Dauntless: The Battle of Midway (2019) Movie Script

- And under the sunrise
I think
I will have to rise
And I know
we will meet again
But I'm hoping we shared
The things mattered
and no one cared
I just want to see
your face again
- Norman Francis Vandivier.
Right where I left you.
- Didn't you promise never
to walk through that door again?
- Yeah, well,
you make a lot of promises
when you're puking up
a gallon of Mai Tais.
- Good to see you.
- Good to see you too, Jim.
Back from your exile
in Panama?
- As a matter of fact, I am.
We asked the Navy real nice
if we could come back to Pearl.
Surprisingly, they said yes.
- Yeah. You always
were persuasive.
- It wasn't just me.
When I told the brass
that Norman Vandivier
wasn't having
any fun without me,
they signed the orders
right away.
- Well.
- Yeah.
Wish I had known
about my amazing
influential name before.
Welcome home.
- It's damn good
to be back.
I swear, Panama must be
what hell is like.
- Hmm.
- It's hot.
There are mosquitoes
the size of birds.
And crocodiles.
Goddamn crocodiles.
- Hmm. So where's your band
of misfits?
- Uh, well, they hit
the Hotel Street
as soon as we hit the dock.
I came here
on account of the fact
that you owe me
so many drinks.
Well, you're way behind.
- What'll it be, Lieutenant?
- Let's get
a whiskey and soda.
- That I can do.
- Who's the letter to?
Some beautiful hula girl?
- Aw, shucks, Lieutenant,
I'm just writing my ma.
- Hmm. Yeah.
- The only girl in my life
is the Big "E".
- Right. Big "E".
She is one hell of a lady,
She's got men inside of her
24 hours a day.
- Ah. Jealousy,
such an ugly thing.
- No. No. It's not jealousy.
- It's just that I happen
to have a new lady
in my life as well,
thanks for asking.
- Ooh.
- Yeah.
- Okay.
- Brand-new PBY Catalina.
- Well, congratulations.
- Thank you.
You know, she's a real beaut.
Faster and sexier
than the old model.
- Hmm.
- Who's jealous now?
- Well, the Dauntless
is no speed demon, but...
I'm pretty sure
you wouldn't wanna race me.
- I'm sure
she's fast in the dive,
but how fast is she
in the water?
- Well, let's hope
I never find that out.
- Agreed.
- ...attacked the Wake Island.
- Cheers, bro.
- And this morning,
the Japanese attacked
Midway Island.
The United States of America
is suddenly
and deliberately attacked
by naval and air forces
of the Empire of Japan.
I have,
with the Congress, declare
that since the unprovoked
and dastardly attacks
by Japan
on Sunday,
December 7th, 1941,
a state of war
has existed
between the United States
and the Japanese Empire.
- You tell the ladies
you're a helldiver,
and they just swoon.
- I haven't flown a biplane
since training.
- That's not the point.
They hear helldivers,
and they think of the movie.
They think of Clark Gable.
Then you're in.
- I don't even know
what this movie is about
besides helldivers.
And I can't dance.
- There wasn't no dancing in it.
You're thinking of Gene Kelly.
- No, I'm not.
He danced in that movie.
That big number
with Norma Shearer.
"Idiot's Delight"?
You saw a stinker like that,
but you didn't see a classic
like "Hell Divers"?
- I guess not.
- That's a damn disgrace
of a naval aviator
who hasn't seen "Hell Divers."
- Prepare to launch plane.
Prepare to launch plane.
- We've completed our turn
into the wind, sir.
We're ready to launch
on your word.
- Get the planes in the air.
- Aye, sir.
- Yes, sir?
- Launch. Launch. Launch.
- Aye, aye, sir.
- Clear the flight deck.
- When we get back to Pearl,
I'll have to catch
that Hell Diver flick.
- You'll love it.
You'll be using it to pick up
the clean girls in port
before you know it.
- Can't wait.
Good hunting, Ramsay.
- Good hunting.
- Pilots, start your engine.
- Morning, Lee.
- Morning, sir.
- Don't tell me you've been
sitting here since reveille.
- No, sir.
not entirely, sir.
- So you did
the preflight checks then?
- Twice, sir.
- Why twice?
- There's been
some mechanical problems
with the SBDs this morning.
I didn't want to be
one of them.
- That's good thinking.
I'd hate for us
to get all dressed up
and have nowhere to go.
- Looks like we're up, sir.
- You ready?
- I'm excited, sir.
Just a little nervous.
- Yeah. That's totally healthy.
I'll never forget
how nervous I was
the first time
I did a night takeoff.
- You serious?
You took off a carrier at night?
- Not exactly.
A night takeoff is when
you throttle up off the deck
with your eyes closed.
- Really?
- Hold on.
This is always the worst part.
