Last Flight Home (2007)
The stark phrase 'Missing In Action' leaves the human spirit room for hope, doubt and question. While it seems that Dr. Scannon's work is in a far remote piece of the world, the real adventure and spirit is in bringing answers to the families of those missing all these years.
They bravely served their country during some of the most brutal battles of World War II so we could have the freedom we enjoy today. However, in an instant, they were lost to their families forever. For more than 60 years, the whereabouts of these fallen heroes remained a mystery, until now. More than 200 aircraft plunged onto and around the islands of Palau during WWII battle with nearly half of their crew still listed as Missing in Action (MIA) today. "Last Flight Home" follows Dr. Patrick Scannon and his team of volunteers as they search the waters and jungles of Palau attempting to locate information that can lead to the identification and recovery of remains of these American MIAs. Palau is a group of islands in the far western Pacific Ocean including the militarily strategic island of Peleliu, which was caught in three Pacific Theater battles including Operation Desecrate One, Operation Snapshot and the Battle of Peleliu (codenamed Operation Stalemate II). The battles of Palau, fought between the U.S. and Japan during the War in the Pacific, have been largely ignored by history, eclipsed by the more famous Iwo Jima, Kwajelein and Okinawa. Join Scannon and his team who have found numerous aircraft such as Corsairs, Avengers, Hellcats and B-24s during their expeditions, and who tirelessly search for answers as a way of thanking the MIAs and their families for the sacrifices made decades ago.
- The 'Last Flight Home' documents the story of Dr. Patrick Scannons work searching for and finding missing World War II aircraft and the MIAs associated with them in Palau. A ferocious battleground nearly forgotten by history, yet more than 200 aircraft went down on and around the islands. More than half of those with crew now listed as Missing In Action. Over sixty years ago all they got was a telegram. Where abouts unknown, Missing In Action. And over the generations these families have refused to forget and refused to stop waiting. For an answer, for their return, for some clue as to what happened. Surprising though it may be, hope has remained. Then, the phone call out of the blue, Are you the nephew of Arthur Miller, finally brings the answers. Dr. Scannon furthers his research into the MIAs of Palau. Scouring the National Archives, After Action Reports and interviews with veterans of the campaign, no stone left unturned. Scannons small team of self funded private citizens have taken on these tasks simply as a way of thanking the missing and their families for the sacrifices made decades ago. Our film follows the story of three searches in Palau and the families touched by the work. Filmed over the course of nearly six years and six expeditions to Palau, where we thought the adventure was to be found. It was our delight to discover the adventure and heart of the story here in the US with the families.