me.109G's. Big deal: how many films use the wrong gear to portray the right gear? (Duh...Hollywood = PRETEND!) No major sin committed, okay? Besides, there's at least one Hollywood film (whose title escapes me at the moment) in which differently-painted bubble-canopied P-51's portray USAAF Mustangs AND Luftwaffe Me.109's.

'Fighter Squadron' is well-paced and the storyline rings true with accounts written by the men of the USAAF who actually flew fighters in the ETO. Yes, the dialogue is a bit "rah-rah," but I challenge anyone who's known fighter pilots to contend that they're not a rah-rah, go-team-go, bunch of daredevils; moreover, the film was made in the context of the postwar flush of victory, in which period there were few who challenged the might or the right of the architects and builders of the Allied victories over Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.

Man oh man, was the young Robert Stack ever so handsome as he was in 'Fighter Squadron'! Edmond O'Brien gives a bristling, aggressive, energetic performance as the squadron's CO. As the commanding general Henry Hull lends his stern dignity to the effort. Tom D'Andrea provides welcome comic relief as the enterprising Sergeant Dolan whose scheming employment of black cats wangles for his character plenty of off-base time in which to shirk his legitimate duties - and to arouse the ire of the black feline-owning English civilian population.

There is a touching plot detail in the handing-down of a killed-in-action pilot's coveted flying boots, which illustrates just one of the many ways in which sentimentality's were expressed by, if not directly revealed or mentioned among themselves, young macho fighter jocks.

Aeroplane nuts can't complain about the abundant color footage of masses of P-47D's of both razorback and bubble-canopy configuration. Despite those irksome P-51D Hollywood "Messerschmitts" there are correct portrayals of much other gear, such as the variety of RAF and USAAF goggles and flying helmets actually worn by USAAF ETO pilots, shearling-lined flight suits and boots, A-2 flight jackets, ground crew coveralls and maintenance gear, and more. Also heartwarming to realist aviation nuts is the war-worn, paint-chipped-and-faded, oil and exhaust streaked condition of the P-47's appearing in the film (which was shot at a USAF base in the Carolinas at which then-obsolescent Thunderbolts were still employed in 1948 to train pilots); none of those glossy, glammed-up-to-perfection movie aircraft in this hard-charging story, although the pristine paint on the "Me.109's" betrays the production company's hurried disguise of their P-51 under skinning.

Extraneous historical detail: one reviewer points out that the P-47N Thunderbolt enjoyed a range superior to that of the P-51 Mustang. True indeed, but the P-47N model came too late for the ETO and, actually, it was developed to provide fighter escort for the long over water missions flown by B-29 crews in the Pacific Theater - the Mustang's liquid-cooled Merlin engine rendered it the second choice for such long flights over the sea, whereas the P-47 Jug's much less finicky, rugged, dependable Pratt & Whitney radial engine recommended itself for pilot survival through such missions. The P&W radial often functioned remarkably well with one or two cylinders shot-off, while no Merlin engine, or any other liquid-cooled aero-engine, absent a cylinder would long provide propulsion sufficient for the sustenance of flight.

In a way, 'Fighter Squadron' was the thrilling 'Top Gun' of its time, with the chief - and significant - difference being that of the two films 'Fighter Squadron' portrays fighter operations and tactics in an actual war - and without, in either film's case, the contextual absurdity of a civilian woman fighter plane instructor.

Does anyone know the title of 'Fighter Squadron's' soundtrack's rousing march theme? The same march was used for several film soundtracks, from among which the only other title I can recall is 1941's 'Dive Bomber.' In sum, 'Fighter Squadron' gives plenty of bang for one's buck. You won't see it on anybody's all-time-greats list, but it's a sound story told tidily which profits from apt casting, superb pacing, and vivid action sequences.

20 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The DVD pgruendler-1
Steiner's score The Daz
fighter squadron lonnieredskinds
Theme Music : 'We Watch the Skyways' eThink
A feast for the eyes of WWII flight gear in color rac701
Blood Chit on back of jacket swojtak
Discuss Fighter Squadron (1948) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: