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Now Playing - April Features
B-25s Attack Rabaul "On the Deck"
P-38 Recon Pilot
RAF News From SE Asia
What to do when your Sherman Tank gets stuck!
Cold War Anti-Submarine Warfare
"Shotgun Riders" on Hueys in Vietnam
Don't Talk -The Enemy is Listening
The Fighting Lady -- WW2 Carrier Classic
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In October 1943 a massive Allied air offensive was launched to neutralize the Japanese stronghold at the anchorage at Rabaul on the island of New Britain in the South West Pacific. This dramatic film, shot by 5th Air Force Combat Cameramen, shows North American B-25 medium bombers from the 38th and 345th Bomb Groups attacking airfields, ships and storage dumps in and around Rabaul harbor, including airfields at Vunakanau, Rapopo and Tobera from October 11th through October 15th. To maintain the element of surprise and avoid antiaircraft fire, the attacking aircraft flew “on the deck,” just above the jungle, dropping conventional and “parafrag” parachute bombs and strafing with machine guns at very low altitudes. Many of the attacking “mediums” were B-25Gs, equipped with 75mm canon for ground attack, in addition to 50mm machine guns bristling on the nose & fuselage.
P-38 Reconnaissance Pilot with William Holden
Photo recon pilots (Photo Joes) had one of the riskiest, highest impact jobs in the war. Flying camera equipped, unarmed, and often unescorted aircraft -- in this case the Lockheed F-5, a "stripped down" P-38 -- pilots flew deep into enemy territory. "Reconnaissance Pilot" follows Packy Cummings from basic training to the skies over New Guinea. He's not particularly happy to be flying reconnaissance -- his Dad was a renowned World War I ace recently killed by the Japanese and he wants revenge. The story of the film is how Packy comes to realize the absolutely essential nature of photo recon and how one Photo Joe can have more deadly impact than a whole squadron of combat '38s. Along the way, you'll learn about photo recon and see some nice F-5 footage
RAF NEWS S.E. Asia 1945: Building an Island Airfield & Air Sea Rescue
As RAF operations wound down in Europe, focus shifted to the South East Asian Theater. These "RAF GEN News Magazine" newsreel episodes were shown exclusively to RAF personnel, many of whom were soon to be transferred half way around the World. The first newsreel shows the building of an airfield on a desolate Pacific island atoll, from construction of runways & facilities through the takeoff of the first Spitfires to use the airfield. The second episode shows every day life at an air sea rescue base in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), climaxing in an exciting rescue of downed air crew in a coordinated operation between PBY Catalinas and fast patrol boats.
Tracking the Threat -- Anti Submarine Warfare in the Cold War
This is an amazing time capsule that could have come right out of the pages of Tom Clancey's classic thriller, “The Hunt for the Red October.” In this memorable recreation, a US Navy Carrier Task Force detects and tracks a Soviet sub in the North Atlantic. You'll see all aspects of the operation from the high tech Tactical Command Centers aboard the Carrier USS America and Destroyer USS Spruance (DDG-111), to P3 Orion turbo props out of Keflavik Iceland and carrier launched S3 Vikings dropping and monitoring sonobuoy fields, to Destroyers deploying towed arrays .
One of the iconic images from the War in Vietnam is of U.S army door gunners firing M-60 machine gun bursts from a low flying Huey into the jungle below. Originally, Hueys had three man crews, with one doing double duty a a door gunner, but it soon became apparent that adding a dedicated fourth crewman for that role had numerous benefits. Door Gunner trainees were volunteers. This fascinating film shows all aspects of door gunner duty, from training through deployment in front line units in Vietnam. And the film isn't just about these 'Shotgun Riders," it's also an informative look at all aspects of Huey Attack Helicopter operations & tactics in Vietnam.

What to do when your Sherman Tank gets stuck in the mud & other "Field Expedients"

This film is an entertaining treasure trove of down & dirty inside info on how U.S. tanks and other tracked vehicles were kept rolling & overcame a multitude of obstacles in the field during World War 2. '"Field Expedients" were "Anything you can think of to keep your vehicle rolling." In other words, this film is a show case of good 'ol American know how solving problems in novel and innovative ways. Often times in World War 2, just getting to where you needed to go in your tank was half the battle. You'll learn how M4 Shermans & M5 Stuarts navigated a wide variety of obstacles, including deep mud, anti tank ditches, sand & boulders.

Don't Talk - The Enemy is Listening!
G-Men are called in to investigate an explosion at an important defense plant during World War 2 in this fictionalized account. You'll see them use then state of the art photographic, forensic and chemical analysis to hunt down the perpetrators, in this case a German espionage spy ring centered around intelligence gathered by Beulah, a "femme fatale" waitress in “The Elite Cafe," where plant workers congregate. There are stakeouts, Tommy Gun shootouts and car chases all designed to enthrall the war time home front audience while delivering an important message: “Don't Talk!” (""Loose Lips Sink Ships!")This film was part of MGM's “Crime Does Not Pay'” series showing FBI agents at work.
The Fighting Lady
"The Fighting Lady" follows the fictional career of an Essex Class aircraft carrier from the Marcus Islands campaign, through Tinian, Truk, the "Mariana's Turkey Shoot" and much more. But don't let the term "fictionalized" miss lead you. All of the footage shown in this fascinating composite documentary is real -- shot by combat cameramen on board ship and in the air, showing actual Navy and Marine pilots and crewmen up close and personal. ("The Fighting Lady was actually the nickname given to the Yorktowns, CV-5 & CV-10.) You'll see dramatic action showing Hellcats, Hell Divers, Corsairs on deck and in the air, including exciting dive bombing, anti-aircraft, and gun camera footage and some amazing walkaway crash landings.
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