On December 6, 1941 nine B-17 bomber set off on a flight from San Francisco to Hawaii. One of the bombers, the Mary Ann, is commanded by 'Irish' Quincannon. The bombardier, Tommy McMartin, has a sister living in Hawaii and the co-pilot, Bill Williams, is sweet on her. The men are all highly professional with the exception of aerial gunner Joe Winocki, a bitter man who has every intention of leaving the army air corps. They arrive at Hickam Field on the morning of December 7, just as the Japanese are attacking Pearl Harbor and other military facilities. All of the men prepare to face the enemy, including Winocki whose attitude changes quickly. The bomber and its crew will participate in many missions but not all will survive.Written by
As the plane approaches Hawaii the radio man tunes in to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Winocki jokingly asks if the radio man was tuned in to Orson Welles. This was a reference to the infamous radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds, a fictional story that was made by Welles to sound like a real broadcast of an invasion from Mars. See more »
The destruction of any Japanese fleet by horizontal bombing B-17s never occurred in 1941 or in any of the ensuing years. The Japanese skillfully maneuvered their ships to avoid the bombers. Destruction of Japanese ships to the extent depicted in the movie did not occur until the Battle of Midway in June 1942, and that was primarily done by dive bombers. See more »
Opening credits prologue: FOREWARD "It is for us the living .... to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced ..... It is ......for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us ..... that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Abraham Lincoln See more »
I Get a Kick Out of You
Written by Cole Porter
Background music before the briefing in Australia See more »
An irony years later
I was stationed at Hamilton Air Force Base from November of 1966 till March of 1970. The movie starts off with a teletype message coming through ordering the B-17 group to proceed from Hamilton Field California to Hickam Field Hawaii for two weeks of annual training . I was stationed at the same base years later when it was a fighter plane base. I saw lots of old photos from the days when Flying Fortress B-17's flew off the same runway. Even though the special effects are not up to todays standards, I still enjoy watching this movie every time it is on TV . As a military photographer, I can only imagine what it must have been like to capture the chaos going on that Sunday morning in 1941. My first two years , I used a Speed Graphic just like those used back then so I have insight into how they worked .
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