Wing and a Prayer (1944) Movie Script

Where is our navy?
Three months have passed
since the tragedy
at Pearl Harbor...
12 die as Jap submarines
strike near San Francisco.
Committee demands probe
of navy failure to fight.
Where is our navy?
Why doesn't it fight?
We cannot
answer that question.
We must force ourselves
not to listen to it.
We do not intend
to tell theJapanese
how badly our navy
was damaged at Pearl Harbor.
Since December the 7 th,
our prewar strategy
is useless.
The defense
of the Aleutians
and our Pacifc Coast
with the Hawaiis
at the apex
of the Triangle
is almost impossible
with what remains
of our navy.
But we are not considering
a defensive campaign.
You all realize
I'm indulging in
no false heroics
when I say
our only hope
of evading destruction
is to destroy
the enemy.
TheJapanese have won
a quick and staggering
succession of victories.
They're aiming now
at the fnal knockout...
the capture
of Pearl Harbor.
To accomplish this,
they must frst
take Midway.
If they are permitted
to choose the time
and conditions of attack,
we haven't
much of a chance,
but if we can trick them
into meeting us
when they think
we are weak,
we then have a chance
of cutting their navy
down to our size
and proceeding with the rest
of the Pacifc strategy.
We have learned
there are heavy concentrations
of enemy carriers
and other fleet units
in the Marshall Islands
and a numerous
transport force
making up at Truk.
So our strategy is this.
We shall concentrate
our strength near Midway
in our effort
to spring a trap.
One of our carriers
is already at sea
waiting to carry out
the initial phases
of this strategy.
On April the 28th,
this carrier
and its escort
will be off
the Marshall Islands,
close enough
to be detected.
On May the 3rd,
it is to be seen
near the Gilbert Islands
by theJapanese.
On May the 8th,
it will be detected
near Ocean Island,
as if heading
for theJap fleet at Truk,
but it will not attack.
It will turn south,
be seen on May the 15th
at Guadalcanal.
Every time one of our pilots
encounters a Jap plane,
he will return
to the carrier,
as if he did
not stomach a fght.
By sending this one carrier
on such a mission,
we hope
to convince the enemy
that our fleet
is scattered,
our fghting morale...
Actually, we shall be
waiting for them in force
near Midway.
If they fall
for this bait
and attempt an invasion,
we shall then be able
to answer the question...
"Where is our navy?
Why doesn't it fght?"
Pilot to crew.
There's mama.
I see her, Commander.
Pilot to crew.
If you need
a toothpick,
I know where
you can fnd one.
We'd only need
half that space, Mr. Scott.
Just lower your wheels
and drop your hook,
like putting
a baby to bed.
Set condition one
in the air department.
Stand by
to land planes.
Stand by
to land planes.
Torpedo planes sighted
broad on the port quarter.
Altitude 2-5-0-0.
Range 8,000 yards.
Stand by
for practice run.
If those were only meatballs
instead ofTBFs.
O.K. Hook.
Stand clear.
I'm O'Donnell, commanding Bomber Six.
Welcome aboard.
Molton, commanding
Torpedo Five.
What's the scuttlebutt?
What gives?
I thought we'd fnd out
when we got aboard.
Not from us.
I thought with
you guys aboard,
we'd have some action.
Name's Shubert.
I'm Manning.
We're on a cook's tour.
Your guess is
as good as mine.
See you around.
Lieutenant Commander
Edward Molton
reporting for
Torpedo Squadron Five.
Glad to have you aboard.
Molton, Commander Harper,
our air offcer.
How do you do?
Good to see you.
I've a message for you.
Hey, what's eating Oscar?
Sure making
a long approach.
He's building up
an entrance.
Just feel your way
in, sir. Lightly.
And politely.
Do we have
to shoot him down?
What does he want,
a spotlight?
He's coming in too fast.
Can't he see
that wave-off?
[Siren Sounds]
Assemble your squadron
in the ready room.
Aye, aye, sir.
Boy, I thought
for a while there...
until 1900...
I thought I'd have
to turn back.
Maybe you should have.
Didn't you see
the wave-off?
Yes, sir.
Did you think the flagman
was waving bye-bye?
To tell you the truth,
I couldn't think.
