Military Aviation Movie List

Initially Compiled by Marshall Cram

HTML Conversion by Michael Brunk (

Additional material and formatting by Bob McKellar

Return to Preserved US Military Aircraft


Strong military aviation content, set in naval air/air forces, on carriers, flying warbirds, and biographies that include military aviation content. Test pilot movies are included because they usually fly military hardware on the screen. POW movies and documentaries excluded. Start date for movie inclusion is appearance in the popular film guides (there are many, many more early movies and silents). Otherwise my arbitrary choice.


Aircraft variants are actual airframes that appear on screen, or their final military designation. In brackets is what they are meant to be. Replica means actual flying aircraft, mock-up refers to non-flying replica.


Those movie errors due to sloppy movie-making. Generally these exclude technical nits on aircraft versions (because of lack of the "right" aircraft still being available); and military aviation procedures.


Actors/Directors/Writers with actual military aviation experience noted. Technical Advisors excluded. Year is first release, titles are North American, with others in brackets. One key actor mentioned as a "memory jogger".


I haven't seen more than a fraction of these, so I can't vouch for their content or availability. Current TV versions of many movies frequently have much 'air' footage seen in stills and film history books cut, hence their may aircraft listed that are no longer viewable.

Feedback, corrections, additions welcome, especially as to Non-North American aviation movies. Since my server coverage is very spotty please mail me at

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  Above and Beyond
Canadian TV miniseries about setting up WWII air transport and ferry flights across the Atlantic.
Joss Ackland, Richard E. Grant, Jason Priestley, Kenneth Walsh, Robert Wisden
  Above and Beyond
1953 *v
USAAF- Robert Taylor(ex USAAF FI); Story of Paul Tibbets and the B-29 atomic bombing. Well made, almost like a documentary. Filmed at Davis-Monthan AFB on B-29A, KB-29M's of SAC's 43 BG, 303 BG, B-17's(?), B-29 fuselage from the "Beginning or the End" (it was still on the studio back lot in 1969). Mantz TB-25H (N1203) camera plane.

Ace of Aces
1933 v
WWI- R.Bellemy; American thought a coward redeems himself as pilot. Apparently shot around the Triunfo Canyon in California with 5 Waco 7's, Nieuport 28's, a Jenny, Lincoln LF-1 (Nieuport Replica), and a Fleet. 2 SE.5 mock-ups. Waco Camera plane. Written by WWI flier J. M. Saunders.


Aces High
1976 *
WWI- M.McDowell; RAF. Remake of "Journey's End", but set in the air. Anti-war slant on disillusioned WWI pilots. Fokker D.VII replicas. E.III Eindekker. Cameo by Ray Milland, (ex USAAF).



  Aces: Iron Eagle III
1992 *v
USAF- Louis Gossett attacks drug lord with Warbirds. Nice warbird footage, if you can handle the story. Spitfire FR.Mk.XIVc (NH904), P-38J (N38BP) from Planes of Fame East. N.A. P-51C(?) in German marks. Rutan Canard (as "Me 263"!!!). 3 SOKO Galeb jets, Cessna twin, 2 Bell 205's. T-6/Zero replica. Fairchild C-123K Provider. Filmed around the Tucson, Arizona area (F-86D, T-28 on ramp in background).

Aerial Gunner
USAAF- Richard Arlen (ex RFC and then USAAF FI); Gunnery Training in the US, with the usual combat glory at the end.

N.A. AT-6, Beech AT-11 Kansan, Lockheed B-34 (Ventura), North American BT-9's. Shot on location at Harlingen Field, Texas.  

1992 *v
USAF- Laura.Dern; Widow sues General Dynamics over F-16 crash. Cable movie, apparently based on a true story.

Air America
1990 *v
Warbirds- Mel Gibson; Wild civilian pilots fly CIA missions in Laos. Filmed in late 1989 in Northern Thailand using Thai Air Force aircraft. Locations were at Chaing Mai Airport and an airstrip at Hae Hong as "Long Tieng".

4 C-123K Providers (from 602 Sqd., Bangkok), 8 UH-1B/H, 4 Fairchild AU-23A Pacemakers (Turbo-Porter, of 202 Sqdn. Lop Buri), 2 C-47. Schweizer TH-300C(TH-55), Sikorsky S.58T, C-130H, 2 O-1 Bird Dog hulks, US Civil Bell 47.

1 Fairchild C-123K Provider hulk plus a full size C-123 mock-up for the first crash. Bell UH-1 hulk. Turbo-Porter hulk rebuilt to flying condition for the stunts.

Flying was done with Old Flying Company (Ray Hanna) stunt pilots and Thai pilot/crew; one on each one aircraft. The Thai crews who maintained and flew these birds carefully, by the book were apparently very stressed by the stunts, and refused to risk any of their Turbo-Porters in the strip landing scenes, hence the need to rebuild a hulk.


1985 *v
Warbirds- R.Dreyfuss; Remake of "A Guy Named Joe" Romantic story set in fire bomber base with dead A-26 pilot returning as a ghost.

Fairchild C-119F fire bomber (ex-RCAF; N8093 of Hawkins and Powers, Greybull, Wy.) Consolidated PBY-5A Super Cat (N5905C of SLAFCO, Moses Lake, Wash.) waterbomber. 2 Douglas A-26C's Invaders from Lynch Air Tankers: A-26C/TB-26C (N4818E) and A-26C (N9425Z).

Beech 18, DHC Twin Otter, Decathalon, Douglas C-54 in background. Bell 204 (UH-1).

The fire base site was a complete mock-up, done at the Libby Airport, Montana. Camera planes were B-25(N3675G), A-26, and the PBY-5A.



Air Cadet (UK "Jet Men of The Air")
1951 *
USAF- Rock Hudson(ex USN); Jet training. Filmed on Location at Randolph AFB with T-6D, Williams AFB with Lockheed T-33A, F-80B, (TC-47B in background). Some very good Shooting Star footage in this black and white B movie.

  Air Force
1943 *v
USAAF- J. Garfield; Story of single B-17 and its crew from Dec. 6 to Pearl to Australia. Very well done, and except for the obligatory "wipe out the Jap fleet" scene, realistic.

Shot at Drew Field, Florida in August 1942. Starring 10 Boeing B-17C/D from Hendrick Field (Sebring, Florida), P-40C's, Republic P-43A Lancer, Bell P-39D's, AT-6's (as "Zeros"), from Drew Field (Tampa) 6 McDill AAF 397 BG B-26C's ("Jap bombers")"I Wanted Wings" YB-17 mock-up. P-39, B-18 wrecks.

Stock footage, footage from "Dive Bomber", and "Captains of the Clouds". SB2U-1 cockpit section for close-ups. Models. Paul Mantz flew camera ships - Lockheed Orion, Stinson Model A, Boeing 100. Director Howard Hawks was a USAAC WWI vet.  

  Air Strike
USN- R. Denning (Ex RFC In WWI); Korean Navy action set on the ESSEX. Details? Denning founded and ran Radioplane during WWII, building drones.

Angels One Five
1952 *
RAF- J. Hawkins; Misfit Hurricane pilot in Battle of Britain. Mainly made at RAF Kenley and the real 11 Grp Ops. block at RAF Uxbridge in 1951.

2 RAF Hurricanes Mk.I L1592 (Now Science Mus. "U S/N") and P2617 ("US/B", now BoB Flt), and one Hurricane Mk.IIc LF363 (BoB Flt-burnt out) 5 flyable Portugese AF Mk.II Hurricanes . Avro Anson as camera plane. Actual Bf 110 hulk from a dump. Models. FLUB- RAF Hurricane Roundels change from 1942 version to 1940 part way through movie!


Apocalypse Now
1979 *v
US Army- M. Sheen; Vietnam epic, quite bizzare. Lot of UH-1, Hughes 369HS ("OH-6A"), footage shot with the Philippine Air Force (?).
  Appointment in London
RAF- D.Borgarde; Bomber Squadron 1943. Lancasters.

Arise My Love
RAF- Ray Milland; Former Spanish war vet joins the RAF, then eventually goes to the US as a flight instructor.

Stinson A trimotor. Milland was a civilian USAAF Flight Instructor, then did two tours (on B-25's?).


Aurora: Operation Intercept
USAF- Aurora soars from rec.aviation.military to the big screen! Of course this is fantasy.



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Bail Out at 43,000'
USAF- John Payne; Test pilots. Details? Payne was a USAAF FI during the war, then eventually retiring as a Brig. General in the North Carolina ANG.



1988 *v
USAF- Gene Hackman; Vietnam FAC pilot tries to rescue downed RB-66 crewman. Based on a true story. Filmed in Malaysia with Cessna 337 ("0-2A"), Malysian Air Force Sikorsky S-61A (Note lack of ramp as "HH-3"), Bell 212 (UH-IN), F-5E's, F-100 Super Sabre stock footage. RB-66A model and mock-up.  

Battle Hymn
1957 *
USAF- Rock Hudson(ex USN); biography of Korean F-51D Pilot Col. Dean Hess. Quite a bit of religious content. Hess flew one of the F-51D for the cameras. Apparently in reality Hess wasn't wracked by guilt, got drafted back in 1948, led his Koreans in air-ground attacks with nothing shot down. The orphan airlift was 900 kids in 15 C-54's!

They used Nogales Airport, Arizona ("Kimpo"), a dirt strip created nearby (as "K-2 Taegu") and Fort Hood. Filmed with 12 F-51D Mustangs from 182 FBS, 149 FG Texas ANG F-51D's from Kelly AFB, 2 USAF Reserve T-28A's playing North Korean YAK fighters. Ceesna L-19A. 5 C-119C's (Farmer says C-119G's).

F-51D studio hulk eventually restored as warbird (N44727). Another F-51D was supplied by the USAF for the crash scene. A-26 camera aircraft along with the Thunderbirds Support C-119. Rock Hudson was in the USN in the Philippines as an aviation ground crewman. Actor Jock Mahoney flew F4U Corsairs.



Battle of Britain
1968 *v
RAF/Luftwaffe- Micheal Caine and many others; Detailed story of the battle, with the most painstaking accuracy possible.

Huelva Beach in Spain played Dunkirk. El Corporo AB near Seville was also used. San Sebastion played Berlin. Tablada AB was the He 111 base in the big base/inspection scene. Over 25 of the 32 flying Spanish CASA 2.111D's there appeared in the scene.

These were Spanish built He 111H-16's (re-engined with Merlin 500-50's). Only 8 Hispano HA.1112M-1L Buchon ("Bf 109E") were still airworthy in Spain, but a lot of work got 18 in the air, and 10 more were able to be used in the ground scenes. These were Spanish built Bf 109 with Merlins. 2 CASA 352L also appeared. (Ju 52/3m built in Spain with ENMASA Beta engines).

After the Spanish filming, 1 CASA 2.111 and 17 HA.1112 (along with the sole Spit sent to Spain) went to the UK. One Buchon was a rare dual HA.1110K-1L.

In England the main shooting took place at RAF Duxford- the hangar that got blown up in the bombing scene quite upset the RAF who apparently still wanted it. RAF Debden was also used as a flying base. Katherine docks and Dragon Road in London were used as blitz sites.

The Spitfire air fleet used 12 flying Spitfires, 7 more taxiable, and 7 more static. (Mks. 1A, IIa, 3 Vb, Vc, 2 IXb, 2 IXc, 2 TrIX, XIV, 8 XVIe, 4 XIX, 1 F.21) 6 more Spitfires were used for spares. (Serials are too numerous to list. The IIa was an actual veteran of the Battle).

6 Hurricanes- 3 flying, 2 taxing, 1 static. Junkers Ju 88R-1, He 111H-23, Bf 109G-2, and Junkers Ju 87D-3 Stuka were supplied from RAF collections but in the end they were not used. For the numerous blowups mock-up Spitfires, Hurricanes, and even one He 111 were made. B-25J Mitchell (N6578D-Chapter IX) was used as a camera plane, as well as a Sa. 318B Alouette II helicopter.

3 Percival Proctors were converted to flying Ju-87 replicas but they were not used because they couldn't handle dive pull-outs. Models replaced them.

Lawrence Olivier and Ralph Richardson both flew Royal Navy gunnery trainers at 757 squadron, at Worthy Down, (Blackburn Sharks). Both were reassigned after too many w/o's. Olivier did in 5 planes in 7 weeks!

