Between the eve of World War 2 in June 1939 and December 1943, the US Army Air Force grew from 2,402 aircraft and 24,700 personnel to 65,000 aircraft and 2.4 million personnel - an unprecedented leap. FDRs goal of producing 50,000 planes a year was met and surpassed! This engrossing film combines easy to grasp information with memorable graphics and dramatic historic film footage that makes it all real. You'll learn about pilot and technical training programs, logistics, new aircraft production, billions in appropriations, Air Force organizational structure and much more. Planners had to estimate everything from bomb production according to type and usage to fuel consumption per hour by a myriad of different aircraft types performing hundreds of thousands of sorties.
Depots and bases were set up around the world. Millions of tons of supplies had to get to thousands of locations on time. Giant aircraft plants sprang up in the wilderness. Hundreds of specific personnel requirements had to be planned and implemented -- from pilots to WACs & WAFs to navigators & mechanics. Entire Air Force units had to be created from scratch. A treasure trove of archival film, including captured enemy footage, takes you year by year starting in 1939 through 1943 to show you not only what was happening in the US, but how it related to world events like the fall of France, "The Blitz" and more. This inside information was so secret, it was restricted to audiences with security clearance.
The AAF Report This fascinating film report on the state of the Army Air Force was prepared by the Office of Strategic Services (forerunner to the C.I.A.) and delivered to the American people by Air Force C-in-C General Hap Arnold in early 1944. We know of no better picture of the organization and operation of US Air Force power in the midst of World War 2. You'll take a tour of all of all 15 "Air Forces" spread around the World, from the 5th in the South Pacific to the 8th in the U.K to the 15th in the Mediterranean to the 14th in China and many more. You'll learn how they started, what their strength and missions were, and best of all, there's a ton of vivid documentary footage showing daily operations from aircraft plants, training and transport to exciting air combat & more.Report from the Aleutians Starting on June 3, 1942, 6 months after Pearl Harbor, a small Japanese force occupied US territory on the Alaskan islands of Attu and Kiska in the Aleutian chain. It took US Forces a year to dislodge them under harsh arctic conditions. This classic color film, directed and narrated by Academy Award Winner John Huston, shows the first offensive steps of the rapidly expanding Army Air Corps at the dawn of world War 2 in the Pacific. Rare early war color footage includes P-39 Airacobras, the first operational deployment of P-38E Lightning fighters, B-25 Mitchells, Navy PBYs and some of the first missions flown by B-24 Liberator bombers by US forces.Air War in Europe 1943 This is a series of exciting films showing the rapidly maturing Army Air Force moving into high gear in the Fall of 1943. You'll see the B-17 "Berlin Sleeper" on one of her record breaking 102 missions. B-25 Mitchells battle the North African mud to move out to their new base in occupied Italy. "Thunderbolts Over Europe" shows P-47s taking on the Luftwaffe on a dramatic bomber escort mission. Thirty-three Martin B-26 bombers, protected by RAF Spitfires, hit ship yards, power plants and workshops near Le Trait, France. You'll see the original newsreel footage of "The Memphis Belles" last mission against the U-Boat pens at Wilhelmshaven, Germany, with combat footage not shown in the later classic feature film of the same name.