This dvd contains five films that cover US aircraft carriers in World War II. It was fortunate indeed that none of the US aircraft carriers were anchored at Pearl Harbor during that fateful morning on December 7th 1941. The US carriers thus formed the nucleus of the post-December 7th US Pacific fleet and combined with intelligence were used skillfully during the Battle of Midway six months later to achieve a decisive Japanese defeat.
Film #1 - The Battle of Midway - Academy award winning documentary, directed by four time Oscar Winner John Ford. New color corrected edition from archival sources. This stirring documentary was shot by Director John Ford during the intense June 4th Japanese carrier plane attacks on Midway Island and by Navy Combat Cameramen aboard the USS Yorktown during the epic carrier battle, along with color gun camera film of air to air and air to sea combat.. Highlights include memorable scenes from the Marine Base on Midway, airfield B-17s leaving to attack the Japanese fleet, patrolling PBYs, action packed Japanese attacks on the Yorktown and Midway, and up close shots of the Yorktown's squadron VF3 and their F4F Wild Cats, including aces John S. "Jimmy' Thach and Lt. E. Scott McCuskey. And it wouldn't be a John Ford movie without some of the most vivid combat cinematography you have ever seen, a touching and dramatic score by nine time Oscar winner Alfred Newman, and some folksy narration by Henry Fonda. The America people needed a shot in the arm after Pearl Harbor and '"The Battle of Midway" supplied it in spades!
Film #2 - The Fleet that Came to Stay (1945, B&W, 22:00) In March, 1945, the US Army, Navy and Marines, with the support of the British Pacific Fleet, launched "Operation Iceberg" against the Japanese Island of Okinawa, in the Ryukus, a key stepping stone for the invasion of the Japanese home islands. US troops landed successfully, leading to one of the bloodiest land battles in World War II. In response over the next three months,the Japanese launched a series of terrifying kamikaze suicide aircraft attacks from land bases only 350 miles away against the screening Allied naval forces. Although no major warships were lost, several fleet carriers were severely damaged and knocked out of action. "The Fleet that came to Stay" tells the high tension story of the defense of the landing beaches with some of the most exciting and dramatic air combat footage to come out of World War II. An added bonus are some remarkably clear shots of a captured (?) Japanese Kawasaki KI 61 Hien "Tony" fighter.
Film #3 - The Second Battle of the Philippines: The Battle of Leyte Gulf (1945, B&W, 22:00) The Second Battle of the Philippines, popularly known today as The Battle of Leyte Gulf, was the largest Naval engagement in history, swirling around the 1944 invasion of Leyte Island and the Japanese navy's surprise counter strike. You'll see dramatic naval surface battles and carrier air footage from several engagements, including "The Battle of the Sibuyan Sea", battleship action at "The Battle of Surigao Strait", "The Battle off Samar" where the gallant jeep carriers and destroyers of Task Unit 77.4.3 turned back Japanese Admiral Kuita's massive Center Force Fleet on Leyte's door step, and "The Battle off Cape Engaño" where Admiral Mitscher's Task Force 38 carriers pounded Japanese Admiral Ozawas carrier force. Not to be missed!
Film #4 - The Life and Death of the USS Hornet (1943, B&W, 18:00) This documentary tells the dramatic story of the legendary aircraft carrier, the USS Hornet (CV-8) , from her launching by Newport News Shipbuilding through her dramatic loss after the Battle of Santa Cruz off Guadalcanal. In between, you'll see some of the best footage we have of the Hornet's role in the launching of the Doolittle Tokyo raid. You'll also see memorable scenes from her participation in the Battle of Midway, including up close footage of the immortal heroes of Torpedo Squadron 8 (VT-8), all of whose members, except one lone survivor, Ensign George Gay, lost their lives flying unescorted against the Japanese fleet in their out-dated Douglas TBD Devastators.
Film #5 - The Saga of the USS Franklin (1945, Color, 24:00) New Print! This inspiring documentary shows how the gallant officers and men of the distinguished Essex class carrier USS Franklin overcame incredible battle damage inflicted by a devastating bomb hit to save their ship and bring it home.
The DVD is in NTSC format and region-free. The runtime is about 104 minutes. It is packaged in a plain clear plastic C-Shell DVD case without paper graphics.