Driving force behind this movie was the producer, Benjamin Fisz. He had joined 303 Squad on Spits in late 1940, a few weeks after the Battle and later flew Mustangs then Meteors. He used the book "Narrow Margin" as his "bible" for story reference. Galland, Dowding, Bader, Lacey, Ostercamp, Gleve, Townsend, Tuck and Deere all visited the various sets during filming. Dowdings friends felt it gave him another year of life to see the movie.


  Battle of Eagles
? v
Yugoslavian- Partisans battle Luftwaffe in (Operation Lightning?) biplanes. Is this the same movie as "Operation Lightning", also on video?
  "Battle Squadron Lutzow"
1941 Luftwaffe- Propaganda piece.
  Battle Stations
USN- W.Bendix; Loosely based on the FRANKLIN and her crisis after kamikaze strikes. Lot of stock footage of the real FRANKLIN The rest was shot on PRINCETON. Aircraft included VC-3 F4U-4 Corsairs, VS-23 TBM-3S Avengers.
  Battle Taxi
USAF- S.Hayden; Korean SAR Helicopters Details?

The Beginning or the End
USAAF- Brian Donlevy (EX USAAF FI); Story of the atomic bomb development, ending in Hiroshima. Shot entirely on a backlot, using a B-29 fuselage. C-47's, B-29 stock footage. Written by ex Navy pilot "Spig" Wead. Actor Barry Nelson was ex USAAF.

  Best Years of our Lives
1946 *v
USAAF- Dana Andrews; Three men return from WWII and try to adjust to civilian life. One was a B-17 bombardier who suffers flash-backs. Incredible shots of the Searcy Field, Oklahoma boneyard, and Ontario AAF at Chino as acres of B-17's, P-39's, BT-13's, BT-15's, C-47's, C-54's etc. are cut-up for scrap.

Some good parts are cut from the current TV version, including half the aircraft footage. Paul Mantz's B-17F (N67974) was used, as well Mantz camera plane TB-25H Mitchell (N1203).

William Wyler, the director was partially deafened filming "Memphis Belle" in combat as a USAAF Lt.Col.(13 sorties). He also shot the documentary "Thunderbolt".



Biggles: Adventures in Time (UK "Biggles")
1986 v
WWI- P. Cushing; Satire (?) on WWI


  Big Lift
1950 *v
USAF- M. Clift; drama set in the Berlin airlift, filmed on location in Berlin and at Frankfurt in 1949. Real crews appear in many scenes. Plenty of C-54's, C-47's, and even P-47's (as "Russian fighters").
  The Blue Max
1968 *v
WWI- George Peppard; modern WWI drama. Great biplane footage. Replica Pfaltz D.III, Moraine 230 (reserve plane). Albatross DII, 2 SE.5A replicas, Caudron 272 Fokker Dr.I replica, 3 Fokker D.VIII replicas Triplanes Tiger Moths ("Fokkers").
  Body and Soul
WWI- H. Bogart; Pilot/spy melodrama.
1943 *v
USAAF- Randolph Scott; Training of Bombardiers in US then their combat triumph. Shot on location at Kirtland AAF with Beech AT-11 Kansans, Douglas B-18 Bolo's, 19 BG B-17E's Flying Fortresses (which had just returned from Pacific combat). Footage from the -17's ended up in "The Sky's the Limit". Models. Stock footage.
  Bombers B-52 (UK "No Sleep Until Dawn")
1957 *v
USAF- Karl Malden (ex USAAF); Conflict between Master Sarg. and a B-52 Wing Commander in SAC. Shot at Castle AFB with 93 BW tall-tail B-52B's, Boeing KC-97 tankers. This was indeed the first B-52 wing at introduction time. Also F-86, F-84 ("Mig"), Sikorsky SH-19B, C-45, and acres of Boeing B-47E's (probably shot at the March AFB B-47 wings).
  Bomber's Moon
RAF- G. Montgomery; US pilot is shot down over Germany, tries to evade capture. Lockheed Hudson, models, miniatures. Actor George Montgomery was in the USAAF in Alaska, and the film unit.

Born to Love
WWI- J.Macrae; The usual WWI love triangle.


Breaking the Sound Barrier (US "The Sound Barrier")
Test Flying- Ralph Richardson (ex RN); British aircraft maker risks his sons trying to go supersonic, apparently modelled somewhat on the De Havilland family. Hawker Hunters, Comets, Spitfires. Supermarine 510 (now in RAF Cosford Museum). Written by ex-RAF pilot Terrance Rattigan.


  A Bridge Too Far
1977 *v
RAF/USAAF- M.Caine; Airborne in Arnhem attack Market Garden. Very realistic picture of airborne operations and risks. 4 Dutch AT-16/Mk.IIb Harvards were modified to "P-47's" with single canopy, and drop tanks. Also as "Fw 190", and "Typhoons" with bomb racks and appropriate marks!

12 Douglas C-47 from Danish(3), Finland(4), and the Portugese AF's, in USAAF and RAF markings. 7 full size Horsa glider mockups Filmed at Deelen AB, Netherlands. Spitfire HF.Mk.IXc (MH434), Auster III. Actor Lawrence Olivier was an ex-RN utility pilot.  


Bridges at Toko-Ri
1954 *v
USN- William Holden; Reservist is called back to Korea. Terrific script and footage. F9F-2 Panthers of VF-191 & 192, and VA-195 AD-4 Skyraiders. Sikorsky H03S-1 (H-5) of HU-1, some models.

Some sources say it was shot on ORISKANY in South China Sea, Tokyo but the aircraft were clearly all from PRINCETON ("B" on tail). Watch for 4 all-silver McConnell F2H-2P Banshee photo reccon detach of VC-61 in several deck shots. However when they launch reccon., its a F9F-2P Panther in standard blue ("PP" code of the VC-61 reccon. detach). Makes me think it was shot aboard both carriers.

Actor Holden was in the USAAF Special Branch in the US. His brother never came back from a Hellcat mission in the Philippines and this must have been a hard role for Holden to play.



By Dawn's Early Light
1990 *
USAF- J.Earle Jones; Thriller about take-over of command post.




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Call to Glory
USAF- Craig T. Nelson; TV Pilot for the TV series on a U-2 reccon. group commander at the time of the Cuban missile crisis. Shot at Beale AFB and Laughlin AFB. More realistic feel than other recent TV and cable USAF movies.

Lockheed U-2R, T-38, CT-39, Hiller UH-12, Stearman, (C-130, KC-135A in background). Watch for the Beale SR-71 barns in some shots, kind of out of place in 1962 at Laughlin AFB in Texas! The Call To Glory TV Series itself was shot at Edwards AFB.

  Canal Zone
USAAF(?)- C. Morris; Ferry pilots cross the Atlantic. B movie.

Captain Eddie
USAAC/USAAF- Fred MacMurray; Eddie Rickenbacker biography, set in a liferaft and told through flash-backs. SPAD's, Curtiss Pusher Replica, Vought OS2U Kingfisher. Wooden B-17 mockup.

Captain Newman, M.D.
1963 *v
USAAF- Gregory Peck; as Air Force psychiatrist Any aircraft in this?



Captains of the Clouds
1942 *v
RCAF- J.Cagney; Cocky Stunt pilot joins the RCAF then RAF Ferry Command. Filmed with the RCAF on authentic locations. Stations included 6 Bombing & Gunnery School, Mountain View, Ont, 1 B&GS Jarvis, Ont. (March 1941), 2 Service Flying Training School, RCAF Uplands (now Ottawa International Airport), also at RCAF Dartmouth (Halifax), RCAF Trenton.

10 Civilian Norseman/Wacos/Fairchild 71 floatplanes at North Bay, Ont. (on Lake Nipissing and Caribou Lake). The RCAF Manning depot was real, it's now part of the Canadian National Exhibition Grounds in Toronto.

Stars, in colour, RCAF Harvard Mk.II, North American Yale (BT-9), Avro Anson I, Fairy Battle IT, Northrop Nomad (ex A-17's), Fleet Finch, Lockheed 12A.

6 RCAF Hudson's from RCAF Dartmouth, along with Hurricane MK.XII (as a "Bf 109"). The officer making the speech at the Wings ceremony was actually Billy Bishop V.C., WWI ace, by then an Air Marshal. Paul Mantz flew camera duties in a Stinson Model "A" Tri-motor. Models. Mock-ups.



Captive of the Land
RAF- Filmed in Russia with Antonev An-12 CUB (as "C-130"), Mil Mi-8 HIP, Tupolev Tu-16 BADGER hulk as RAF planes! Was this ever released in North America?

WWI- Douglas Fairbanks; Pilot is shot down, is involved in love triangle. Keystone B-4A bombers ("Gotha's"). Fairbank's WWII Navy service included time on the carrier WASP.
1970 *v
USAAF- A.Arkin; Black Satire about USAF in Italy. Manages to make *everyone* in the USAAF look like lunatics.

Shot with 18 TB-25N's Mitchells(converted B-25J's except one for one VB-25J) at Guaymas, Mexico at a recreated replica USAAF Mediterranean base.

Frank Tallman had to run a conversion course for the -25 crews. The mass take off scene was forced by the Hollywood crew over the stunt pilots objections. Not only was it dangerous, it was not very realistic.

Actor Norman Fell had been B-25 gunner in Alaska. One cameraman fell out of the photo TB-25H (N1203) and was killed. Yet another B-25J hulk was bought in Mexico and burned for the crash scenes.


Chain Lightning Chain Lightning
1950 *v
Test Flying- H. Bogart; Bogie as disillusioned Boeing B-17 pilot after the war. Mantz B-17F (N67974?). P-39 Aircobra converted to 'experimental jet' as mock-up.
  China Doll
USAAF- V. Mature; Pilot flying the Burma hump with Chinese wife. Shot at Saugus-Newall Airport in California using 2 Mercer Airlines C-47's and some F4U Corsairs.
  China's Little Devils
China- Harry Carey; Drama of American Volunteer Group Flying Tiger P-40 pilots befriending Chinese orphans. P-40 mock-ups, footage from "Flying Tigers".
  Clipped Wings
Lloyd Hughes - Adventure between the wars
  Clipped Wings
1953 v
USAF- Leo Gorcey; Bowery Kids kids join the Air Force.

Coast Guard
USCG- Randolph Scott; Pilots in arctic rescue. Filmed in Southern California (!) with a Stearman C-3 and an American Eagle.

  Command Decision
1948 *v
USAAF- Clark Gable; B-17 Commanders decide strategy. Loosely based on the Schwienfurt- Regensburg missions. Mainly on the ground, showing a rare look at the behind the scenes politics and strategy rangling at the top levels.

All the combat footage was from the documentary "Target for Today". Some footage was shot at San Fernando airport in California using 2 Paul Mantz B-17F's (N67974 + ?). C-47. Models.

Capt. Gable, with much opposition trained as an air gunner, then spent months and 5 sorties in the 8th AF filming to produce "Combat America". It was shot with the 352 BG on B-17F's at Polebrook in England.

Actor Cameron Mitchell had been a bombardier, Donlevy was a former USAAF Flight instructor.  


The Courage and the Passion
USAF- Pilot for TV show, Edwards test pilots F-104's. Shot on location. Was this ever a TV movie??

  Court Martial of Billy Mitchell (UK "One Man Mutiny")
1956 *v
USAAC- Gary Cooper; biography of airpower advocate General Billy Mitchell. Flying was done at Rosemead, Calif. with modified OX-5 Jennie, Mantz DH-4's, Grumman J2F Duck ("Loening").


 Crimson Romance Crimson Romance
1934 v
WWI- E.V. Stroheim: S.E.5, Fokker D.VII and footage from "Hell's Angels".
  Crowded Sky
USN- Dana Andrews; Navy T-33 hits airliner. This was made using the first jet warbird, an RT-33 assembled from pieces in the late 1950's.

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  "D.III-88: The German Air Force Attacks"
Luftwaffe- Propaganda drama. Ju-52's, Ju-87B's, etc.
  The Dam Busters
1954 *v
RAF- Richard Todd; Famous raid with Lancasters on German dams in 1943. Very well made and fairly accurate. Shot on the original location at RAF Scampton with 5 Lancaster VII (3 with 'bombs', Varsity camera plane, Wellington Mk.T.10 (now in the RAF museum at Hendon). Some stock footage.

The bombs were still classified then, so the shape was guessed at. The ops room in the movie was the actual 5 group Ops room at RAF Grantham found locked up and dust covered. Dams used were in the Lake Windmere area.