I had my hands
too full of airplane
at the time.
Oh, men, this is our air offcer
Commander Harper.
Commander Harper,
this is Mr. Brainard,
Mr. Chisholm.
Mr. Markham.
How do you do?
Mr. Jacobson.
How do you do?
Mr. White.
Mr. Holloway.
Mr. Scott.
How do you do?
I'm glad to know you
and welcome you aboard.
- Thank you.
- Thank you, sir.
You've been assigned
to quarters
which I hope you fnd
to your liking.
We have some pretty
good men on board.
I've been very proud of
all of our squadrons...
bombers, and fghters.
I hope
you equal their record.
Read that, please,
Mr. Molton.
"Memorandum for commander,
Air Group Five.
Report of casualty
which occurred
during maneuvers,
September 19, 1941.
Roy K. Spangler,
number 4328112,
aviation machinist's mate,
frst class,
United States Navy,
died at 1600
while under anesthesia
for surgery following
accident on flight deck.
Spangler's next of kin,
his mother
Mrs. Edward R. Spangler,
3617 Lee Avenue,
Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Signed J.B. Golden, commander,
senior medical offcer."
A hot pilot
ignored a wave-off.
Spangler couldn't
get out of the way.
The prop cut him
nearly in half.
I'm sorry, sir.
So was the other pilot.
So was
Spangler's mother.
I'd like
to explain, sir...
I don't
like explanations.
Sorry, sir.
The way you and the
others had to take it
on account of me.
Just don't ignore
any more wave-offs.
Aye, aye, sir.
Mr. Scott.
Here's some
mail for you.
Oh, thanks.
I see the movie fans
haven't forgotten you, sir.
Yes, sir.
I've received this letter
from the admiral.
I thought you'd
like to read it.
I give you
Cookie Cunningham!
The man who studied
Japanese mathematics
and found you always
get the right answer
by subtracting zero.
Who says we don't know
where we're going?
I tell you what
I'm going to do.
I'll fly my TBF
clear to Tokyo.
I'll drag that
little monkey to 15,000
and drop him
like a bomb,
right smack on Fujiyama.
I can't stand the
canned vegetables
you get
on shipboard.
But our squadron's
We'll have
fresh vegetables.
How come?
You going to plow up
the flight deck?
No, I'm not kidding.
We'll have
some fresh celery,
real juicy tomatoes,
green onions...
What are you going
to use for dirt?
Water and chemicals.
That's the agriculture
of the future.
Hey, fellows!
Get a load of this!
Wait a minute!
Hey, wait!
Now don't do that.
You did it!
It shows it right there.
You kissed Betty Grable.
If I didn't see it,
I wouldn't believe it.
Did you
ever kiss Garbo?
I've never seen her.
When you're in a picture
and you have
to kiss Betty Grable...
Listen to me...
have to...
When you kiss her,
what's it feel like?
Ah, let it lay.
I'm serious
about this, Oscar.
I really mean it.
I mean, do you feel
anything at all,
or is it all just
part of the day's work?
Does she breathe deep?
Does she kiss you
or you her?
Does she kiss back?
What I want to know is,
how does it make
you feel?
The rest of us can only dream
about those girls,
but you've
actually kissed them.
What's it like?
Well, it's, uh...
it's like nothing
else in this world.
- Ahh.
- Ahh.
I'll never forget
that frst girl
I kissed in a picture.
Who was it?
Yeah. Who?
You think
I'd kiss and tell?
In a wardroom?
Come on, Oscar.
Well, it's, um...
The night before
the scene was to be shot,
I didn't sleep.
I lay awake all night,
just daydreaming
about that kiss.
How do you
daydream at night?
Well, how do you?
The next morning
I got to the studio
an hour earlier,
got into my wardrobe,
dashed over to the set.
I waited all day
for that one moment
when I'd get
to kiss her.
Finally, it was time
for the scene to be shot.
We took our places.
She was wearing the most beautiful
black negligee.
Her hair was swept back
from her forehead.
Her eyes
were partly closed.
I took her
into my arms...
Go on.
Kiss her, you dope!
The hairdresser yelled,
"You're mussing up
her hairdo."
The director screamed, " Move your arm.
You're tilting her collar."
