An American tanker is sunk by a German U-boat and the survivors spend eleven days at sea on a raft. They're next assigned to the liberty ship "Sea Witch" bound for Murmansk through the sub-stalked North Atlantic.
Sam Clayton has a good heart and likes to help out people in need. In fact, he likes to help them out so much that he often finds himself broke and unable to help his own family buy the things they need--like a house.
On the day of his retirement, Rear Admiral Jonathan L. Scott reflects on his role in introducing aircraft carriers to the U.S. Navy. After World War I, there was a general downsizing of the military. There were only limited opportunities to create a carrier-bound air capability. The aircraft were not designed specifically for landing on a flat top and several death occur during training. Over the years however, Scott is one of several men who pursue their dream of aircraft carriers and aircraft specifically designed for that purpose. Their worth is proved in World War II at the Battle of Midway and throughout the war. Written by
The technical advisor, Capt. S.G. Mitchell, was commanding officer of the fighter squadron aboard USS Hornet (CV-8) at the Battle of Midway, which is portrayed in the movie. He ran his planes out of fuel, resulting in all ten aircraft lost and two pilots drowned. The Hornet does not appear in this film because the point of view is largely from the Yorktown (CV-5), which was sunk in the battle. However, one of the senior aviators, McCluskey, (played by Bruce Bennett), is a clear reference to the Enterprise (CV-6) air group commander, Clarence Wade McClusky. See more »
At one point, as he's narrating the story, Capt. Scott says it's May 31. In the next sentence, however, he says that they are going to strike Okinawa on April 1, April Fool's Day as he points out. The Battle of Okinawa started on April 1. See more »
This film depicts the reality of war, better than the turn of the century films, like Pearl Harbor and Saving Private Ryan. The kamikaze attacks what looked like the USS Franklin are very realistic, as were the attacks on JNS Akagi. It also shows realistic views of the USS Missouri in action in the storming of Okinawa. The film just shows Americans in their best light, fighting against the odds, and their own superiors at the same time. Not like Operation Overlord and the Ardennes Offensive, battles more often depicted, which by comparison were cakewalks where the outcome was never in doubt. In this movie, the Japanese are also seen as being a creditable and respected adversaries.
Gary Cooper is much more convincing as a WW2 leader than say, Ben Affleck. The leaders at the time were modest men, just doing a job. There was also a lot of technical planning involved in WW2, not just gungho American soldiers and sailors in continuous and unrealistic action. It is also far more dangerous at sea than on land, as you can't go anywhere. The danger element and the general communication between the CVs was bought out well in this movie.
This film is a historical recounting of the greatest naval episode of all time.
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