During the Richard Todd was said to have been the first man out of a transport on D-Day, apparently as a Para drop zone marker.

  Dangerous Moonlight (US "Suicide Squadron")
1941 v
RAF- Anton Walbrook; Polish pianist/pilot joins RAF.
  Darling Lili
1970 *v
WWI- Rock Hudson (ex USN); Spoof of WWI spy/biplane movies. Shot with the Blue Max replicas, including Fokker Dr.1 Replica, Fokker D.VII Replicas, and an SE.5 replica in the background.
1985 *v
USAF- M.B. Hurt; Robot "Kid" steals an SR-71. SR-71s deserved better than this.
  Dawn Patrol
1938 *v
WWI- D. Niven; The classic WWI aviation epic. Remake of the 1930 Dawn Patrol, which was then retitled "Flight Command". Much if not most of the stunt footage was re-used. Neuiport 28's, Travelair 4000's ("Fokker"), Thomas-Morse S.4C, and Pfalz D.XII, all mainly on the ground.

Two staged crashes by Frank Clarke. Directed by Howard Hawks, written by J.M Saunders, both previously WWI pilots.

  Desperate Journey
1942 *v
RAF- Ronald Reagan flies Fortresses, gets shot down. YB-17 Mockup from "Test Pilot". Bf 109 mock-up, Stinson A ("Ju 52"), models. Also Hudsons from Lockheed Burbank.

Captain Reagan did join the USAAF but bad eyesight, fear of flying kept him in a California film unit.

  Destination 60,000'
USAF- P.Foster; Test pilots. Shot at Edwards AFB.
  Devil Dogs of the Air
1935 v
USMC- Jimmy Cagney; Cocky stunt flier joins Marines. Filmed at NAS North Island with some real rare types. Stearman C-3B ("Vought 02U-1") Boeing F4B-4, Travelair 4000 crash, Ford RR-4 Trimotor, Loening OL-9, Curtiss RC-1 Kingbird, Vought 02U-1's of VJ-7M, Curtiss OC-1/2's.Vought 03U-6's of VO-8M. Boeing F4B-3 of VB-4M.

Also shot on the carrier SARATOGA, and with the USS MACON dirigible. Mock-ups.

  Devil's General
Luftwaffe- C. Jurgens; Loosely based on the story of Ernst Udet in the Luftwaffe. Seems to be about it from the Luftwaffe side in English-language movies.
USN- USN Experiments in Antarctica. Partly made at NAS Lakehurst and the old US Army Arcadia balloon base in California. Some footage of the dirigible USS LOS ANGELES. Other fixed wing types at Lakehurst in the background. Written by ex-Navy pilot Spig Wead.
  Dive Bomber
1941 *v
USN- E. Flynn; Pilot solves altitude flying problems. Original Colour! Shot at NAS North Island in 1941, and on ENTERPRISE, including the entire Air Wing in one shot.

Types include VB-3, VB-6 on Vought SB2U Vindicators, NAF N3N-3's from RNAS Long Beach. VS-6 Curtiss SBC-4's Helldivers, Brewster F2A Buffalo of VT-3, Douglas TBD-1 Devastators, VB-5, VB-6 on Northrop BT-1. A

apparently the new Wildcats and Dauntlesses were kept out of the scenes.

Curtiss Seagull SOC's, PBY Catalinas, PB2Y Coronado, Vought OS2U Kingfisher VF-6 Grumman F3F-2/3's. Background NA SNJ-3's, Douglas Dauntless, Grumman Duck Travel Air ("N3N"), Lockheed 10, Ryan STA ("RAF Fighter"). Seversky mock-up from "Test Pilot". F3F-3 Mock-up from "Flight Command". Models. Written by ex-Navy pilot Spig Wead.

  Dragonfly Squadron
1954 v
USAF- J. Hodiak; USAF pilot trains Koreans. Stinson L-5's. C-46. Col. Dean Hess was the technical advisor on this.
  Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
1964 *v
USAF- P. Sellars; Satire on nuclear war, B-52 attacks Russia. FLUB-Watch for B-52 leaving a B-17 shadow on snow!

Peter Sellars had been a Aircraftsman in the RAF during the war. Hayden was in the USMC.

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  Eagle and the Hawk
WWI- C. Grant; 2 WWI fliers dislike each other, one has a breakdown. DH-9, Curtiss P-1 Hawk ("Fokker") "Wings", "Lilac Time", "Dawn Patrol" footage. Static Nieuport 28's. Written by J.M. Saunders, ex WWI pilot.
  Eagle Squadron
1942 *
RAF- Robert Stack; First US guys in the RAF Eagle Squadrons. Quite a bit of footage was shot for it on actual RAF Eagle squadron bases, but the movie itself was shot on a Hollywood backlot with mock-up Spitfires and Bf 109's. Models.

The real footage was of Spitfire Mk.IIa, Vb of 71, 27, and 222 squadrons by their codes, Westand Lysander, Wellington ("German Bomber"), and a Lockheed 12.

Apparently the real Eagles, who were invited to the premier were intensely embarassed by the final result - making it sound like the handful of Americans was winning the war for the RAF.

Empire of the Sun
1987 *v
USAAF/Japanese AF- John Malkovich; Boy in Japanese concentration camp loves aircraft. Memorable, if short footage.

Shot at Jerez and Tablada AB, Spain in 1987 with 3 Mustangs: CAC-18 Mk.23(G-HAEC), F-51D (G-PSID), P-51D/RCAF MK.IV Mustang (N51JJ). Ex-Spanish AF T-6G's were modified as "Zeros". Noted warbird driver Ray Hanna was one of the stunt pilots.


Enola Gay: The Men, The Mission, and the Atomic Bomb
1980 *v
USAAF- Patrick Duffy; Remake of "Above and Beyond", the B-29 bombing of Hiroshima. Filmed at Davis-Monthan AFB with Confederate B-29A (N529B-FiFi); B-29/P2B-1S (N91329-Fertile Myrtle) and the Pima Museum B-29A.

2 C-47's. Learjet 23 camera plane. Directed by ex-B-29 navigator Lowell Rich.


  The Eternal Sea
1955 *
USN- Sterling Hayden; Biography of Carrier Cdr. John Hoskins. He lost his leg on the deck of the PRINCETON just before he could take command, and he fought back to command the second PRINCETON.

Appears to be shot on the PHILIPPINE SEA with the VALLEY FORGE. Carrier Air Group 11- F9F-2 Panthers, AD Skyraiders. ("V" On tails). N.A. SNJ, Piasecki HUP-1 of HU-1 ("UP" code). NATC Panther, and a Cutlass (?) in an awful crash. C-54, C-47 in background. The SNJ's are seen at shore training base.


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  Fail Safe
1964 *v
USAF- Henry Fonda; accidental strike on Russia due to technical fault. Almost all of this is set in a White house command bunker. B-58 Hustler. During the war actor Walter Matthau was a Sgt., in the 453 BG 8th Air Force, under Jimmy Stewart.  

Fate is the Hunter
1964 *
USAAF- Glenn Ford; Story of air force pilot with a confidence problem who goes on to crash an airliner. DC-6B hulk modified as a 'jet' with swept wing, pods on tail.

The USAF scenes were done with a C-54, a B-25 hulk, and a Fairchild UC-61 Argus at Whiteman Air Park in California.

Backlot crash scene filming resulted in a overhead airline Electra calling in a crash alert! Written by ex USAAF Air Transport Command pilot Ernest Gann.

  Ferry Pilot
RAF- Story of ferry pilots. Whitleys, Spitfires. One of the pilots is famed distance flier Jim Mollison.
  Fighter Attack
1953 *v
USAAF- Sterling Hayden; P-47 pilot is shot- down over Italy, joins partisans. P-47 Thunderbolts, almost all stock footage from the documentary "Thunderbolt". TP-47G hulk (Now in Lone Star Mus. 42-25068) ("Thunderbolt" was made with the 57 FG in Corsica, 1944)

Fighter Squadron
USAAF- Robert Stack; P-47s in Italy, far better than the above B-movie. Shot at Oscoda AAF in Michigan (later renamed Wurtsmith AFB) in 1948.

Filmed with 8 Van Nuys-based F-51D Mustangs (as "Bf 109's")of the 195 FS CALIF. ANG - verus 16 F-47D Thunderbolts from the 128 FBS (4), and 158 FBS (4) of the Georgia ANG, 156 FBS (4) of the North Carolina ANG, and (4) 105 FBS of the Tennessee ANG.

Also a P-47D hulk from Wright-Patterson AFB for crash scenes. Stock footage from the documentary "Thunderbolt".

Paul Mantz B-17G in Opening sequence. Mantz TB-25H Mitchell (N1203) photo plane. Actor Rock Hudson was an ex-USN air groundcrew and E. O'Brien was ex-USAAF.

  The Fighting Lady
Robert Taylor (Narrator)  Director William Wyler
Excellent documentary about a newly commissioned carrier
  Final Approach
1991 *v
Factory- J.Sikking; Stealth pilot crashes and wakes up in doctor's office as a prisoner.

Final Countdown
1980 *v
USN- K. Douglas; NIMITZ goes back in time to Dec.6 1941. Far-fetched Science fiction story, but a lot of great carrier footage.

Shot on board NIMITZ during the first half of of 1979, near Key West. Starring CAG-8 and its units VF-41, 84 on F-14A Tomcats, VA-35 on KA-6D Intruders, A-6E Intruder, VS-24 S-3A Viking, HS-5 Sikorsky SH-3D Sea King, VAW-?? E-2C Hawkeye, VA-82 and 86 on A-7E Corsair II.

2 Confederate AF T-6/Zero replicas. shot the intercept scene with the F-14's, staged out of Boca Chica at NAS Key West. The F-14 almost lost control during this scene. B-25, KA-6D camera planes.

1990 *v
US Army- T.L. Jones; Apaches fight drug smugglers. Awful script. 30+ AH-64A Apaches of 4th Squadron 6th Cal. Brigade, OH-58D Kiowa 2 Armoured Division, UH-60 Blackhawk of the US Army Proving Ground. AH-1 Cobra, UH-1H, SAAB Draken, MD 500D Defender. Filmed at Fort Hood, Texas, and Ft. Huachuca, Arizona.
1982 *v
Russian VVS- Clint Eastwood steals the "MiG-31" Full size mock-up and reduced models. Part was shot in an Edwards AFB hangar!

"Flaming Sky"
Japan- Airwar over China


Flat Top (UK "Eagles of the Nest")
1952 *v
USN- Sterling Hayden; The old hated CO is finally understood in the end plot, set in the South Pacific in 1944/45 as Corsairs pioneer close air support.

Shot on PRINCETON on the way to its second Korea tour. CAG-19 with TBM Avengers of VF-851, VF-871 on F4U-4 Corsair, AD-4 Skyraiders of VA-195. F9F-2 Panthers. Lots of stock footage of Hellcats and Helldivers. Just ignore those Skyraiders that are always at the back of the deck behind the Corsairs!

USN- J.Holt; story of 2 pilots who rescue Marines in Nicarauga. Shot with 9 Curtiss OC-2 Falcon of VO-8M and VO-10M. Consolidated NY trainers. Made at NAS Pensacola.

Flight Command
1940 *
USN- Robert Taylor (ex USAAF Flight Instructor) Pilots develops blind-flying equipment in their spare time. VF-6, VMF-2 Grumman F3F-2's at NAS North Island, also shot on ENTERPRISE. (Also VS-6 on Curtiss SBC Helldivers, VB-6 Northrop BT-1, VT-6 Douglas TBD-1's supposedly in there somewhere. Cut from the current print?).

Sikorsky PBS-1 Flying Boat, VF-6 SBC-4 target tug, N.A. SNJ's in background (?) Seversky SEV-S2 and Ryan ST footage from "Test Pilot" One of the USMC pilots in the air scenes was one Lt. Greg (Pappy) Boyington.

  Flight Commander (This was originally "Dawn Patrol". It was retitled after the the second version came out in 1938)
1930 v
WWI- Douglas Fairbanks; WWI epic. Nieuport 28's., Travel Airs ("Nieuports"), Fokker D.VII's, 2 Pfalz D.XII's, Standard J-1. Directed by Howard Hawks (WWI pilot).

Flight from Ashiya
1963 *
USAF- Richard Widmark; Three crewman have flashbacks during rescue flight from Japan.

Several Grumman SA-16B Albatross, Sikorsky HH-19B's, possibly of the 3 ARS, Air Rescue Service.