The cameraman said,
"I can't see her nose."
So I kissed her off-center
and smacked the air.
If you want
to kiss a girl right,
you got
to join the navy.
Hey! You can't
get away with that!
Hey! Hey! Gather 'round.
I want
to tell you something.
Your worries are over.
Listen to the voice
of Superman.
I'll tell you what
I'm going to do.
I'll fly my TBF
clear to Tokyo.
Throw a rope
around Tojo's neck,
like I roped coyotes
back in Texas.
I'll drag that
monkey to 15,000 feet
and drop him
like a bomb...
Very funny.
I wouldn't want
to bore you guys
with what I'm
really going to do.
It sure takes
a load off our minds.
That guy there
might possibly give you
a few pointers.
He's only shot down
three Zeros.
I'm just a bag of wind
from Texas.
I must sound funny
to a guy who's done
the things you've done.
How do you feel
when those meatballs
come at you?
I didn't see them
until they were
pretty close.
Did they attack
from above?
From below.
They missed
with their frst pass.
They say they can attack,
pull out,
and dive again
before you see them.
Slow but with
I don't know, really...
They machine-gun you
on the way down?
I'm writing my memoirs
for the Saturday Evening Post.
You can read them
after the war.
All right.
Break it up.
Let's cut a record.
Hey, you want me
to make another one?
I could knock that moon
out of the sky.
Leave it alone.
I'll need that moon
when I get home.
Right on the beam, kid.
What's your name?
Benjamin K. O'Neal,
Aviation radioman,
frst class.
Did you come in
with Torpedo Five?
That's right, sir.
Haven't you served
under me before?
I was in and out
of Pensacola, sir.
I thought I'd
seen you before.
As you were.
# Bring back #
# Bring back
my Bonny to me #
#To me... ##
What's wrong, Benny?
I've been ducking him
since I came on board.
If he fgures how long
ago he saw me,
he'll ground me sure.
How come?
Too old
for air combat duty.
Are you kidding?
There's no law...
That man's
the whole navy
in one pair of pants.
Do you know what
kind of guy he is?
He's the only offcer whose men
wouldn't give him a nickname.
What's the matter?
What if he
fnds out about me?
What about you?
Benny, how old
would you take me to be?
Oh, I'd say
about 20, 21.
But if he ever
sees my birth certifcate,
I'm cooked.
When I joined the navy,
I made a mistake
about my age.
You mean you
weren't 17?
I won't be 17
for 3 months.
So that's
the way it is.
We're either
too old or young.
Well, kid,
we're in this together.
# Every tear #
#Will be a memory #
# So wait and pray #
# Each night for me #
#Till we meet again ##
[Ding Ding]
[Ding Ding]
Well, gentlemen...
we have our orders.
[Plays Reveille]
Do it again.
I love it.
Come on, Scott.
30 minutes
to flight quarters.
O.K., O.K.
Come on.
Come on.
No wonder they gave you
the Navy Cross.
Waking people up at night,
you have to be a hero.
Your squadron
ahead of ours?
I'm not flying
right now.
Just shower call
and such.
I was on the sick list
after Pearl Harbor.
Still wobbly
on the pins.
Wake Chisholm, will you?
Good morning.
I'll need
fve empty fuel containers,
some potassium nitrate,
some calcium nitrate,
manganese sulfate...
Mananganese what, sir?
Manganese sulfate,
and about 30 feet of wire mesh.
And get lots of excelsior
from the engine packings,
and, um...
a big ball of heavy string.
Very good, sir.
May I ask what all these things
are for, sir?
Oh, tomatoes.
When you return
from your search,
you will notice the carrier
will be towing a sled.
It's more like a spar
about the size
of a telephone pole.
As each plane comes in,
it will make one pass,
dropping its bomb
well astern of the sled.
Don't hit it. We don't want
the flight deck
with bomb fragments.
Every hour we continue
on our present course
brings nearer the possibility
of contact
with enemy aircraft.
Your orders are these.
When enemy planes
are encountered...
do not engage them.
Return to the carrier
at once.
By "Do not engage,"
you mean...
I mean
avoid all contact
with them.
But, sir,
that's running away.
Any other questions?
But suppose the enemy
attacks us, sir?
