Major Daniel Kirby takes command of a squadron of Marine fliers just before they are about to go into combat. While the men are well meaning, he finds them undisciplined and prone to always finding excuses to do what is easy rather than what is necessary. The root of the problem is the second in command, Capt. Carl 'Griff' Griffin. Griff is the best flier in the group but Kirby finds him a poor commander who is not prepared to the difficult decision that all commanders have to make - to put men in harm's way knowing that they may be killed. Written by
AIR-DEVILS OF THE SKY!
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Did You Know?
and Robert Ryan
managed to put aside their vast political differences while making this film, although Ryan was appalled by Wayne's support for blacklisting and extending the Korean War by launching nuclear strikes on Chinese cities. However they later did not get along at all while filming The Longest Day
(1962). See more
A couple of the Grumman F6F Hellcats in the close support strafing run weren't the proper plane. They were Curtiss SB2C Helldivers, not an ideal close support aircraft with the big Wright R-2600 18 cylinder engine in the nose. The tails were distinctively different and rather unique to any airplane. See more
Maj. Daniel Xavier Kirby
Come on Wildcats, make us proud today!
Referenced in Canadian Bacon