Watch when Widmark is flying a DC-3 from 1941 Manilla to a remote village. It has post-war Japanese civilian registration, and the remote village looks a lot like a USN base, complete with high tension towers in the background!

  Flight Into Darkness (French "L'Equipage", The Woman I Love"
WWI Epic.
  Flight Lieutenant (Originally "He's My Old Man"?)
USAAC Glenn Ford; Brown Racer, Stinson Model A Trimotor. Stock Footage of Curtiss P-12, 3 Stearman C-3's.
  Flight Nurse
USAF- F.Tucker; Romantic stuff in Korea. Any decent MATS stuff in this?
  Flight of the Black Angel
1991 *v
USAF- P. Strauss; Loonie F-16 pilot steals nuke, sets out to attack Vegas. Cable movie.

Flight of the Intruder
1991 *v
USN- D. Glover; Vietnam A-6 Intruder crew go on a personal strike "Downtown" to Hanoi. Shot on INDEPENDANCE, (also RANGER?), in Kauai, Hawaii and Savannah Georgia.

A-6E Intruders of VA-122, 128, 126, 165. C-2B Greyhound, SH-3 Sea King, A-3 Skywarrior, F-4 Phantom (both on deck only), A-7E Corsair II, MiG 17, and two (AD-4N and AD-6) Skyraiders. The Intruder markings seem to be Vietnam-era unit marks over the current low-vis scheme and don't look right. Background aircraft are clearly 1990's low-vis.


Flight of the Phoenix
1966 *v
Warbird- Jimmy Stewart (ex USAAF/USAF); Civilian Fairchild C-82A Packet crashes, "plane" is built from the wreck.

Famed stunt pilot Paul Mantz was killed in the crash of "the Phoenix" while filming.

Several derelict C-82A's of Stewart-Davis, lying at Long Beach Airport were used. A North American O-47A (N47225V) was also used as the "Phoenix" in some scenes.


Flying Cadets
USAAC- Ryan ST, PCC?. Harlow Primary Trainer.


The Flying Fleet
USN- R. Graves; 6 Annapolis graduates attempt to fly to Hawaii in record attempt. Filmed at NAS North Island with Consolidated NY-2's, Douglas T2D-1's of VJ-1B, Curtiss F6C-3's Hawks of VB-1B, Loening OL-3's of VJ-1B, Vought O2U-1 Corsair from VO-5B on MARYLAND, and on LANGLEY. Vought 02U-1 camera plane. Written by Spig Wead.

  Flying Fortress
RAF- R.Greene; Canadian & Americans fly first Flying Fortress combat Missions. Made by 90 Squad. Boeing Fortress I's (B-17C) at RAF Polebrook, apparently just after their withdrawal from disastrous day missions. Models. Mock-up.

Flying Leathernecks
1951 *v
USMC- Disliked John Wayne as hard commander. F4U-4's Corsairs of VMF-232, F6F-5 Hellcats of VMT-2 from MCAS El Toro (as "Wildcats"!). Many F6F, F6F-5N hulks. SNJ as ("Zeros") PBY-6A Catalina, later blown up. R5D (C-47), R6D (C-54).

Shot at MCAS Camp Pendleton during 1950-51. Paul Mantz flew the camera TB-25H (N1203). Actor Don Taylor was ex USAAF.

  "Flying South in His Plane"
Japanese- Their propaganda view of the Pearl Harbor attack.

Flying Tigers
1942 *v
USAAF- John Wayne; Almost all P-40 mock-ups, stock American Volunteer Group footage, Spitfire footage from "The Lion Has Wings", and "Air Force". Some air footage was shot around the Curtiss facility in Buffalo with pre-delivery repainted P-40's.

Apparently the set was an authentic reproduction of the AVG facility, but set on a California studio ranch. The very odd bomber is the the only Capelis XC-12 'Safety Aircraft Transport' built. Current tape version of "Flying Tigers" is now colourized.

  Forced Landing
Richard Arlen (ex RFC, future USAAF FI ) Pacific Air Transport Service pilot versus Japanese Spy ring. C-47 and others.
  For the Moment
1994 *
RCAF- Love Story set in Canadian wartime training air force station. Much footage of Ansons, Harvards, etc. Shot at the Western Development Museum?
  Francis Gary Powers: The True Story of the U-2 Incident:
1976 *v
CIA- Lee Majors; Biography of famed U-2 pilot and his shootdown over the Soviet Union.

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  Gathering of Eagles
1963 *v
USAF- Rock Hudson(ex USN); Hudson is a SAC Wing Commander who's hard atttitude leads to conflict with his men and his wife.

Strategic Air Command Boeing B-52G's,KC-135A's, Lockheed T-33A, C-47 and Sikorsky H-19. Titan I missile silos. Well made with some great shots of B-52 scramble take-offs.

This appears to be one or two wings of B-52G, half the scenes show Hound Dogs, half with no pylons and missiles. Is this the 4126 SW at Beale AFB??? Oddly enough the 456SW is thanked, but I can't locate this on the SAC unit lists of the time.

Actor Kevin MacCarthy was ex-USAAF, and Hudson was an ex-USN groundcrew.  

  "Goal in the Clouds" (Ziel Inden Wolken)
Luftwaffe- Propaganda drama.
  God is My Copilot
1945 *
USAAF- Dennis Morgan; Flying Tigers biography of R.C Scott. Shot at Luke AAF Aux. Field #7. 15 Curtiss P-40F's 554 FTS Luke, 12 B-25C/D/G Mitchells from 952 TS at Mather Field. About 15 Luke 3028 AFBU AT-6's ("Zeros"). 1 Republic P-43 Lancer. C-47. 2 P-40 hulks,

One AT-6 glanced off a B-25 during filming of the final mass air scene, killing 5 crew in both aircraft (or just the T-6 pilot, according to another source).

6 P-40 mock-ups from "Flying Tigers". Curtiss A-25 (Helldivers), Lockheed A-29 (Hudson), Beech AT-11 Kansan Camera Ships.

FLUB-Japanese A/C ID Posters in briefing room in one scene include a Constellation drawing. It hadn't even flown in 1941! Models. Mock-up SB2U-1as "Zero".


  The Great Santini
1979 *v
USMC- Robert Duvall; 1962 USMC fighter jock abuses his family
  A Guy Named Joe
1943 *v
USAAF- Spencer Tracy; Ghost B-25 Pilot helps P-38 pilot, many models. Remade as "Always". Entirely studio shot, but stock footage was specially filmed at MacDill, Columbia, Drew, Randolph, and Luke Fields (Vultee BT-13 Valiants).

Types shot at these bases included 8 21 BG MacDill B-26 Marauders (as "Bettys"!), about 8 P-38E Lightning, 6 B-25B/C/D Mitchells 3 A-36/P-51 ("Bf 109's") C-47, Lockheed Lodestar, Lockheed 12. Also 2 P-38E hulks, BT-13, B-25 hulks (one of the P-38's and the BT were still on lying on the MGM backlot in '69). Actor Barry Nelson was in the USAAF.


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  Hanover Street
1979 *v
USAAF- Harrison Ford. Love Story set in 8th AF. Filmed in the UK at at Ex-RAF Little Rissington, Bovingdon for ground scenes with 5 TB-25N's Mitchells that had been ferried across the Atlantic (NL9494Z, N86427, N76811C, N9455Z, N9115Z). Actually the USAAF had no B-25's in England, using them in other theaters. Piper Aztec camera plane.

Hell's Angels
1930 v
WWI- B.Lyon; Howard Hughes made this epic about 2 Americans who join the RFC. Made with up to 87 biplanes and 80 pilots (including Roscoe Turner), although some reports say no more than about 40 aircraft at one time.

Types included 5 Thomas-Morse Scouts S4.C (as "Camels"), 3+ SE.5, Sikorsky S-29 ("Gotha"), this crashed killing a stuntman) 8 Fokker D.VII, 2 Jennies ("Avro 504") Snipes?, Camels? DH.4. Many Travelair 2000/4000's ("Fokker") Many crashes both planned and accidental, 3 of them were fatal. DH.4, Travelair camera plane. Models.

Filmed at several 1920's Los Angeles Fields- Caddo (Van Nuys), Inglewood, Chatsworth, Riverside, Encino, Santa Cruz, Glendale and Oakland in the San Francisco area.


Hell Divers
USN- Clarke Gable; Shot on SARATOGA in the Carribbean. Stars Boeing F4B-2's of VF-6B North Island, 18 Curtiss F8C-4 Helldivers VF-1B Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Martin T4M-1, and Great Lakes TG-1's of VT-2B. Dirigible USS LOS ANGELES. Models.

Written by Spig Wead. Shots showing the then-secret carrier arrestor gear were removed from the movie by the USN.

  Hell's Horizon
USAF- J.Ireland; Korean Boeing B-29 action, Fuselage and stock footage only.
  Her's to Hold
Factory- Joseph Cotten as AVG Flying Tiger pilot in love with a B-17 assembly worker. Shot at the Burbank Lockheed Vega B-17F line. Future notorious 381 BG 'jinx' ship "Tinker Toy" shows up in the background in some shots.

High Barbaree
USN- Van Johnson; Downed PBY Pilot has flashbacks about his life. Partly shot off NAS North Island and near Coronado, California.

Mainly used 2 PBN/PBY Catalina taken out of storage at NAS North Island (2 PBN-1 hulks were were sold for scrap in 1970 off the MGM backlot) Stills show a PBY-5A with its lower vertical tail.

Ryan PT-21, Paul Mantz Stinson L-1, Ryan STA sportplane. Actor Cameron Mitchell was an ex- USAAF bombardier.

  High Flight
RAF- Ray Milland (Ex USAAF Flight Instructor); Jet trainers set at the famous RAF Cranwell. Which ones?
  Hot Shots
1991 *v
USN- Lloyd Bridges; Satire on Top Gun and other action movies. Shot in the US using ex RAF Red Arrows Folland Mk.1 Gnats as Navy jet fighters!
  Hot Shots! Part Deux
1993 *v
USN- Charlie Sheen, Lloyd Bridges  - More of the same
  The Hunters
1958 v
USAF- Robert Mitchum; Korean air action with N.A. F-86 Sabres and F-84 Thunderjets (as "MiG's").
1974 *v
USAF- Martin Milner does a WC-130 hurricane penetration in one of several story threads.

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  "I Bombed Pearl Harbour"
Japanese Co-Prod. Made with Tora! Tora! Tora! (or 1958? is this an earlier production?) Apparently nowhere near as good as Tora, poor dubbing.
Terrorist hijack military transport carrying stealth aircraft
Jurgen Prochnow, Andrew Divoff, Elizabeth Morehead
Cable movie.

International Squadron
RAF- Ronald Reagan joins the RAF. The majority was shot at Alhambra Airport, California with Brown R-3 racer, 3 Ryan STA's, Travel Air Mystery Ship as "Spitfires"! Paul Mantz's Boeing 100 (as a "Gloster Gladiator").

The rest was filmed at Van Nuys and at Lockheed Burbank with more pre-delivery Lockheed Hudsons.

Stock footage, models. Written by ex-Navy pilot Spig Wead. Actor Tyrone Power became a USMC Transport pilot during the war.

  Into the Sun
1992 *v
USAF- A.M. Hall; Vain actor in F-16 movie gets into a real war. This cable movie makes Iron Eagle look good.

Iron Eagle
1986 *v
USAF- Louis Gossett; Attack on an "Arab country" holding a USAF pilot hostage, by his teenage son flying an F-16B all the way from the US.

Filmed in Israel with F-16A, F-16B, IAI Kfir. Part in the USA with Piper Tomahawk, Cessna C-150, Citabria, Lockheed T-33. Israeli C-130H, and 707 in background. Art Scholl flew part of the US stunts.


Iron Eagle II
1988 *v
USAF- Louis Gossett; US/Russian joint misfit attacks 'Iraqi' type country. Filmed in Isreal (Hatzerim AB ?) with F-16A, F-4E Phantoms, IAI Kfir, C-130H and Boeing 707's.

Part of the Israeli AF Museum is in one scene (Nortlas, etc). Clay Lacey camera plane. Can anyone give Israeli details? Have they ever made a serious movie using their aircraft?