May we interpret
the orders...
You will not
interpret the orders.
You will obey them.
man your planes.
man your planes.
That's all.
Let's go.
Pilot to Radioman.
You got the dope
on the radio frequencies?
Radioman to Pilot.
Yes, sir.
Frequency 69-70.
Secondary 61-50.
All set, sir.
Pilot to Gunner.
Gunner to Pilot.
All set, sir.
Maybe I'll get
my frst meatball today.
If you see anyJaps,
blow them a kiss.
But don't shoot...
that's an order.
stand by
to start engines.
Stand clear
Start engines.
[Engine Starts]
Oh, boy!
I ought to pop you
on the chin.
That's how Billy Tom
knocked me out.
I was born
with a glass jaw,
but otherwise, in the torso,
I'm unvulnerable.
Come on.
Hit me.
Infnitestimal fortitude.
That's what I calls it.
Rock of Gibraltar.
Hold everything.
What you got
Oh, isn't she lovely?
[Wolf Whistles]
Look at that!
A love note.
Come on, read it.
Get out.
Come on.
"Dearest Hallam,
I couldn't sleep thinking
how lucky the girl was
in your picture
I saw last night
and thinking
how wonderful it would be
if I could have been her
and feel your strong arms
around me...
and your lips
pressed close to mine."
- Wait a minute!
- Hey!
Hey, get a load of this,
"Dear hunk of man,
I'm a hep chick
who thinks
you're a solid piece
of what it takes."
Potassium phosphate,
potassium nitrate,
magnesium sulfate,
and calcium nitrate.
What are you going
to use these for?
I'm glad you dropped in,
Mr. Cunningham.
I wanted to congratulate you
on your citation.
Thank you very much,
[Whistling My Bonny
Lies Over The Ocean]
the medical offcer says
I'm completely O.K. Again,
in every respect.
That's great.
You agree with the M. O?
Yes, sir. I'd like
reassignment to flight duty
as soon as possible.
All right, Cunningham.
As soon as possible.
Thank you, sir.
Torpedo Squadron Five
returning from search, sir.
Nice kid,
that Cunningham.
Yes, sir.
#The stars at night #
#Are big and bright #
[Fires Four Times]
# Deep in the heart
ofTexas #
#The prairie sky #
# Is wide and high #
[Fires Four Times]
# Deep in the heart
ofTexas ##
What are you shooting at,
Mr. Scott?
Well, nothing.
I'm just testing my guns.
All personnel,
clear the afterdeck
during bombing practice.
All personnel,
clear the afterdeck
during bombing practice.
200 yards
astern of the sled.
10 yards to starboard.
watch that sled.
Hear this!
All flight deck personnel
form line aport ship.
Clear deck
of bomb fragments.
Lieutenant Commander Molton,
report to Air Plot.
Lieutenant Commander Molton,
report to Air Plot.
against wave-offs,
blowing up the sled.
Are you trying to kill
half the men here?
I'll talk
with him, sir.
I want
that man grounded.
Take that whole squadron
in hand, or I will.
Is that clear?
Quite clear, sir.
That's all.
Got a match, Paducah?
Oh, yeah.
You've gotten off to a bad start
on this carrier.
There was very little
excuse for you, Scott,
and none at all
for you today, Brainard.
Hitting that sled
wasn't just carelessness.
No, sir. I wanted to see
if I could hit something.
You will.
You're going
to hit the deck.
You're grounded.
Grounded, sir?
Report to
the squadron duty offcer
as his assistant
until further orders.
Yes, sir.
Attention, all hands.
Movies for tonight...
Alice Faye and Betty Grable
in Tin Pan Alley.
The way
this navy operates,
we'll be expected to take
one look at their gams and run.
Oh, uh, Cunningham,
I talked
to your commanding offcer.
You go up tomorrow.
Thank you, sir.
That's all.
Be sure the plants
get plenty of sun,
and keep
this excelsior moist.
The chemicals in the water
will do the rest.
In a few weeks we'll have
some nice, fresh tomatoes,
lettuce, celery,
Yes, sir.
Arnie Devlin
was flying my wing.
Arnie Devlin
was flying my wing.
He got the frst Zero.
The others dove past,
came up under my tail.
