"Ramrod to Emden - The Thunderbolts” Special Edition with Pilot & Aircraft I.D.s (1943)


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This classic Word War 2 documentary film shows the legendary 56th Fighter Group P-47s on a escort mission to Emden, Holland, in October, 1943, from early morning briefing, through action packed fighter opposition over target to touch down and debriefing. That alone makes it worth seeing - but something has always been lacking. For the first time anywhere, using surviving archival photos taken at the time as a reference, we've been able to put names to many faces, including 56th FG CO Hubert “Hub” Zemke and legendary aces like Major Dave Schilling, Captain Walker “Bud” Mahurin, Major Gerald “Jerry” Johnson and many more. And using aircraft databases, we've been able to match plane unit I.Ds with the pilots inside. So when you see P-47D “UN-B” taxi by ready for takeoff, we've identified it as “Bat Outta Hell,” flown by 1st Lt Gordon E Batdorf, 63 F.S. and superimposed a wartime picture of him in the corner of the screen. One of our long term missions has been to identify and thereby pay tribute to the previously anonymous men & women shown in these films and preserve their individual contributions for the historical record. Very satisfying work. Probably due to war time censorship, out of all the pilots and personnel shown, only fighter Ace Francis “Gabby” Gabreski, then CO of the Group's 65th Fighter Squadron, is identified by name in the original film. And last but not least, we've done a scene by scene digital restoration of the video and audio, made from the best archival copy of the film available.You won't see this quality anywhere else!
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