  Aces: Iron Eagle III
1992 *v
USAF- Louis Gossett attacks drug lord with Warbirds. Nice warbird footage, if you can handle the story. Spitfire FR.Mk.XIVc (NH904), P-38J (N38BP) from Planes of Fame East. N.A. P-51C(?) in German marks. Rutan Canard (as "Me 263"!!!). 3 SOKO Galeb jets, Cessna twin, 2 Bell 205's. T-6/Zero replica. Fairchild C-123K Provider. Filmed around the Tucson, Arizona area (F-86D, T-28 on ramp in background).

Iron Eagle on the Attack ( IV )
Heralded as "One of the worst movies of all time".

Warbirds- Louis Gossett; Chappy Sinclair attacks his scriptwriter and agent in a final kamikaze attack. Well we can hope.

Actually filmed in Canada in 1994 using three CCF Harvard IV's (T-6J), Waco, Canadian Forces CC-130 at Oshawa, Kirby and Downsview Airports.


Island in the Sky
USAAF- John Wayne; Air Transport Command during war, with the crew trying to survive a forced landing in Labrador. C-47. Written by Ex-ATC pilot E. Gann.


It's In the Air
RAF- George Formby; Comedy with George Formby joining the RAF.


I Wanted Wings
USAAC- Ray Milland; Pre-war flying training in colour. Shot on location: North American BT-9's and BT-14's at Randolph Field, Texas, and at Kelly Field, Texas, with over 500 AT-6's in one flypast. (1000 a/c were used filming this one!!)

132 BS, 9 BG B-17B's from March Field. Douglas B-18 Bolo, Northrop A-17's in large numbers.

Full size B-17B mock-up. Also models and out takes from the YB-17's in "Test Pilot". Paul Mantz flew Orion, Vega, and Boeing 100 camera planes. Some stock footage from the documentary "Flying Cadets".

Of the cast Ray Milland joined the USAAF, Wayne Morris became a Navy ace (he had 7 victories with VF-15 on Essex Hellcats), later becoming a Lt.-Cdr. in the Naval reserves. Brian Donlevy became a Flight instructor, and William Holden joined the USAAF. Writer Bernie Lay went on to command a B-24 group in the 8th.

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  Jet Attack (also "Jet Squad")
1958 v
USAF- J. Agar; Scientist is shot down over Korea.
  Jet Job
Factory- Test pilots.

Jet Pilot
1957 *v
USAF -John Wayne; John Wayne is a USAF test pilot that marries a beautiful blonde Russian T-33 pilot, then fakes a defection to Russia, then returns by stealing a fighter. Hard to know if this was meant to be tongue-in-check.

Howard Hughes directed this around 1950, then he sat on it for 7 years playing with the footage and re-filming with newer fighters.

The main location was Edwards AFB around about 1950. N.A. F-86A Sabres, T-33A ("Yak-12"), Lockheed F-94A Starfires, Chuck Yeager flying the Bell X-1 on its last B-50 drop. Black Northrop XF-89 Scorpion prototype (which had a fatal crash shortly after), F-89, Convair B-36.

Yeager also flew much of the air-to-air Sabre footage. Also apparently shot at Eielson AFB, Alaska with an F-86A group. Boeing B-29, T-6, C-47 on the ramp in background. FLUB-Watch the "steal the fighter" scene- they steal the T-33 from a snowy Siberian base, but minutes later are flying over a scrub desert!



Journey Together
1945 v
RAF- E.G. Robinson; Failed RAF pilot becomes a navigator, then joins Lancasters. Mostly shot in a UK studio with some outsides shot in and around Falcon Field, Mesa, Arizona. Also some footage apparently shot in Canada with the RCAF.

Actor David Tomlinson had been an RAF Flight instructor during the war, and was later badly injured in a Tiger Moth crash in the 1950's.


  Jungle Patrol
USAAC- R. Jaeckel; American pilots fly off of a New Guinea jungle strip. Several P-40's.

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 Keep 'em Flying

Keep em' Flying
1941 *v
USAAC- Abbott and Costello join up. Shot at the Cal-Aero Academy, Chino, California with Stearman PT-13B's, Vultee BT-13's, and a C-47(?).

Stunt Pilot Paul Mantz flew his Boeing 100, and Stearman C-3R. The "fly through the hangar" scene, though, was actually flown by R.L. Scott who was the base commander at the time. (Of "God is My Copilot" fame). Stock footage.  


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Ladies Courageous
1944 *
USAAF -L. Young; Women ferry pilots in WAFS. Manages to make them act like high school students with no professionalism whatever. Completely fails to shed any light in how air ferry actually worked.

Shot on location at Long Beach AAF, California. P-51B's, B-24D, P-40, P-47, B-17E "Suzy Q", B-17G's, many C-47s, P-38, B-26 Maruader, A-20 Havoc, B-25 Mitchell, Lockheed A-29 (Hudson), AT-6, Vultee BT-13 Valiant and Douglas A-24 (Dauntless).

  Lady Takes a Flyer
Warbirds- Jeff Chandler; Ferrying old B-25J's, P-51D, B-17G, Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer.

Last Flight of Noah's Ark
1980 *v
Warbirds- Elliot Gould; Disney movie about old B-29 that crashes on a Pacific Island and is made into a raft. Filmed in Hawaii and at Victorville Airport, California. Flying B-29A/ P2B-1S was Fertile Mertile (N91329).

4 other B-29A hulks were borrowed from the famous China Lake B-29 derelicts. Two were made into rafts, one was for the beach crash, and the fourth was for studio fuselage interiors.


Layfayette Escadrille (UK "Hell Bent for Glory")
1958 v
WWI- Paul Mantz flew several Bleriot Penquin replicas, also Tallmantz Nieuport 28. Original Camel F.1 (A1171), real SE.5A and Lincoln LF-1 (Nieuport replica).

Footage from "Men with Wings". Director Wellman was a member of the Layfayette Flying Corps (not the Escadille) in 1916.

  "Legion Condor"
Luftwaffe- Propaganda piece on the Spanish Civil war.

Lilac Time (UK "Lone Never Dies")
WWI- G. Cooper; Love triangle in RFC. 15 aircraft - 7 Waco 10's, shot in California mainly around Culver City. Several staged crashes for cameras, one stunt pilot was killed.


The Lion has Wings
1939 *
RAF- Ralph Richardson (future RN pilot); First half is a propaganda documentary, then it switches to a Wellington attack on Keil (149 Squad.?), then Spitfire night fighters (of 74 Squad.?)! Also Fairy Battles, Vickers Wellesley (?) (as various Luftwaffe types).

Some good stock footage of pre-war RAF Hawker Fury and Bristol Bulldogs, and war time Spitfire and Wellington production. Actor Robert Douglas became a Royal Navy FAA pilot from 1939 to 1945.

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  The Malta Story
1954 v
RAF- Jack Hawkins; Malta defence. Filmed in Malta, and also has some actual wartime footage.

4 Spitfires Mk. XVI (bubble canopies), and Spitfire hulks from the wartime boneyard.

  The Marines Fly High
USMC- C. Morris; Another Marine rescue flic. Fairchild 24, Ryan ST, Berliner (?) biplane.

The McConnell Story (UK "Tiger in the Sky")
1955 *
USAAF/USAF- Alan Ladd (Ex USAAF); biography of B-17 Navigator/Korean ace McConnell. N.A. F-86 Sabres, F-84 Thunderjets (as "Migs").


McHales Navy Joins the Air Force
1965 *
USAF- Tim Conway; slapstick comedy apparently shot in Australia (?). Little Air Force content. C-47, interior, models. P-51D, T-6, T-28 (?) in background. Stock footage of P-47's.

  Memphis Belle

The Original Documentary  directed by William Wyler


Memphis Belle
1990 *v
USAF- Matthew Modine; B-17 mission, loosely based on the real "Memphis Belle" story and the wartime documentary of the same name.

Made with 5 flying B-17's:

  • B-17G/RB-17G F-AZDX Fortress Volante "Pink Lady"
  • B-17G/TB-17G/VB-17G G-BEDF "Sally B"
  • B-17G F-BEEA Burned out Binbrook on take-off July 25 1989 during filming.
  • B-17G/CB-17G/VB-17G N3703G now "Memphis Belle" Dave Tallichet
  • B-17F/RB-17F N17W Seattle Museum of Flight

3 Hispano Ha.1112 Buchon ("Bf 109's") (G-HUNN), 7 P-51D Mustangs (N167F; N51JJ both P-51D/RCAF Mustang IV's; G-HAEC (CAC Mk.18), G-BIXL (an actual 8th veteran) + 3 others).

Filmed at ex-RAF Binbrook and ex-RAF Duxford in the summer of 1989. VB-25N camera plane (N1042B), which went u/s, and and also an Avenger, along with some of the B-17's used as camera platforms.

  Men of the Fighting Lady
1954 *v
USN- Van Johnson; F9F-5 Panthers fly in Korea. Shot on ORISKANY. F9F hulk.

Men with Wings
USAAC- Ray Milland (future USAAF Flight instructor); Story of two rival fliers from 1903 to 1938. Original colour (a first for aviation movies). Made with Buhl Pup, 3+ DH.4's 2 Garland Lincoln LF-1's(Nieuport replica), Boeing 247's ("bombers"), Boeing P-12's. Nieuport 28C.1, SPAD VII.

Also a Whitehead replica, 1910 Curtiss pusher replica, 6 Travelair ("Fokker's"), Fokker D.VII (burnt!), Mantz Stearman C-3, 2 Boeing 100's, NA.50 and several Jennies.

Camera planes were the Mantz Stearman C-3 and Lockheed Sirus. Apparently it was filmed around Van Nuys, California. Directed by ex-WWI SPAD pilot William Wellman.


Midway (UK "Battle of Midway")
1975 *v
USN/Japanese- Charleton Heston; Story of the battle, similiar to Tora but not done as well. Shot at NAS Pensacola, Point Magu, Long Beach, Fort McArthur. Some film shot on LEXINGTON with 2 FM-2 Wildcats, and also on the CONSTELLATION.

PBY-6A Catalina (of the Confederate AF, later crashed), T-6, C-130 Hercules (as an "Emily"). Douglas SBD Dauntless, another FM-2 Wildcat for close-ups, SNJ modified as a TBD for close-ups. T-6/Zero Replicas, T-6/BT-13 "VAL" Replicas.

FLUB- watch for the angled flight deck in some shots, and Charlton Heston taking off in a Hellcat, and switching to a Dauntless while Vindcators fly behind him, then a Helldiver before finally crashing in a Panther!

Stock footage from "Tora", "Dive Bomber", "Flying Leathernecks", "The Fighting Lady", and the documentary "The Battle of Midway".

Fonda actually was on Nimitz's staff at Guam, Glenn Ford was on a Coast Guard forward Picket at the real battle of Midway. Charlton Heston was a B-25 radio operater/gunner in Alaska with the 11 Air Force.

  Mission Batangas
1969 v
USAAF?- Dennis Weaver (ex USN airman); Fighters of some sort.
  Mission over Korea (UK "Eyes in the Sky")
USAF- J.Hodiak; Fighters.

"Moscow Squadron"
Russian AF- drama of Yak fighters. Various Yak fighters, wrecked Ju 88, flyable Bf 109G.


Mosquito Squadron
1969 *
RAF- David McCallum; RAF Bombers. Shot at RAF Bovingdon with D.H. Mosquito TT.Mk.35's, Avro Anson. Known Mossies:

  • T.Mk.3 RR299 (G-ASKH)
  • TT.Mk.35 RS709 (USAFM)
  • RS712 (Weeks N35MK)
  • TA719 for ground scenes,
  • TA634 (Mosquito Museum)

Murphy's War
1970 *v
RAF- Peter O'Toole; Civilian sailor attacks a U-boat on a personal vendetta, after V-E day with a shot up biplane that he teaches himself to fly!

Stars Frank Tallman's Grumman J2F-6 Duck (plus a second?). Shot up the Orinco River in Venezuela, using the Venezuelan Navy Submarine CARITE (Ex-TILEFISH).


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Navy Born
USN- W. Gargan; 3 Navy pilots cope with a baby. Stock footage of Boeing F4B's of VF-1 on LEXINGTON.


Never So Few
1959 v
USAAF- F. Sinatra; Commando raid on Japanese air base (?). Used actual flying Ontario Air Museum Hayate (or Frank?) plus static Zeke.

Cessna UC-78 (still on a movie back lot in 1969) P-35 mock-up, Paul Mantz Stinson L-1. Actor Brian Donlevy was ex USAAF FI.