I got one. Then two more
came head on.
I couldn't escape them,
so I fred on them.
One exploded...
the other fell in flames.
Do they bust up
when they're hit?
They fall apart.
There's so much magnesium,
they just can't take it.
Here's where
you made the mistake.
This type of cruiser
has three stacks.
a slight wrinkle,
very little
superstructure amidship.
It didn't show on the quarterdecks.
I see it now.
Look how widely-spaced they are.
Very little superstructure.
Have you noticed?
How about
a little acey-deucy?
It goes through
this little gadget.
the sound exciter.
We won't get anywhere this way.
Will we?
Go away.
Go away. Go.
Come on,
you boot camp fanatics.
We want to see
Betty Grable.
Is there
something wrong?
You're diving
at 15,000 feet...
angle, 45-degree,
air speed 380,
and you release a 1,000-pound bomb
at 2,000 feet.
I've got to fgure the effect
of gravity and air resistance.
got nothing to do
with the forward motion
of a projectile.
Say, you're right.
I've been right
for 35 years.
"Dearest lover boy,
how I wish
we could meet in person.
We could have
some swell times together."
What are you doing?
Come on, give me.
A welterweight.
I can train down,
can't I?
A doll.
Let's see
the picture now.
Shall we?
let's see it.
Come on.
All right, all right.
Pipe down.
He's the sheik of Araby
His faithful wives
are we
But life
is such a ball...
[Whistling And Jeering]
The flm broke.
We can't help that, can we?
[Whistling And Jeering]
Go back
to boot camp!
Stand by
for emergency signal.
Stand by
for emergency signal.
Come on now, men.
Patience, patience!
I'm ready.
Aw, look at that.
It's upside down!
Notify the escort
we're changing course.
0-3-4 true.
Speed 22 knots.
Signal Bridge.
Send the following message...
Course 0-3-4 true.
Speed 22 knots.
[Chanting And Jeering]
You want to see this,
or don't you?
Yeah, go on!
All right.
[Bell Rings
And Reveille Plays]
All hands.
Man your battle stations.
[Bell Rings]
All hands.
Man your battle stations.
All hands.
Man your battle stations.
I guess
this is it, sir.
This is it.
Torpedo Five
ready room.
Is that you, Brainard?
Yeah, Red.
All pilots present.
do you hear that?
I heard it,
and I felt it, too.
Our escort must be
dropping depth charges.
Hey, Red.
Give us the lowdown, will you?
Looks like
we've hit the jackpot.
We've picked up a submarine
and some night snoopers.
and planes.
Must be a wholeJap
task force out there.
Why don't
they brief us?
We're getting
the dope now.
Sir, message from Signal Bridge.
Escort reports submarine
no longer detected on sound screen.
C.V. To Escort.
Resume formation.
C.V. To Escort.
Resume formation.
They're turning around.
Aren't we going
to flight?
Are you kidding?
What kind of war
is this?
We can't shootJaps.
Now we're running away.
That's enough.
Good night.
Commander Harper.
for tomorrow.
Six TBFs
on intermediate patrol,
four hours.
Takeoff 0600.
Six SB2Cs.
150-mile search.
Takeoff 0600.
Speed up, flight 31.
Right full rudder.
Stop all engines.
Left full rudder!
Notify escort
to pick up survivors.
Continue launching planes.
that second fugle line.
Tough break.
Too bad, Cook.
Ensign Cunningham
wanted in Air Plot.
Ensign Cunningham
wanted in Air Plot.
Probably Harper.
They get tougher.
was the matter?
No, sir. Me.
I'm sorry
about the plane, sir.
That can't be helped,
but we won't take
any more chances.
For now, you'll serve better
at a shore base.
Sir, this may sound funny,
but I'm sure I'm O.K.
The shock of the crash
was just what I needed.
If you'll
give me one more...
We can't take any more chances.
That's all.
Yes, sir.
Mr. Scott.
Zeros at 5 o'clock.
Hold your fre.
Remember orders.
[Machine Gun Fire]
[Machine Gun Fire]
The last thing I saw
was theJaps diving to strafe Gus
after his plane
hit the water.
He didn't have
a ghost of a chance.
When they dived at him,
each of the three planes
opened up
with everything
they had.
