US Bombers Go To War video contains seven World War II documentary films covering the B-17, B-24, B-25, and B-29 bombers.
Film #1 - Target Tokyo. Follow the men of the 21st Bomber Command and their B-29 Super Fortresses from their training base in Grand Island, Nebraska, to the newly built air base at Saipan and right into the first 3,000 mile raid on Tokyo. Great up close and personal footage of the lives of air & ground crews, along with rare B-29 combat film shot on that first big raid on the Nakajima aircraft plant. Features cameos of crew members of the famous B-17 'Memphis Belle', who signed up for another tour of duty to fly B-29s against Japan. Narrated by Ronald Reagan. In B+W with a run time of about 22 minutes.
Film #2 - Medal of Honor: Ploesti August 1, 1943. On August 1, 1943, specially trained elements of the 8th and 9th Air Forces flying B-24 Liberators based in Benghazi, Libya launched a daring low level attack on Ploesti, over 1,200 miles away. They struck and struck hard, but the cost was very high. Unescorted by fighters and coming in literally at tree top level to surprise the enemy, 54 out of 162 of the attacking bombers were lost, along with 540 American air crew. Of the Medal of Honor recipients, only Col. Leon Johnson, 44th Bomb Group, and Col. Jon 'Killer' Kane, 98th Bomb Group, survived the mission. This film features dramatic action that has been excerpted for countless documentaries. This is the original. In B+W with a run time of about 7 minutes.
Film #3 - Air Siege Ploesti : March to August 1944. The capture of Foggia in Italy in 1944 provided the 15th Air Force with a base to launch a new series of air attacks on Ploesti. This time, B-17s and B-24s attacked with fighter escort at high altitude. Losses were heavy, with over 1,800 air crew lost to FLAK and enemy fighters. Accuracy suffered when smoke pots were used to obscure the target, so P-38s were used as dive bombers to penetrate the defenses. Soon P-51s helped to achieve total air superiority. By the fall of 1944, 90% of Romanian's oil production was knocked out. Narrated by Ronald Reagan. In B+W with a run time of about 20 minutes.
Film #4 - Bombers Over North Africa. This is a rare look at early war US Air Operations in North Africa. B-25 and B-17 bombers of the 321st and 97th Bomb Group help cut off Rommel's retreat from Tunisia. Part of the 'North West African Strategic Air Force', these groups were initially tasked with preventing men and material from reaching the Afrika Korps, and later with preventing them from escaping. The film features an introduction by the theater commander, then 4-star General, Dwight Eisenhower and an afterword by Air Operations Commanding General 'Jimmy' Doolittle. Perhaps most memorably, this film is notable for its extended 'up close and personal' look at the men of the 97th & 321st BGs. You'll see real pre-mission and after action debriefing sessions with the men who flew them, including a B-17 crew's account of an FW 190 shoot down and the water ditching of a heavily damaged B-25. In B+W with a run time of about 22 minutes.
Film #5 - Conquest by Air. This is an excellent summary of the strategic air campaign in Europe. Produced right after the war, it benefits from captured enemy evaluations of allied bombing and after action photos of important targets. You'll also hear testimony from German leadership on the effects of the bombing on their war effort. Extensive footage of before and after bomb damage on oil refineries, tank production factories, as well as gun camera footage of air-to-ground attacks. Plenty of B-17 & B-24 air combat action too! In B+W with a run time of about 20 minutes.
Film #6 - Mission Accomplished: The Story of the Flying Fortress. On August 17, 1942 eighteen B-17Es from the 97th Heavy Bombardment Group, Eighth Bomber Command (later Eighth Air Force) from Grafton Underwood, performed the first daylight raid over Northern Europe by US heavy bombers. This mission was a crucial first step in establishing the efficacy of American daylight precision bombing doctrine. Success of the raid was vital so that VIII Bomber Command CO Gen Ira C. Eaker went along for the ride in B-17E 'Yankee Doodle'. Though small in scale, the raid was a success, with precision hits on important rail assets. Lucky for us, combat cameramen recorded this historic action from briefing through 'bombs away'!. In B+W with a run time of about 11 minutes.
Film #7 - Doolittle Strikes Japan!. Actual footage from Jimmy Doolittle's daring raid on Japan. See B-25 Medium Bombers take off from the storm tossed deck of the carrier Hornet. Truly classic footage. In B+W with a run time of about 5 minutes.
The DVD is in NTSC format and is packaged in a plain clear plastic C-Shell DVD case without paper graphics.