1979 *v
USAAF- John Belushi; "Comedy" about post Dec. 7 Californian panic, seems to include more air than I remember. Filmed with DB-17P Flying Fortress (N323Z-"Sentimental Journey"), P-40M/Kittyhawk III, C-45?, and 4 to 6 T-6's.
1959 French AF - Russian made movie on French Yak regiment that served with the V-VS during the war.
  No Time for Sergeants
1958 *v
USAF- Andy Griffith; Comedy. B-25B or C hulk, (now stored).
  Not With My Wife You Don't
1966 *
USAF- George C.Scott; Comedy. F-100 Super Sabres.

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  On an Island With You
USN- P Lawford; Navy pilot romances movie star. TBM Avenger and Grumman Goose.
  One of Our Aircraft is Missing
1942 *v
RAF- Eric Portman; Wellington crashes, crew escapes through Holland.
  On The Threshold of Space (??)
USAF- John Hodiak, astronaut training. Details?
  Operation Crossbow/"The Great Spy Mission"
1965 *v
RAF- George Peppard; The hunt for V-1 launch sites, Spitfire IX (MH434), Lancaster stock footage.
  Operation Haylift
USAF- Bill Williams; Farmer rejoins USAF, Fairchild C-82A Packets at Ely, Nevada

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  A Perfect Hero
1990 *
RAF- Actually a TV mini-series. Nigel Havers; Biography of Richard Hilary who was horribly burned as a Spitfire pilot. Filmed at Swanton Morley with at least two Spitfires VIII, IX.

Piece of Cake
RAF - Actually a 6 hr. 6 part TV Mini-series. Controversial story of a Battle of France/ Battle of Britain Spitfire Squadron. Filmed in 1988. The French scenes were shot at South Cherney Airport. Also seen is Cambridge Airport (as "Le Touquet"), and Ex-RAF Duxford as the main base.

Filmed with a fleet of Spitfires, (rather than than the Hurricanes which actually deployed to France in 1940). Made with 5 Spits: HF.Mk.IXc(MH434) LF.Mk.IXe(ML417), LF.Mk.IXc (NH238), 1 Mk.Ia (AR213), 1 PR.XI (PL983), and 6 mockups.

CASA C.2111 hulk ("He 111"). 3 Hispano Ha.1112M-1L Buchon ("Bf 109E"- G-BOML, G-HUNN, D-FEHD) and a CASA 353L ("Ju 52") TB-25N Mitchell (N1042B) camera ship along with an Augusta 109 helicopter.

Ray Hanna flew the underbridge scene. Other noteable warbird stunt pilots included Nick Grace, Charles Church, Stephen Grey, and Howard Pardue. Also outtakes from the "Battle of Britain" and models.

  Pilot No.5
1943 *
USAAF- Van Johnson; US pilot flies a suicide mission.

"Pour le Merite"
German- propaganda piece, biography of Baron Von Richthofen.

  Power Dive
USAAC- Richard Arlen (ex-Royal Flying Corps, future USAAF Flight Instructor); Drama about a "secret new plastic pursuit fighter". Greenleaf monoplane, mock-ups.

A Prize of Gold
USAF- Richard Widmark; he sets up USAF robbery during Berlin Airlift. Any air stuff?

  Project X
1987 *v
USAF - Matthew Broderick; Pilot ends up taking care of chimp.
  Purple Heart
1944 *v
USAAF- Dana Andrews; Story of the Doolittle crew who were captured and executed. B-25 Mitchell models and mock-up.

The Purple Plain
1955 *v
RAF- Gregory Peck; Burma Mosquito pilot crashes, walks back to civilization. Interesting view of rare WWII theatre, pilot fatigue, and the fact that many combat crew went down to accidents rather than enemy action

Made using DH. Mosquito PR.Mk.34/one T.Mk.4 of 81 Squad, Seletar, Singapore on a base at Negombo, Ceylon. Avro Anson. N.A. Harvard in the background. One T.Mk.3 Mosquito was destroyed in the crash sequence. Camera plane was a Short Sunderland of 205 Squad!

  The Purple Twilight
RAF- ex-Lancaster crew fixes up an old wrecked Lanc and flys to Berlin in 1982!. Filmed in RAF Museum B.Mk.I Lancaster at Hendon (R5868) with lots of special effects.
  The Purple V
RAF- J. Archer; drama of shot-down RAF gunner.

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Q-Planes (US "Clouds over Europe")
1939 *
RAF -Lawrence Olivier (future Royal Navy Pilot) Comedy of Scotland Yard investigating bomber spies.

Airspeed Oxford, DH Rapide, 5+ DH Tiger Moths. Actor Ralph Richardson was also a future RN Fleet Air Arm utility pilot.  

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Reach for the Sky
1956 *v
RAF- Kenneth More; Biography of legendary fighter ace Douglas Bader. Much concerned with his recovery from a double amputation. RAF Kenley doubled for various airfields.

Shot in 1955 with Bristol Bulldog II (static), Bulldog replica for crash. 3 Hurricanes - with one flying (LF363-now BoB Flt.), and 2 Static examples. (Mk1 P2617 BofB Mus.?) Mock-up Hurricane.

4 flying Spitfires, all LF.Mk.XVIe from 3 CAAAU at RAF Exeter (all had bubble canopies). 5 more ground examples.

Spartan Arrow (G-ABWP), Avro Tutor (G-AHSA- Shuttleworth) and Avro 504K (E3404). Bristol F.2B Fighter(D8096) in background. Models. Studio Spit fuselage, Avro 504, Bulldog and Bf 109 cockpit mock-ups.

Stock footage of various Luftwaffe types such as He 111, Bf 109, Me 110, etc. (Most of the Battle Of Britain gun camera footage seems to show Fw 190's!) "Angels-One-Five" footage.


Red Flag: The Ultimate Game
1981 *v
USAF- William Devane; The cast of Knot's Landing goes aggressor. Filmed on location at Nellis AFB with F-4E Phantoms (414 TWTS?), F-5E Tiger II of the 57 TTW. A-10A, F-16A in background. Art Scholl did the air-to-air photography. Directed by USAAF vet Don Taylor.


The Right Stuff
1983 *v
USAF- Scott Glenn; Story of early Edwards AFB test pilots and the Mercury astronauts.

Shot at Edwards AFB 1982 with the Confederate AF B-29 (N929B FiFi - the FAA wouldn't allow them to carry the X-1 mock-up). Canadair Sabre Mk.5 (N86F as F-86E), 3 T-33A from 144 FIS California ANG, 2 Flight Systems Canadair CT-133 (T-33; N12413, N333MJ), 2 Luftwaffe F-104G from Luke AFB (note wide tail)

Hunter F.Mk.51 ("Douglas D-558-2 SkyRocket"), Crane Helicopter Sikorsky SH-34, 2 A-7E Corsair 2 A-4M Skyhawk from VX-5 China Lake, 3 SH-4G of VS-1 from for CORAL SEA carrier segements. Corsair IIs and Sea Kings hadn't even flown in 1958. About 20 USAF/NASA T-38's for background shots at Edwards.

Also 2 T-6, 2 P-51D, 1 A-26, one civilian A-37, Coast Guard HC-130 from Sacramento (background), NASA C-47, Edwards F-4C, Cal. ANG F-106A (background), T-28, Piper Navajo But few of these appear in the final cut.

The US Army provided 12 UH-1, U-6, U-21, T-42 to support filming. Camera work done from Art Scholl's DHC Chipmunk, Tallmantz B-25, Clay Lacey Learjet, and a Hughes 500.

2 T-33's, 3 F-104B hulks from Davis-Monthan AFB for cockpit shots. Pima Air Museum B-29 fuselage for interiors, the same as used in the "Last Flight of Noah's Ark". Bell X-1, X-1A, X-15 mock-ups.

Chuck Yeager is the bartender, and flew the lead T-33 in the missing man scene, F-86 chase for X-1 drops. Some base scenes were shot at ex-Hamilton AFB as "Langley", "the Cape" "Patrick" and "Edwards". Models (including the Monogram B-29!)

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Sabre Jet
USAF- R.Stack; F-86 Sabres over Korea. Actor Richard Arlen was ex-Royal Flying Corps in WWI and ex-USAAF flight instructor in WWII.


1957 *v
USAF- M.Brando; USAF officers interact with Japanese civilians during the Korean War. Any air in this?

Actor Red Buttons was ex-USAAF.

  The Sea Shall Not Have Them
1954 *v
RAF- Micheal Redgrave; Air-sea rescue of a ditched WWII Bomber Command crew.
  Ships with Wings
1941 *v
FAA- J. Clements; Pilot washes out, redeems himself as a Royal Navy carrier attacks a secret Axis base. Silly script, the ending has to be seen to believed.
Some good film footage, though, shot aboard the carrier HMS ARK ROYAL during Aug-Sept. 1940. Fairey Swordfish, Blackburn Skua, Barracuda, etc. Silly models.
  Sink the Bismark
1960 *v
FAA- Kenneth More; More on the sea than in the air as the Royal Navy hunts for the battleship Bismark. The critical naval air part is well covered. Swordfish II LS326, NF389 (of FAA Museum/Historic Flight). Stock footage.

633 Squadron
1964 *v
RAF- Cliff Robertson; Mosquito bombers attack heavy water plant. Filmed at ex-RAF Bovingdon, with 3 CAACU DH Mosquito TT.Mk.35's

Total of 11 Mossies, 5 were flyable, including:

  • T.Mk.3 TW117 (Calif.)
  • T.Mk.3 TV954 (Duxford)
  • T.Mk.3 TJ118 ground scenes (cockpit Moss Mus.)
  • TT.Mk.35 RS709 (USAFM)
  • TT.Mk.35 RS712 (Weeks-N35MK)
  • TT.Mk.35 RS715 (Being rebuilt from pieces)
  • TT.Mk.35 TA639 (RAF Cosford)
  • TT.Mk.35 TA719 (Duxford) Badly damaged in crash landing at Staverton during the filming.

Bf 108's (as "Bf 109's"), models. TB-25J Mitchell 44-30861 camera ship and playing an RAF transport. Directed by Walter Grauman, ex-RAF Mitchell pilot.


Sky Commando
1953 U
SAAF- D.Duryea; Fighter pilots in WWII.

  Sky Devils
WWI- Spencer Tracy; Comedy made by Howard Hughes, some outakes from "Wings". Thomas-Morse S4.C Scouts, 3 Nieuports, Stearman C-3 camera plane. Filmed at March Field and Metropolitan Airport.
  Sky Pirates
1986 v
RAAF- Shot in Australia 1983 using C-47 VH-DAS An RAAF C-47 goes through a time warp.

The Sky Raider
WWI- Biography of Charles Nungesser using Thomas-Morse S4.C's as German types, Nungesser's own Hanriot HD-1.

  "The Sky Raiders"
RAF- Czech-made movie about the Czech pilots that flew with RAF Bomber Command during WWII. A Czech Air Force Lisunov Li-2 (C-47) was converted to a remarkable taxing Wellington replica. It had ex-Luftwaffe MG 17 machine guns, found in a Czech AF store! Also the usual stock footage of 149 Squad. Wellingtons.
  The Sky's the Limit
1943 *v
USAAC- Fred Astaire; Mainly a musical about a American Volunteer Group Flying Tigers pilot on leave. P-40 mock-ups, stock-footage, models.
  Slattery's Hurricane
USN- R. Widmark; Hurricane hunter pilot has flash backs about his smuggling days. Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateers, Grumman Mallard. Actor Gary Merrill was ex-USAAF.

Sole Survivor
USAAF- Fictional story, very loosely based on "Lady-Be-Good" saga, filmed using a wrecked USAF ANG B-25J on El Mirage Dry Lake in California.


Soldaat van Oranje (US-"Soldier of Orange")
1979 v
NAF- Rutger Hauer; the story of six Dutch people and happens to them during WWII, one becoming a pilot.

Filmed in 1976 at Deelen AB in the Netherlands. 4 Harvard II (T-6) modified to "Fokker D XXI" with spats and a single canopy. Tiger Moths (as "Fokker C.V"), Fokker S.11 ("Stukas"). "Bf 109", C-47, Mosquito.


Son of Lassie
1945 *v
RAF- Peter Lawford; actually the RCAF. Dog owner flies WWII Bristol Blenhiem strikes against Norway along with his collie.

Filmed in *colour* in Canada, during Aug.-Sept. 1944 at RCAF Stn. Patrica Bay in British Columbia, probably with 8 (BR) Squad RCAF.