Gus' plane
was still burning.
I could see the flames.
Never mind that.
Let's get back
to theJap planes.
Did you see anything
which might have
indicated the presence
of an enemy task force?
I'm afraid
I wasn't watching.
What was your approximate position?
In my area of search,
it was possibly
150 miles southeast.
I'm pretty sure.
I got out of there
as fast as I could,
according to orders.
Are you sure there were
only three enemy planes?
Could there
have been more?
How can I tell you
what I didn't see?
I saw the three of them
make a pass
at Gus' plane,
coming down
out of the sun.
You're not certain
they were Zeros?
Did you notice the shape
of their wings
or whether they had
single or multiple engines?
I can't remember
exactly, sir.
Oh, come on now, Scott.
Pull yourself together.
Yes, sir.
I'm trying
to tell you, sir,
that this oneJap,
the frst,
came in and made his pass
under Gus' tail,
then rolled over on
his back and began to shoot.
Gus' engine
began to smoke,
and the plane
went into a dive.
Scott, from what direction
did the enemy planes approach?
I told you,
from out of the sun.
That can mean anything.
Sorry. That's the best
I can tell you.
What was your altitude?
I think it
was about 2,500.
What was
theJaps' altitude?
I don't know, sir.
They were diving
when I saw them.
If only I could have
gone back to help Gus.
Look, Scott...
let's forget
about Chisholm.
You understand that?
Very well, sir.
I'll try.
[Knock On Door]
Come in.
a destroyer
is coming
All right.
We'll go on
with this later.
Yes, sir.
Is that all, sir?
That's all.
[Brakes Squeal]
[Alarm Sounds]
Now hear this.
The smoking lamp is out
throughout the ship.
The smoking lamp is out
throughout the ship.
Hey, Paducah,
the smoking lamp.
I heard it. I heard it.
Do you think I'm deaf?
[Chattanooga Choo-Choo Plays]
Is that the best
you can do?
Yeah. That's
the best I can do.
I'm no hero.
I haven't got any citation
from the admiral.
I haven't
shot down any Zero.
Look here, Scott.
I'm sorry.
Well, then, shut up.
Wait a minute, you two.
Take it easy.
What is this?
Sorry. I guess
we're all a little jumpy.
Relax. As for you, Scott,
there are no stars here.
This isn't Hollywood.
When it's time for you
to take your bows,
we'll turn
on the spotlights.
Now you're just a part
of a team,
and you'll play as
the team plays. Understood?
Yes, sir.
[Chattanooga Choo-Choo
Plays Loudly]
[Blows Whistle]
Now hear this.
Now hear this.
The captain will address
the personnel of the ship.
Men, ever since
Pearl Harbor,
our country
has been asking,
"Where is our navy?
Why don't they fght?"
Because of our
unorthodox maneuvers,
I know you've been
asking the same question.
I must confess,
so have I.
We've suffered many
casualties, dead and wounded.
We've been humiliated.
We've had to avoid combat
and run away from the enemy
when we've been aching
to knock them
clean out of the sky.
We asked ourselves why
we're not permitted to fight,
why we could not
avenge our dead,
strike back in our defense.
Five minutes ago,
I received a message which
answers all our questions.
After Pearl Harbor,
our country was faced
with its greatest disaster.
The situation
was desperate,
and only a desperate and
brilliant strategy could save us.
Our navy pinned its hope
on one thing...
theJapanese inability
to deviate from a plan
once it had been made.
We knew their next move was
to capture Pearl Harbor,
but first they'd
have to take Midway.
We deceived theJaps
by making them think we'd
scattered over the ocean,
that Midway
would be a pushover.
In the meanwhile,
we secretly concentrated
our entire naval strength
at Midway.
That was our trap.
You men, this carrier,
and her escort
were the bait
to that trap.
It was a nasty job.
It has cost us heavily
in men and equipment.
TheJaps thought they saw
four of our carriers
at widely separated places.
They only saw one.
That was us.
Three times Tokyo
reported us sunk.
Twice, we nearly were,
but we're still afloat.
I'm happy to tell you
the strategy has worked.
The trap has been sprung.
Believing us scattered
over the ocean,
the mainJap fleet
is headed for Midway.
