12 user 1 critic

Aerial Gunner (1943)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, War | 20 March 1943 (USA)
Old rivals are pitted against each other in basic training and fight for the same woman.


William H. Pine


Maxwell Shane (screenplay), Jack F. Dailey (idea)




Complete credited cast:
Chester Morris ... Sgt. 'Foxy' Pattis
Richard Arlen ... Sgt / Lt. Jonathan 'Jon' Davis
Jimmy Lydon ... Pvt. Sanford 'Sandy' Lunt
Amelita Ward ... Peggy Lunt (as Lita Ward)
Dick Purcell ... Pvt. Lancelot 'Gadget' Blaine
Keith Richards ... Sgt. Henry 'Jonesy' Jones
William 'Billy' Benedict ... Pvt. Jackson 'Sleepy' Laswell (as William Benedict)
Olive Blakeney ... Mrs. Sanford Lunt


Old rivals are pitted against each other in basic training and fight for the same woman.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


THRILLS...ACTION..."Somewhere in the Pacific" See more »


Drama | Romance | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »


When the Japanese fighters attack the bomber, we can clearly see that there are five of them. Foxie also confirms there are five enemy planes, and the planes are counted during the attack as they are shot down by the gunners. But when we cut to a close-up of the Japanese pilot, more than five planes can be seen on the far side of his fighter. See more »

User Reviews

High and Dry
15 March 2006 | by sol-kaySee all my reviews

***SPOILERS*** 1943 war movie involving two army men who knew each other on the outside on different sides of the law. Having his father sent away in prison where he later committed suicide Foxy Pattis, Chester Morris,had it in for the young assistant DA responsible for his dads death Jon David, Richard Aplen. Davis joining the army after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor surprisingly meets Foxie who turns out to be his instructor in aerial gunnery school at camp Hags Texas, you can just imagine what happens next.

The movie actually begins when Davis, now a lieutenant in the USAAF,flies his disabled bomber back to the American lines in the Pacific. Badly wounded with almost all his crew-mates, with the exception of Pvt. "Gadget" Blaine (Dick Purcel), dead Davis goes into a long monologue about what happened From that point on we get the story about Foxie's courage under fire and how both David & Blaine owe their lives to him.

We get the usual war story, from Davis, about him having all kinds of trouble with Foxie, who does everything to wash him out of Gunnery School, at Hags and the added attraction of both Foxie and Davis vying for the love of Peggy Lunt, Amelita Ward. It turns out that Peggy's brother the quite and sensitive Pvt. Sandy Lunt, Jimmy Lyndon,is also at Gunnery School and is in Foxie's class. Sandy panic-stricken at shooting his off tail-gun at the school's qualifying finals is given a second chance by the understanding Foxie. The next day Sandy after hitting his target goes psycho and blows up his planes tail section sending it into a free fall and crashing into an empty field. Sandy is visited by Foxie at the hospital and forgives the very guilty stricken gunnery instructor for sending him up in the air to shoot off his gun and then suddenly expires.

The movie then moves to the Pacific Theater of War where we now see Davis in charge of a bomber crew and guess who's his newest crew member, Foxie! Not only is Davis reunited with Foxie but the same people at Hags who were instructed by Foxie in aerial gunnery school are members of Davis' crew, what are the odds of that happening!

Hated by everyone on the bomber crew for what he had to do with Sandy's death which was really nothing at all since Sandy was determined to go up in the air, and how the hell did Foxie know that he'd blow himself and his plane up. Foxie gets his big chance to redeem himself later in the movie in a dog fight with a half dozen Japanese zeros in the air and well as a full company of Japanese troops on the ground. Foxie heroically ends up giving his life to save his fellow crew members who both hated and despised him.

Nothing really out of the ordinary here when it comes to war propaganda films released by Hollywood during WWII. There's also a very young, and ruggedly handsome, Robert Mitchum in a small part in the movie, playing a tail gunner, that makes "Aerial Gunner" something of a curiosity piece.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 12 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

20 March 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Artilheiro Aéreo See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed