I produced this original documentary from dark, faded silent gun camera film footage from the Spring of 1945 over Germany. I've been able to restore it using digital technology. I've added additional info about the pilots and planes and added real P-47 Thunderbolt sound effects. Featured pilots from the 362nd FG are Alvin Lieberman, Robert A Jackson and the legendary Wilfred Crutchfield, flying his P-47 "Kentucky Colonel," attacking a wide variety of ground targets in March, 1945. (The 362nd FG is also featured on our very popular "P-47 Thunderbolts Attack!" DVD.)
* Fighter Combat Formations: Attack & Escort with Ronald Reagan
An experienced Army Air Force fighter pilot, played with his usual verve by Ronald Reagan, is called back from the front to lead a fighter tactics class in Flight School for rookie pilots. The film starts with the AAF way for forming. deploying and maneuvering fighter formations from two ship elements to 12 plane squadrons & how to take on enemy fighters. Then the focus turns to tactics for escorting friendly bombers and attacking enemy bomber formations, including close escort, top cover, using the sun to blind opponents, employing decoys in the attack - and more. Well illustrated.
* Offensive Tactics Against Enemy Fighters with John "Jimmy" Thach
A must see for virtual combat pilots and World War II fighter enthusiasts alike!
* Acrobatics for Fighter Pilots featuring the Fairchild PT-19
This Army Air Corps training film covers the basic acrobatic maneuvers every fighter pilot should master before heading into combat, including Immelmens, loops, snap, half & slow rolls, vertical reverses and more. This is a very detailed, hands on training film, showing the role of control surfaces, precise live action stick and rudder movements for each maneuver and common errors and how to avoid them. The agile Fairchild PT-19 trainer is a star performer!
* Flexible Aerial Gunnery: Making A Gunner
This Army Air Force training film is the best look inside a World War 2 aerial gunnery school we have seen. Developed to be shown to trainees at the beginning of their course, its a thorough step by step preview of what to expect. Some of the many things you'll see: the role of the instructor, .30 &.50 caliber machine guns, dealing with jams, compensating for bullet drop, estimating range and leading targets, bore sighting and harmonization & a lot more. Live highlights include action on the firing range using transplanted motorized .50 cal gun turrets shooting at moving targets and in the air firing at towed targets. There's even a training session shooting enemy fighters projected on a movie screen -- high tech in 1943!
* 8th Air Force Gun Camera Film
The origin of this video is a silent 8th Air Force information film showing 8th AF P-51 gun camera film shot in the snow covered Winter of 1944-1945, with brief unit IDs for each pilot. We've restored the video, added sound effects from real P-51s and included photos of most of the featured pilots with additional info and pictures of their Mustangs. You'll see film from legendary aces like "Kit" Carson & his P-51 "Nooky Booky IV" & many more. Includes exciting air to air & air to ground attack film from the 35th, 55th, 78th, 357th, 364th, 379th & 479th Fighter Groups.
* 9th Air Force Gun Camera Film
This color video is taken from archival collection of dark, faded silent film that we've been able to restore using digital technology. Once again we've added additional info about the pilots and planes and added real P-47 Thunderbolt sound effects. Featured pilots from the 362nd Fighter Group are Alvin Lieberman, Robert A Jackson and the legendary Wilfred Crutchfield, flying his P-47 "Kentucky Colonel," attacking a wide variety of ground targets in March, 1945. (The 362nd FG is also featured on our very popular "P-47 Thunderbolts Attack!" DVD. This is all new footage!) Then you'll see action packed film from the 389th Fighter Squadron, 366th FG giving a railyard what was known as "a .50 caliber hosing" -- relentless strafing runs!
* Recognizing the Focke Wulf Fw 190
This informative aircraft recognition film was produced by the RAF. Telling friend from foe was an essential skill for every combat pilot. Fine in flight footage shot from many angles of a captured Fw 190. The 'Butcher Bird" was many Luftwaffe ace's favorite fighter: fast, heavily armed and maneuverable, with an outstanding roll rate. One of the highlights of this film is a mock dog fight between a captured 190 and a P-47 Thunderbolt. Can you tell them apart?
* Recognizing the Junkers Ju 88
Another excellent RAF aircraft recognition film. There's some very good Ju 88 footage here, including one of the intact examples that landed in Britain, shown in flight from many angles. Originally designed for the Luftwaffe as a fast ("schnell") medium bomber in the 1930s, the '88 ended up performing more roles than any other aircraft in World War 2, including level bomber, dive bomber, night fighter, torpedo bomber, reconnaissance aircraft, heavy fighter and as a radio controlled flying bomb.