There have been great movies about military aviation for almost as long as there have been movies and airplanes—seriously, the very first Best Picture Oscar went to a WWI aero-epic called Wings (and if you ever win bar trivia with that, buy us a drink). Eventually, the US military realized that high adventure onscreen could boost their recruiting efforts, and began to officially cooperate with films featuring flying service members. In this episode, we’ll look at two movies staring iconic aviators—Top Gun and Captain Marvel—and discuss how the military leans into their role as supporting players on the silver screen.
On April 2, 1942, the aircraft carrier USS Hornet was part of a secret plan to strike back at Japan. With no room for aditional airplanes to land on the flight deck filled with B-25 Mitchell bombers, the US Navy turned to the Navy blimp L-8 for a specialy delivery.
World War II is one of the best documented conflicts in history. Millions of photos and miles of motion picture film stock provide a rich visual documentation of the conflict in both its brutal violence and celebration of martial purpose.
The Curtiss SB2C Helldiver could have been the U.S. Navy’s frontline carrier-based dive bomber for much of World War II, but problems with its development delayed its introduction and saddled it with a bad reputation.