Curtiss Kittyhawk Mk.Ia's, Fairchild Bolingbroke Mk.IV (Canadian built Blenheims) Lockheed Ventura V. The Venturas are still in their USN Navy scheme with the USN markings painted out with darker paint. Also used a Bolingbroke cockpit section (which was still on the MGM backlot in 1969).


Spitfire (UK "First of the Few")
1942 *v
RAF- Leslie Howard; Biography of the Spitfire designer R.J Mitchel. So far unique, it's the only true movie about aircraft design.

Shot with models, mock-up?, newsreel footage of Schineder race (Supermarine Sea Lion), pre-war German gliders, film of the prototype Spitfire.

Lots of film of a Spitfire squadron verus a Luftwaffe He 111 raid. This footage was shot at RAF Ibsley with 118 Squad. and 501 Squadron between operational sorties in late 1941. They were flying Spitfire Mk.V's. Most of the aircrew were real, many didn't make it far past filming.

The He 111 was a captured example (AW177) and the camera plane was a Bristol Blenheim IV. Actor Leslie Howard was killed 1 June 1943 when his KLM DC-3 was shot down by Ju 88C-6's of V/JG40 over the Bay of Biscay.



Squadron Leader "X"
RAF- Eric Portman; Nazi flier poses as an RAF pilot.

Squadron of Doom
Sam Ashe, Hooper Atchley, Noah Beery
Movie version of serial
  Squadron 992
RAF- Barrage ballons defend Firth of Forth against Luftwaffe. Bristol Blenhiems ("Do17"), Spitfires.
Stairway to Heaven
RAF- David Niven; Squadron leader gets killed "by mistake", has trial in heaven. Lancaster interior, Mosquitos.
Star of Africa
Luftwaffe bio of Marseille. Apparently made in Spain with Hispano Ha.1112 Buchons (as Bf 109). Danish version.
1963 v
USAF- Bob Dornan; F-104C Starfighter B-Movie. Filmed at George AFB, California, with the 479 TFW.
USAF- J. Cagney; Entertainers at AFB as airlift to Korea mounts. (Travis AFB???) any details?

Steal the Sky
1988 *v
Iraqi- Ben Cross; Israel gets Mig 15 pilot to defect. Loosely based on the defection of Iraqi Mig-21F-13 '007', flown to Israel on 16 Aug. 1966.

3 MiG 15/MiG 15UTI's (actually ex-Polish SBLim-2) and three T-33's, probably actually Canadair CT-133s. Bell Jet Ranger. Shot in the US.


Story of Vernon and Irene Castle
1939 v
WWI- Fred Astaire; Famous Dance champion/WWI becomes a Kelly Field flight instructor and is killed in a crash. Made with SE.5's, Jennies. Shot in the North San Fernando Valley of California.

  Stranger in My Arms
USAF- Jeff Chandler; ANG F-86s

Strategic Air Command
1955 *v
USAF- Jimmie Stewart; Ball player is forced back into SAC. Convair B-36H, B-36J of 7 BW, 11 BW at Carswell AFB. Boeing KB-97, Douglas C-124A Globemaster, Boeing B-47B wing at MacDill AFB. All in glorious colour.

Briefly or in the background are Beech C-45, B-45, C-97, Sikorsky HH-19, Lockheed T-33A, Douglas C-54, B-25. Watch for the swept wing Convair YB-60 amongst the many -36's on the huge Convair plant ramp as Stewart takes off (freeze it as the gear comes up).

Story by Beirne Lay Jr. Both he and Stewart were B-24 vets. Lay was part of the first 7 8 Air Force officers that arrived in UK in early 1942. He was a staffer, later commander of the 487 BG on B-24H/J. He was later shot down but evaded capture.

Stewart was intially at Kirtland checking out bombadiers, then he did a tour as a 4 engine B-17 instructor. He then joined the 703 BS, 445 BG, 8th Air Force on B-24's as their squadron commander. Stewart flew 20 missions, including group leader.

Jimmy subsequently became the Group Ops. Officer with the 456 BG, flew wing lead, but later could only fly the form-up ship, (which he once kept going all the way to France on the mission - it was highly coloured and unarmed!) Next he became Chief of Staff in 2 Wing, 8th Air Force.

Post-war he stayed in the USAF reserve, reaching Brig. General in 1959. Has been seen flying B-58's, and B-52 combat in Vietnam. Was commander of an aeromedical airlift group at Travis AFB in the 1950's. (C-131). He refused to allow his war record to ever be used in the movies or as publicity.


Luftwaffe propaganda piece. Ju 87B's.

1988 v
USN -Richard Jaekal; Pilot for TV Show.
1936 v
WWI- Cary Grant; usual love triangle. Filmed in Triunfo Canyon, California with SE.5, 6 Thomas-Morse S.4C Scouts, Neiuport 28's, Fokker D.VII, Earl Populaire.

Swing Shift Maisie
Factory drama.; A. Sothern; factory drama shot on the Lockheed P-39 Lightning line at Burbank. Featured a couple of P-38 hulks.

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  Tailspin: Behind the Korean Airline Tragedy
1989 *v
Russian AF- M.Moriarty; Docudrama about the downing of KAL 007. Another movie about this was "Shootdown" (1988).

Target for Tonight
RAF- An RAF Wellington attacks Keil. Docudrama Shot at RAF Mildenhall 1941 with Wellington Mk.Ic, (possibly from 149 Squad.) Avro Ansons. Wellington fuselage in studio.

Also on location at High Wycombe in the real Bomber Command headquarters with the real head of B.C., Sir R. Peirse. S/L Pickard, who appears in the film, later died in the famed Mosquito attack on Amiens prison.


Task Force
1949 *v
USN- Gary Cooper is fictional naval airman from from LANGLEY to Korea. Shot on ANTIETAM, (as "SARATOGA, YORKTOWN, FRANKLIN & HORNET") CAG 14 with Grumman F6F Hellcat, F8F, TBM Avengers. Also on the escort carrier BAIROKO (as "LANGLEY") and at NAS North Island.

Aircraft included a Boeing 100 ("F4B-4"), TBM Avengers, a Mantz DH.4, Orenco Model F (as a "Vought VE-7SF"), 1 FM-1 Wildcat and a SBD Dauntless hulk. Grumman F9F Panther and N.A. FJ-1 Furies make a flyover at the end.

Stock footage, footage from "Air Force". Actor Wayne Morris had been a wartime Hellcat ace, and was a Lt. Cdr. in the Naval air reserve.


Test Pilot
1937 *v
USAAC- Clark Gable; Drama of test pilots. Now colorized. Seversky SEV-S2 (P-35, as "Drake Bullet"), Harlow PJC-2, Marcoux-Bromberg R-3 Racer, Ryan ST.DC 2 hulk (as YB-17 crash).

The USAAC supplied a lot of hardware: all 12 of 20 BS, 2 BG Boeing YB-17's Flying Fortresses. About 100 (?) Douglas B-18 Bolos and Northrop A-17's from the 7 AG and 19 BG.

The military footage was shot at March AAF. Civilian stuff was shot at Lindbergh Field, Van Nuys, and on location at the Cleveland Air Races in 1937. Models. B-18, Paul Mantz Lockheed Sirius camera planes.


Thirty Seconds over Tokyo
1944 *v
USAAF- Spencer Tracy; B-25 Mitchell's in the famous Tokyo Doolittle attack. Quite realistic with much actual footage of the Doolittle launch.

Training filmed at the actual site, Hurlburt Field (then Elgin Aux.#9). 12 B-25C/D Mitchells from Mather AAF 336, 952 TS's. 3 more Mather B-25's on studio carrier replica. Attack was filmed around Oakland using B-25's, a burning oil tank,and a B-24 camera ship from Kirtland AAF.

A fullsize replica of 135 feet of the Hornet deck was used for sound stage work. Also 1 C-47, N.A. A-36A Apache, Vultee BT-13, Douglas SBD as Japanese planes. Models.

Apparently several B-25 crashes were caused by this movie- pilots trying to imitate the difficult practice take-off scene. It was not as easy as it looked. Ex-Doolittle pilot Dave Davenport flew it for the cameras (he was the technical advisor on the movie).


This Man's Navy
USN- Wallace Beery; Blimp action during the war. Shot at NAS's Lakehurst, Del Mar, Moffet Field, and Santa Ana. 6 different balloon units took part, including USN Hot-air balloons and Goodyear ZPK blimps. Apparently the highlight is a blimp rescue in the Burmese jungle! (Were Blimps there??).

Wallace Beery actually *was* a Naval Cmdr. on blimps.


Thousand Plane Raid
1969 *
USAAF- Christopher George; B-17's in the 8th Air Force. Not up to the other B-17 epics. Shot at Santa Maria Airport in California. 3 B-17's (RB-17F N17W; DB-17G N83575-Weeks; DB-17G/P N3713G-Chino).

Don Lykins flew the Air Museum '17 during the field beat-up scene. Frank Tallman flew the TB-25J camera plane (N1042B). FLUB- apparently you see pick-up trucks and mobile homes behind a taxing B-17!

Stock footage from "12 O'Clock High" and "Memphis Belle".

  Thunder Birds
USAAC- P Foster; Training in US with usual love triangle. Stearman PT-13's, Vultee BT-13's N.A. AT-6's at Thunderbird Field, Scotsdale, Arizona and Falcon Field, Mesa, Arizona. Vast numbers of them! Paul Mantz Boeing 100 and Stearman C-3 for stunts.
USAAF- John Derek; WWII aviation training of some sort.
  Thundering Jets
USAF- Dick Foran; Test pilots. Shot at Edwards AFB with a T-33.

Top Gun
1986 *v
USN- Tom Cruise; Partly shot on ENTERPRISE off California, with carrier interiors filmed aboard RANGER at North Island in 1985.

Also shot at NAS Miramar and NAS Fallon for some of the air-to-air footage. Quite a few real navy aircrew appear in various shots.

Grumman F-14A Tomcats of VF-1, VF-51, VF-114, and VF-213 with fictitious markings. Northrop F-5E's (as "Migs"). A-4F Skyhawks, USCG San Diego Sikorsky HH-3F. Clay Lacey Learjet 25 camera plane.


Tora! Tora! Tora!
1970 *v
USAF/USN/Japanese- Martin Balsam; Pearl attack. Very well made and accurate. Stars 12 T-6 ("Zero" replicas), 9 BT-13 ("Nakajima Kate" replicas) and 9 T-6(front)/BT-13 (rear)("Aichi Vals" replicas). American forces include 2 Kittyhawks Mk.1a (ex RCAF-N151U, N1207V; P-40's) one P-40N (N222SU), C.V. Canso (PBY-5A), N.A. P-51's, 1 PT-17 Stearman, N.A. SNJ (T-6).

5 B-17's:

  • RB-17F (N17W)
  • VB-17G/CB-17G (N9563Z Fuddy Duddy)
  • B-17G (N6206L)
  • VB-17G (N621L)
  • PB-1G (N93193G Yankee Lady)

Also a Douglas A-24A (SBD, not used). 21 more JSDAF T-6 were modified in Japan as replicas.

Camera planes used were the PBY/Canso, SNJ, and a Jet Ranger. Filmed on location at Pearl Harbour Naval Base, Hickham AFB, Ford NAS, and Wheeler AFB. Ashiya AB in Japan for the Japanese T-6's base. Barbers Point NAS was used for staging as well.

28 Japanese replicas were flown off Yorktown(II) with carrier qualified pilots. Full size replica of aft end of Arizona. Full size replica of 3/4 of the deck of Akagi, full size above waterline replica of battleship Nagato in Japan! Terrific models and 6 US Navy ships.

27 Mock-up P-40's, Kingfishers, and B-17's were blown up for the cameras. The 5 or so PBY's blown up were real derelicts that had come from a Stewart-Davis storage yard in California.

The B-17 crash-landing in the film was real, when a gear hung up in front of the cameras. Co-written by ex RAF pilot Larry Forester.

  "Torpedo Squadrons Move Out"
Japanese Kamikazes glorified.

Toward the Unknown (UK "Brink of Hell")
USAF- William Holden (ex USAAF); redeems himself as Test pilot. Shot at Edwards AFB with Bell X-2, Douglas X-3 Stileto, Martin XB-51 (as "XF120", this had a fatal crash during a filming ferry flight).

