A historical account of military policy regarding homosexuals during World War II. The documentary includes interviews with several gay WWII veterans.



On Disc

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9 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


Credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Phillis Abry ...
Herself - Radio Technician, Women's Army Corps
David Barrett ...
Himself - Storekeeper, U.S. Navy
Additional Voice (voice)
Pat Bond ...
Herself - Medical Technician, U.S. Women's Army Corps (scenes deleted)
Margarethe Cammermeyer ...
Herself - Former Colonel & Chief Nurse, Washington National Guard (archive footage)
Himself - President of the United States (archive footage) (as President Bill Clinton)
Daniel R. Coats ...
Himself - Indiana Senator (archive footage) (as Sen. Dan Coats)
Max Cole ...
Himself - Communications and Boat Officer in the Amphibious Force, U.S. Navy (scenes deleted) (as Ernest Max Cole)
Sarah Davis ...
Herself - Aviation Machinist Mate, WAVES
Elwood Burton Gerrits ...
Himself - Pharmacist Mate Third Class, U.S. Navy (scenes deleted)
Nicolai Gioscia ...
Himself - Psychiatrist, U.S. Army (scenes deleted)
Herbert Greenspan ...
Himself - Psychiatrist, U.S. Navy (as Dr. Herbert Greenspan)
Victoria Hochberg ...
Additional Voice (voice)
David E. Jeremiah ...
Himself - Vice Chairman of theU.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (archive footage)


A historical account of military policy regarding homosexuals during World War II. The documentary includes interviews with several gay WWII veterans. Written by Travis <mtharris@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Prejudice In The Military - Then & Now See more »



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Release Date:

January 1994 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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Did You Know?


Pat Bond (interview date: September 30, 1990), Max Cole (interview date: March 29, 1993), Elwood Burton Gerrits (interview date: June 17, 1993), Nicolai Gioscia (interview date: February 27, 1993), and Edna Rostow (interview date: May 1, 1993) were all original interview subjects, but for various reasons, their interviews/scenes were not included in the final original film. However, upon release of the DVD, their interviews/scenes were added as 'additional interviews,' which could be found in the 'additional features' section of the DVD, along with 'historical documents,' 'extended scenes,' 'production notes,' and 'music selections.' See more »

Crazy Credits

Pat Bond Medical Technician, U.S. Women's Army Corps Interview date: September 30, 1990 Pat Bond, born Patricia Childers, joined the WACS in 1945. She escaped the military's anti-gay persecution by entering a marriage of convenience with a gay man and passed as heterosexual. After the war, Bond settled in the burgeoning gay community of post-war San Francisco where she began a successful acting career on stage. In 1978, she appeared in the landmark documentary about gay people, 'Word is Out.' Bond passed away at the age of 65 on December 14, 1990, three months after filming this interview. Duration: 10:15 See more »


Features Shades of Gray (1948) See more »


I Don't Care
Words by Jean Lenox
Music by Harry O. Sutton
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the most important documentaries ever made
6 November 2005 | by (Washington DC) – See all my reviews

This documentary won at least four major awards for excellence, but that only tells part of the story. Yes, it is brilliantly made, but more importantly, it is dead-on IMPORTANT for all of humanity to know the story told here. This film is a great way to teach this part of our history to future generations.

In "Coming Out Under Fire" you get to meet 9 people whose lives were devastated in varying degrees by an unjust anti-gay policy in US armed forces. How many Americans today realize that some of our dedicated American veterans were forced to live in ANIMAL CAGES in hellish heat for months? How many Americans today know that dedicated American veterans were forced to return home branded a "sexual pervert," making it impossible to stay in their hometowns near their families and making it impossible for them to get a job in most parts of America? How many Americans know that valiant, decent, hard-working and dedicated American veterans were robbed of their veterans' benefits for no reason at all? And how many Americans realize that these sins against countless American veterans have still not been corrected or apologized for to this very day in spite of the removal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"?

This is a very important film. It sheds a bit of light on one of America's greatest shames. "Coming Out Under Fire" only shows the tip of the iceberg. There are many more stories to be told. But at least this film is a start.

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