They're going in
for the kill. So are we.
We're through
running away.
We're through
pulling punches.
Our mission
is accomplished,
and from here on in,
we fight.
- Yay!
- Yay!
TheJap fleet is headed for Midway
in three columns.
One is here
with the carrier Soyu.
One is here
with the carrier Kaga.
One is with the carrier Hiru.
Now, their rear is protected
by a formation
headed by the cruisers
Mikuma and Mogami.
Our heavy ships
are hopelessly outnumbered.
TheJap fleet
mustn't be allowed
to get
within range of them.
The battle of Midway
must be won in the air
by this carrier's planes,
two that will join us,
and the fortresses
on Midway.
When theJaps fnd out
what they've run into,
they're going
to come after you
with everything they've got,
but this is the battle
we've been praying for.
We've got it...
on our own grounds,
on our own terms.
Good luck.
stand by
to start engines.
Stand clear propellers.
Start engines.
B.G., all set?
Ready, sir.
O'Neal, got your
recognition code straight?
Yes, sir.
One for this morning
and one
for this afternoon.
We'll celebrate tonight
with a nice,
fresh vegetable salad.
The frst
from my seagoing farm.
Sir, last enemy position,
bearing 2-1-5 true,
150 miles.
Molton to Squadron,
there's our target.
Molton to Squadron,
remember, when you think
you're in close,
go in closer
before you drop that fsh.
Molton to Squadron,
join up.
Come on, join up.
Lacobson, rendezvous,
join up.
I can't.
There's a Zero on your tail.
There's one on yours, too.
Ioin up.
You all right, Hale?
Yeah, Mr. Molton.
Relay this
throughout the ship.
Radio Room?
Relay these messages
throughout the ship.
Wassum's out
like a flower.
Stand by for anything.
There ought to be fighters.
Watch that Zero
up there.
He won't budge.
He's an old-timer.
What's that Zero
doing, Hank?
He ain't saying.
Lust hanging there.
make a pass soon.
They tagging
our outfit?
Are you kidding?
Shut up. Never mind
the crystal ball gazing.
Come on, you...
Shut up!
12 o'clock! Something coming
through the formation.
Wait till they come in.
Where's our fighters?
Watch the ponies
up there.
All right,
all right.
Criminy! There's
another batch coming!
All right,
I've got him!
You take him, Joe!
Two more at 2 o'clock
over your right wing.
Get him!
Got him.
Shut up.
Everybody all right?
Pilot to...
11 o'clock!
Shut up, will you...
11 o'clock!
rolling under.
I got it.
How many are there?
Smack 'em down!
Let 'em
come around!
All right, all right.
Swing us around.
Got him! Got him!
11 o'clock!
Ed! Ed!
They got Ed.
No, I'm all right.
Ed, is that you?
They got Hank.
Gosh, there they go.
There's one chute.
Two to go.
He's rolling over.
Come on, guys.
Get out of there.
Bail out of there.
Why don't they
get out?
he's really spinning.
Come on, you guys.
Get out. Get out!
There's one more out...
2 o'clock!
They're coming in!
They're coming
under you, Ben.
Hold your hats.
I'm coming.
Take 'em, Bill,
take 'em!
Look out!
5 o'clock!
I'm coming up from 5!
How's our sweetheart,
Mr. Holloway?
Spurting oil
like her heart's busted.
Close the intercom.
Watch out.
Zero on your tail.
Blue plate special
coming up.
Get him! Get him!
Sink, you...
Goodbye, him.
Nice work.
Square in the belly.
Pilot to Radioman,
are you all right?
Mike, are you
all right?
I think that burst got him,
Mr. Jacobson.
Better bail out,
We haven't much time.
Were you hit, Mike?
Shut off your intercom,
I can't.
My equipment's shot up.
Mike, are you O. K?
It's my leg, sir.
Can you move them?
Mike, can you
move your legs?
We're burning
back here.
You'd better
bail out, sir.
I haven't got
the altitude, Mike.
We'll take this ride
Lacobson, join up.
Do you hear me, Hans?
Loin up, I tell you.
Enemy planes approaching.
All hands stand by.
Enemy planes approaching.
Hard left!
Hard left!
Hard right rudder!