- Launch plane. Launch plane.
- Just remember,
if anything happens,
don't panic, all right?
If we end up in the drink
on the takeoff,
there's a beautiful
destroyer there
waiting to pick us up.
- Aye, sir.
- Here we go.
- Woo-hoo!
What a thrill, huh?
- You'll always remember
your first time.
- Absolutely, sir.
- Be hell a lot better
once we see some Jap carriers.
Falling into formation
with VB-6.
- Does it--
Does it always take this long?
- No.
That pompous ass Browning
probably hasn't crawled
out of bed yet to give us
the go-ahead.
- Yeah.
I don't--
It looks like more mechanicals
down there to me.
- Probably.
But I like my version better.
- Either way,
it's better we're up here
than down there.
It's gonna be a shitty day
to push planes.
- You're damn right, sir.
I'm ready for some action.
- As long as the Wildcats
are doing their job,
we probably won't see
a whole lot.
- Sir?
- I see it.
And so does McClusky.
Pulling into formation.
- Where--
Where are the Wildcats
and Devastators at?
- Huh.
Must be a no-frills operation.
Don't worry.
Brass knows what they're doing.
If all else fails,
that's what those shiny guns
are there for, right?
- Aye, sir.
- Please, dear Lord,
let the brass know
what the hell they're doing.
- Sir. Look.
- Reducing altitude.
- Ah.
- Good news.
We can come off the O2.
Best is taking us in.
- Thank God.
How long were we up there?
- About an hour and change.
- Oh.
Yeah, an hour and change
of my face itching
and my head swimming.
Don't let one
of the heavy bomber boys
hear you whining
about the O2 masks.
They got to keep them on
eight, twelve hours.
- Yeah.
Better them than us, though.
- Maybe.
Those big sons of bitches
certainly stay up
a hell of a lot longer
than we do.
I'll tell you,
all that circling
and reduced altitude
sure didn't do us any favors
in the fuel department.
That's what I like
about you, sir.
You always seem to find
the dark clouds inside the
silver lining.
Just keep your eyes
peeled for Japs
and enjoy the flight.
- Aye, aye, sir.
- Hey, Vandivier, sir?
- Yeah.
- I got, uh...
a stupid question,
but it never came up
during gunnery training.
It's about the plane.
- What's that?
- Where's the head?
- Does it look like
there's a head in this plane?
No, sir.
It's just that I've been staring
at this water for hours,
and I had a bit too much coffee
this morning, that's all.
- Well, you have two options.
You can either hold it,
or if you look down
below your seat to the left,
you'll see a tube.
- Found it!
- Be careful at this altitude.
You don't want little Keaney
accidentally touching
anything metal.
- Know what?
I think I'll just hold it.
The mental image
just dried me up.
- What's going on?
- Best just turned his ship.
- I'm seeing wake!
- I see it.
- Best sees it too.
He's taking us in.
Now get your ears on and be
on the lookout for Zeros.
- VS-6 and VB-6,
I have spotted
an enemy carrier group.
- Sir!
McClusky is reporting
enemy carrier group sighted.
This is it!
- What's our target?
- Hold on, sir.
I'm getting a lot of cross talk!
- Put it on.
- All divisions prepare
for attack.
Carrier to the left.
- Best, you take the one
to the right.
- All divisions commence attack.
- Did you catch any of that?
- Sort of!
- What's our target,
the front or the back?
- I don't know!
- Shit.
- Wait, wait, wait!
Best isn't diving!
He's waggling his wings!
- Already committed!
- No. No, no, no!
- Hold on!
- Scratch one flattop!
You okay back there?
- I seem to have urinated,
- Stop bragging and guns up!
We got more than soggy drawers
to worry about!
Zeros incoming!
- Contacts!
Three! I see three!
- Sir,
they're getting closer!
- Well, discourage them!
- What?
- Shoot them
with the fucking guns!
- There's Zeros everywhere!
- Guess we found out
where their combat air patrols
were hanging around.
- Two more!
Three o'clock high!
And they're really pissed off!
- Well, we did just sink
their carrier.
- What?
Whose side are you on anyway?
- Hold them off of us!
- I'm dropping to the deck.
- You're gonna what?
- Go, go.
- I didn't sign up
for this, sir!
Oh, no! My God!
- Hold on, Lee!
They're almost ripe
for picking!
- We're hit! We're hit!
- You okay back there?
Lee, you with me?
- I'm okay.
I'm okay. I'm okay.
- I'm rattled...
but I'm not hurt.
What's the damage?
- I don't even...
know where to begin.
- Oil pressure is dropping.
I'm fighting the controls!
- How far are we from the "E"?
- I don't know!
Far. Why?
- Fuel leak!
- Relay and transmit!
- Go!
- This is SBD...