Lockheed XF-92 Starfire (as "XF-102") burned up forthe crash scene!, 2 Lockheed F-94C Starfires (one was flown by Pete Everest), F-101 Voodoo N.A. F-100 Super Sabre, Convair F-102 Delta Dagger, Douglas B-66, Convair B-36, Douglas D-558 II, Boeing B-47's, B-25 Mitchell, C-47, T-33, F-84E/G/F Thunderjets, Sikorsky H-19.

Written by ex-B-24 Group Cdr. Beirne Lay.


Twelve O'Clock High
1959 *v
USAAF- Gregory Peck; 8th Air Force B-17's- The strain of combat command. Loosely based on Col. F.Armstrong and the 306 BG. (Actual breakdown was happened to another, unnamed 8th AF Group commander).

Shot at an Elgin Aux. Field, and because the white concrete runways there didn't look right the take-offs and landings were re-shot at Ozark Field (Now the main Ft. Rucker base).

6 QB-17G and DB-17G Drone Directors/Drones (QB-17L/N?) from the 3205 DG At Elgin AFB, 6 more stock B-17G from storage in Alabama and New Mexico.

Paul Mantz bellied in a radiation-contaminated QB-17G for the cameras. Mantz also flew a B-25 camera ship. B-17G fuselage in studio. Script by 8th vet Bernie Lay, and Sy Bartlett. Curtis LeMay was quoted after a screening: "By God, there weren't any mistakes in the film though I never would have believed it!". (There was one or two that he missed)

Actor Gary Merrill was ex-USAAF.

  20,000 Men a Year
USAAC- P. Foster; transport pilot becomes an instructor. Made at the Monrovia, California Airport. 2 Mantz Stearman C-3's.
  Twilight's Last Gleaming
1977 *v
USAF- Burt Lancaster; Madman seizes USAF missile silos.

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  Von Richthofen and Brown (UK "The Red Baron")
1971 *
WWI- John Philp Law; Shot with the Blue Max replicas, including a D.VII, and a original (?) Fokker Dr.1.

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Wake Island
1941 *v
USMC- Brian Donlevy; Story of fall of Wake Island and the Marine Wildcats that defended it Fairly accurate.

The air footage was shot on Great Salt Lake. Ground scenes at the Salton Sea in California. USMC Squadron of Grumman F4F-3's Wildcats, 5 Ryan SC sportplanes leased from Ryan ("Nakajima 97's"), Boeing Model 130 Clipper Stock footage.

Later during the war actor Robert Preston became an Intelligence officer in the USAAF 9th Air Force.


The War Lover
1962 *v
USAAF- Steve McQueen; 8th AF B-17's. Rivalry between "normal" co-pilot and macho pilot who loves combat. A lot of moody black and white footage of Forts.

Filmed in England with with 3 B-17G's: 2 PB-1W's, both scrapped after filming, and a CB-17G/VB-17G (now N9563Z Fuddy Duddy). Shot at ex-RAF Bovingdon. TB-25J Mitchell camera ship from Aero Assoc (44-30861).

The studio B-17 fuselage had actually been one of the 3 famous Israeli B-17's, bought after being broken up in Israel.

One of the parajumpers drowned during filming. John Crewdson flew the terrific B-17 beatup at Bovingdon.

RAF Manston was used as well. They slso used stock footage from "Memphis Belle" and and "12 O'Clock High". Watch for the Spitfire attacking the B-17 in several scenes!


The Way to the Stars (US "Johnny in The Clouds")
1945 *v
USAF/RAF- John Mills; Ground drama of RAF/USAAF aircrew at the local inn through the war. More a character study, free of mock heroics.

RAF Hurricanes (56 OTU?), Bristol Blenheims II, Douglas Bostons and Avro Ansons. 8th Air Force Boeing B-17G's. This footage was shot at the 8th base of Grafton-Underwood with the 384 BG, during April-May 1945. (The only WWII "movie" footage shot by Hollywood with an actual combat unit)

Written by RAF pilot Terrance Rattigan, and a Capt. Sherman of the USAAF. Actor David Tomlinson had been a RAF flight instructor.


West Point of the Air
USAAC- Wallace Beery (future Navy Pilot); Yet another training epic. Shot on location at Randolph Field, March Field, and LA Metro Airport.

Starred the Paul Mantz Curtiss Pusher and Lockheed Vega, Consolidated PT-3's, Douglas BT-1 and BT-2's trainers , and a Stearman C-3. Actor Robert Taylor became a USN flight instructor during the war.


We've Never Been Licked (also called "Remember Pearl Harbor!")
USN- N. Beery; Jr.; American joins Japanese forces, dives his Japanese bomber into a Japanese Navy carrier!

Waco UPF trainers, 3 F4F Wildcats (as "Japanese fighters"), Douglas SBD Dauntless, Curtiss SNC Falcon, N.A. SNJ's, Douglas C-47, Beech AT-11 ("Jap Bombers"). Stock footage.

  Wild Blue Yonder (UK "Thunder in the Pacific")
USAAF/USAF- Walter Brennan; Boeing B-29's in in WWII. Shot at March AFB using the B-29A's of the 22 BG just back from Korea. Also B-29 fuselage in the studio and stock footage.
  Wild in the Sky
USAF- Keeyan Wynn; Three escaped convicts hijack a B-52!

A Wing and a Prayer
1944 *v
USN- Dana Andrews; Story of a Navy torpedo squadron, loosely based on the VT units at Midway, who in reality were virtually wiped out. (Only 6 TBM Avengers were at Midway, and they were land-based).

Stock footage shot aboard YORKTOWN (II) as it worked up in the Caribbean in 1943, with Curtiss SB2C Helldivers of VB-5, F6F-3 Hellcats of VF-5 and Grumman TBF Avengers. 3 Douglas SBD Dauntless ("as Japanese bombers").

Variants of all three types were used on a full size replica of 400 feet of the YORKTOWN's deck in a studio sound stage. 2 more TBF hulks for crash scenes.

Stills show an over the bow landing and a rare Essex-class hanger deck cat shot. (These were probably equipment tests during the shake-down cruise). Models.


Winged Victory
USAAF- Edmund O'Brien- More stateside training. Made with with 55 Vultee BT-13A's, 24 B-24J/L Liberators. Shot on location at Santa Ana AAF (Pre-flight) Gardner Field, Taft, Calif., Camp Pendleton USMC Air Base, and Cessna AT-17's at Stockton. Three more bases Fort Macarther, Hamilton AAF, and another.

USAF actors included: Cpl. E.O'Brien, Cpl. Lee.J.Cobb, Cpl.Red Buttons Cpl. Gary Merrill, Sgt. George Reeves, Cpl. Karl Malden, Pfc. Martin Ritt, Sgt. Kevin MaCarthy. Cpl. Don Taylor and Cpl. Barrie Nelson.


1927 v
WWI- Richard Arlen (ex RFC, future USAAF); American WWI buddies go to France. One of the greatest aviation epics.

Used over 300 pilots, mostly US Army. Many (220+) USAAC planes, with at least one of their pilots being killed. Shot at Kelly and Brooks Fields, and Camp Stanley, Texas in 1926.

Types used include Spad VII (2 w/o in staged crashes), Fokker D.VII (2 w/o in staged crashes) 2 MB-3's were also deliberately crashed.

Units included the DH.4's of 90 BS. SE.5's, Thomas Morse MB.3 Scouts of 43 PS, DH.4 and MB.2's of 11 BS, Curtiss P-1 Hawk of 17 PS, 27 PS, 94 PS, 95 PS, of the 1 PG, and Vought VE-7's from Langley.

Thomas-Morse MB.3 and DH.4 camera planes from Crissy Field, Curtiss NBS-1 camera plane. USAAC balloons.

Written by F.J Saunders (ex-WWI pilot), directed by William Wellman (ex SPAD pilot) Actor Buddy Rogers became a USN test pilot in WWII.


Wings for the Eagle
USAAF- Dennis Morgan; Production Factory drama filmed at Lockheed Burbank with Lockheed Hudson, P-38 Lightning production lines.

  Wings of Fire
Warbirds - P-51D, Bearcat. Filmed at Brackett Field, La Verne, Calif.

Wings of the Eagle (UK "Wings of the Eagles")
1957 *v
USN- John Wayne; Biography of Ex-Navy pilot and scriptwriter Frank W. "Spig" Wead. He was a Navy patrol pilot at the end of WWI who leader of the US Navy Schneider trophy team in 1922 (Curtiss CR-3) and 1923 (Wright F2W-2).

He was later seriously injured in a fall and retired to movie script writing of aviation epics. He returned to the Navy during WWII as the pioneer of 'jeep' carriers.

1 Grumman F6F Hellcat, Standard J-1. Filmed at NAS Pensacola. Corsairs in Background. Paul Mantz flew the stunts.

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Wings of the Navy
USN- John Payne (future USAAF FI) Epic of naval flight training. Stars about 50 PBY-1, PBY-2, PBY-3 Catalinas of Patrol Wing 12 in VP-7, 9, 11 and 12 squadrons.

Shot at NAS Pensacola (Corry and Chevalier Fields), NAF N3N-1's, Stearman N2S-1's, Vought 03U Corsair, Vought SU-3 Corsair all from NAS North Island. Vought VB2U's?.

NA NJ (BT-9) Trainers. Camera ship was Mantz's Lockheed Sirus 8A. Accurate PBY fuselage mock-up.

  Wings of Victory
Russian- Bio of test pilot Chkalov. Model 25 monoplane.

Wings Over Honolulu
USN- Ray Milland (future USAAF flight instructor; Melodrama around Navy pilot. Keystone PK-1's of VP-1F (?).

  Wings Over the Pacific
USAAC- E. Norris; USAAC pilot has dogfight with Nazi over Pacific island! P-40 mock-up from "Flying Tigers".

The Women I Love
WWI- P. Muni; 2 Mantz Stearman C-3's. Another Great War epic, made in several versions.

Footage from the French version, made in 1935 as "L'Equipeage"(US "Flight into Darkness"). Apparently not a lot of air action in this.

Luftwaffe- Propaganda piece with He 111's, etc.

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1961 *
USAF- Charles Bronson; Almost like a documentary except for the usual love woes. Full of stock NASA footage.

The current TV version is "compressed" to fit the screen, ruining the movie and distorting all the aircraft.

Shot at Edwards AFB. Bronson actually was a USAAF mech., then a Pacific B-29 gunner who did a full 25 missions and was wounded.

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  A Yank in London (UK " I Live in Grosvenor Square")
1945 USAAF- D. Jagger. Melodrama around B-17 gunner who has an affair with English duke's daughter. Actor Rex Harrison had been a RAF Flying Control Officer at a Photo Reccon. base.

A Yank in the RAF
1941 *v RAF- Tyrone Power joins the RAF as a happy-go lucky pilot. Partly filmed in Canada, US border with RCAF with N.A. Harvard II's on delivery. ("RCAF Stn. Trenton" was some other station).

Mostly shot at Lockheed Burbank on pre-delivery Hudson V's. Much footage was shot in the UK of Spitfires specifically for the movie.

The Dunkirk beach was renacted on the Fox backlot! Lousy Spitfire, Bf-109 mockups, models.

Tyrone Power flew Douglas R5D-3 (C-54's) with USMC VMR-353 out of Guam, Okinawa, Iwo Jima Kwajelein and the Philippines during the war. He also flew Consolidated PB4Y transports (B-24).


You Came Along
USAAC- R. Cummings (ex Civilian USAAF flight instructor); 3 returning Lockheed P-38 Lightning pilots on a bond tour.

Beech C-45, N.A. AT-6, Vultee BT-13, Boeing B-17F, C-47, and 3 P-38 Lightings.


Young Joe, The Forgotten Kennedy
1977 *
USN- Peter Strauss; Biography of Joe Kennedy, who was killed in a PB4Y Drone explosion. PBY-5A Catalina, Lockheed B-24J/B.Mk.VII Liberator (N94459), Stearman PT-13.

Kennedy died Aug. 13 1944 at the controls of a PB4Y-1 Liberator robot drone. He was with the very secret Special Air Unit at RAF Fersfield under project "ANVIL".

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1971 *
WWI- Micheal York;

There was a fatal mid-air during filming of this one.


Zero Pilot
1983 v
Japanese- Biography of ace Saburo Sakai. Models. Apparently quite stilted.



Partial list of Sources

Copyright (c) 1995 by Marshall Cram. All rights reserved.
All opinions are strictly my own and have no relation to my employer.