[Bomb Whistling]
The bomb that hit aft
the hydraulic lines
that control
the landing gear.
How long to repair?
Hard to say, sir.
The returning planes
will be low on gas.
I want that gear operating
by the time they're in sight.
I want a report
on damage
and our maximum
possible speed.
The engine room reports
we can only make 20 knots.
We'll need 25 knots
to land our planes.
Report that
Aye, aye, sir.
Call out the after-damage
control party.
20 men from the V-3 division.
Clear that damage.
Hurry it up!
The flight deck offcer reports
it's impossible to repair
the after-flight deck
in less than 45 minutes.
You got just 20 minutes
to repair that flight deck.
When the planes return,
they'll have a deck
to land on.
Sir, escort has picked up
enemy submarine
on the sound
We got a plane left
to launch?
One, sir.
Just repaired.
Launch her.
Launch catapult bomber.
Launch catapult bomber.
Launch catapult bomber.
Launch catapult bomber.
Rapid gunners,
hold your fre.
Catapult plane
being launched.
We're going
to be hit.
Who was flying
that plane?
Ensign Cunningham, sir.
That the one
they call Cookie?
Yes, sir.
Sir, Torpedo Five
and fghter escort returning.
Prepare to land planes.
Prepare to land planes.
Code this
to the other carriers...
As soon as
planes have landed,
changing course
60 degrees southeast
for cover of rain squall
till repairs are completed.
Aye, aye, sir.
[Playing Reveille]
Red, this is Molton.
What now?
Radar picked up disturbances
at 85 miles,
altitude 5,000 feet,
but they've settled down
to a single object.
We can hear it now.
Sounds like a TBF.
You hear that, Molton?
Could be a TBF.
Any of yours
Wait a minute.
Oscar was just passing
over the cargo
when she blew up.
Scott is the only one
not accounted for.
Thanks, Red.
Mr. Scott?
You fgure the carrier
ducked under that soup?
They weren't
at the rendezvous.
Keep your chin up.
I'm not afraid of anything anymore,
Mr. Scott.
Today's my birthday.
How old are you
today, B. G?
17, sir.
You hear that Benny?
Hey, Benny.
I'll get him down.
Mr. Scott,
couldn't we break radio silence
long enough
to get a fx?
Nobody would like that
better than I would, B.G.
No dice.
Brother, how I could use
a spotlight now.
That's Ensign Scott, sir.
He doesn't know
our new course.
Couldn't we break
radio silence?
You don't have to give him
a position theJaps can check.
Just say,
"We're right under you.
Ceiling, 50 feet.
Come on down."
If you think theJaps
have a radar fx on him,
let me go up.
I can lead him down.
That's as useful to the enemy
as breaking radio silence.
We can't risk
this carrier.
What about that kid...
That's enough, Molton.
your casualty list
and reform
your squadron.
Yes, sir.
[Engine Faltering]
[Plane Diving]
First it was Gus,
then Brainard,
then Chuck,
and then Hans.
But at least he had
a fghting chance.
But not Oscar.
He didn't have a chance.
Up there,
going back and forth,
and nobody made an effort
to help him down.
Do you know
what these are?
They're casualty lists.
They're obituaries of
a long list of friends of mine.
Yes, friends.
If I seemed too tough
on the boys,
it was because I was
responsible for them.
I didn't want to lose them
any more than I wanted to
lose those boys up there.
You think I wanted
to let Scott fly
until he dove
into the sea?
You think I want to dream
about them on a raft
until their bodies rot?
I'm an air offcer.
There are things I can do
and things I can't do.
I can check casualty lists,
and I can order more men
into the air
to become new casualties.
I can refuse to endanger
the lives of 3,000 men
in order to save the lives
of three men.
I do those things
because they're my job,
and I've got to do them.
But to be accused
of refusing
to save those men
because I didn't
want to save them...
Torpedo Ready Room.
Molton speaking.
It's for you, sir.
Very good.
A destroyer picked up
Scott and his crew.
His radioman was lost,
but he and his gunner
are O.K.
They got him!
He's back in!
How about that?
He's back in the ballgame.
Thanks, Ed.
How about that?
Commander Harper.
Orders for tomorrow...
14 TBFs,
19 SB2Cs...