Open tank and dead stick.
We're making a water landing
10 miles west
of enemy force.
- Sent!
- Hold on.
This is gonna be rough!
I'm reliving the day that -
You're right beside me,
holding me dear
I'm rarely feeling lonely,
you are always there
I'm day dreaming -
- What the hell?
Which one of you jokers
glued my rations shut, huh?
- Oh, yeah. Very funny.
Word of advice.
You all better sleep lightly.
- Hey.
- Picking up some chatter.
- Did they get another flattop?
- Yeah, hold your damn horses.
I'm listening.
- It's chatter from some SBDs.
They can't find their carrier,
and they're all low on fuel.
- Sounds like things
went a little pear shaped
and now they're gonna
have to ditch in the sea.
- Which carrier
and how far from it?
- They didn't say.
Japs could be listening,
I guess.
- Well, let's get in the air.
- You got it.
- Nus, see if you can figure out
where we think
the Jap fleet was
and where the carriers are.
Best guess.
We'll see if we can find
these guys.
- Aye, sir.
- All right, boys, listen up.
Lunch time's over.
report to Midway Station
that we're gonna continue
our scouting operations
for Jap forces.
- On it.
- Nus, I want you to plot
a course in such a way
that we might be able
to find one of these guys.
- You got it.
- Mansfield,
I want you to keep
those ears on, all right?
I want you to write down
anything that you pick up--
names, positions, anything.
- On it, sir.
- Nus, I need a heading
and waypoint soonest.
- Uh-hmm.
- Smokey, let's go.
Did you miss me?
- Always.
- Open the tail flaps.
- On it.
- Everybody's accounted for.
- Contact.
All right, everybody,
heading out.
- Sir!
Get out of the plane!
- Shit. Shit, shit, shit.
- Get out! Fuck.
Get out!
Let's go! Let's go!
- Come on!
- You ain't destroying.
- Shit! The raft! The raft!
- Shit!
- Did you think...
we got it, sir?
You think we hit the flattop?
- Yeah.
There's no way I missed.
There's no way.
- Win-win, then. Yeah?
- Yeah.
- We stuck it to the Japs,
and I don't have to clean up
a piss-soaked
gunnery compartment.
- I'm sorry about the raft.
- It's okay.
About a dozen planes
saw us go down.
We'll just float here
and watch the show,
and we'll get picked up
by breakfast.
- Breakfast, huh?
What do you think
they'll be having?
Shit on a shingle,
that's my favorite.
What about you?
- Got to raise your standards,
I'm thinking steak and lobster.
- Steak and lobster.
Let me see that wound,
- Yeah.
I don't know. Oh.
- All right.
Let's get you patched up.
- All personnel,
incoming friendly aircraft.
- Incoming aircraft,
starboard, 301 on approach.
- Initial reports
are very promising, sir.
We sunk three carriers.
1400 hours, and enough time
to refuel, rearm,
and send out a second sortie
to finish the job.
- We have men in the water.
- Yes, we do, sir.
- Sailor, did you see
that plane go down?
- Aye, sir.
- Redirect the Phelps
to collect that crew.
- Aye sir,
redirecting to Phelps.
- We've been very successful
so far, sir,
but we can't let ourselves
be distracted
with rescue missions.
- Successful?
We launched 32 planes.
All of six have returned.
- And that is unfortunate,
but what an excellent ratio
of return for three carriers.
- Yorktown reporting
inbound enemy aircraft.
Battle stations.
Battle stations.
- This complicates things
a bit.
I'm gonna go
adjust the op plan.
- Unidentified aircraft
- Tell the bridge I'm on my way.
- Aye, sir.
- All hands, general quarters.
General quarters.
- That's what I'm telling you,
there isn't any
radio navigation beacon
from anywhere but the island.
- Right. And then
so we use the island,
find where we are, and then
where the enemy fleet is.
- Which we don't know
because they ain't filing
no navigational plans
with us.
We know where they were,
so that's where we're going.
- But we don't know
where our carriers are.
How are we gonna triangulate
with only two points
of reference?
is that even a thing?
- Just gonna have to go
in a search pattern.
- Search pattern?
There's got to be,
like, 200 miles of water.
- Every damn day.
- Pags, could you hop down here
before I put my 45
in my mouth, please?
- You got it, sir.
- All right.
Why don't we just ask
where to search?
- We're already outside
our mission search area.
If we ask where to search,
they're just gonna tell us
to search
the mission search area.
Besides, if the beacon's off,
they ain't gonna answer anyways.
- Christ, Mansfield, will you
shut up and make some coffee?
Listening to you is making
everybody in this boat stupider.
All right, Nusbaum,
where's the enemy fleet's
last known?
- Right here.
- Right there?
If we sunk three carriers,
we're gonna see smoke,
we're gonna see debris,
we follow the party,
we head back to Midway
in circles,
we won't see any Jap carriers,
but we might find
a pilot or two.
- Good idea.
- I'm full of them.
- Be a doll, send the coffee up
when it's done, yeah?
- On deck, starboard 1.
Leave the wheel
and look out.
- The situation on Yorktown
is still developing,
but they've taken at least
two torpedoes amidships
and listing to port.
Buckmaster's considering
abandoning her.
- That'll be up to Fletcher.
What about her planes?
- They took a shellacking,
same as us.
But luck would have it
Fletcher sent the remaining SBDs
out on patrol
right before the attack.
- Well, obviously
there's a carrier or two
still lurking about.
- Let the scouts
find the enemy.
McClusky did not have kind words
to say about Captain Browning.
- No, I don't expect he would.
I want the planes on standby,
ready to go.
- Scouting 6 and the rest
of the Bomber remnants
are being fit for action.
Earl Gallaher is eager
to get in the fight.
- When the scouts find them,
I want you to point the "E"
into the wind
and get the planes
in the sky.
- Aye, aye, sir.
- All stations report
when manned and ready.
- Hey, Bennett, sir,
turn to starboard 30 degrees.
The guys are spotting
oil slicks and debris.
- Yeah, I see 'em too.
- All right, boys,
keep your eyes peeled.
Look for anybody
happy to see us.
- Lee, wake up.
Lee, get up.
wake up, buddy.
- I got two more minutes
- Wake up, buddy, come on.
- Wait your turn.
- Sorry. Sorry.
- I'm sorry.
- I was having a dream.
I was in a bath
with a beautiful Hawaiian girl.
- No kidding?
- It was hot...
with bubbles.
- You're in a piss-warm
ocean with me.
Let me get that patched up.
No offense, sir...
but I'd prefer my dream.
- I liked your dream better too.
- I'll have what you're having.
- Any sign of a pickup?
- No. I saw a few aircraft
flying overhead,
but I think it was just a PBY.
I don't know.
- No Japs out looking?
- No, we sunk their carriers.
They got bigger problems.
Well, the Japs never know
when they've been licked,
though, so...
we're gonna have to just sit
here tight for a while, okay?
- Okay.
- The aid kit went down
with everything else.
We got to make do.
- It's fine
until the salt hits it,
and then it burns down
to my fingers and toes.
- All right.
I'm gonna tie it up
real tight, okay?
- Okay.
- All right?
- Okay.
- All right.
All right. Here.
Bite down on this.
All right. All right.
This is gonna sting
just a little.
All right.
All right on three,
here we go.
- Aah!
- Okay. Is that better?
Feel better?
- Mm-hmm.
- You okay?
- Think they'll let us go home
after this?
I just--
I just want to go home.
I just want to see
my mom again.
- You will.
They'll send us home.
A little shore leave,
we'll be good as new.
They'll send us back...
we'll have a parade.
There'll be hula girls...
poker chips.
There'll be leis
all the way down Hotel Street.
It's gonna be great.
- First round...
is on me.
- Nah, nah.
To hell with that.
First round's on McClusky.
- He owes us that much.
- Fine, then.
- Are those ours?
- Definitely. Definitely.
At least 20 of them.
- Hey!
- Lee, Lee, Lee.
- Down here!
- Hey.
Lee, Lee!
They're too high.
They can't hear us.
They can't see us.
They can't hear us.
They're probably too busy.
- Another flattop, you think?
- Yeah.
I hope so.
- They got it.
- They got it.
- They got it.
- They got it.
- And the home
Of the brave
- Holy Christ
on a T-bone steak!
Hey, boys,
I think we got one.
- English, Mansfield.
- Man in the water
floating on his back.
We just flew over them.
Boys are cheering
about needles in a haystack.
- One of ours?
- Uh, it's hard to tell.
- Spread the word.
Turn her around
and bring her down.
- It's a little too rough
to set down.
- Yeah,
I'm thinking the same thing.
Let's do over-under.
- Yeah.
Not good. I just hope
we don't hit those swells
like a sack of crap
against the wall.
- I'm not particularly
leaving that guy behind.
- Me, either.
Just pointing out
we might not be taking off
for a while
once we pick him up.
- It'll give you a chance
to work on your tan.
I'll let the boys know.
All right, boys, listen up.
Water is looking a little
rough down there.
- Break.
I got some bad news too.
We got a bogey back here,
coming right up our tailpipe.
- What is it?
- Don't know.
It's flying slow,
might be a Dave.
- Oh, that's a biplane.
Can you not tell
that's a biplane?
- It's in and out of clouds.
Hold on.
- It's a Zero.
It's a Zero.
- Nus, mark where we are.
- Got it.
- Mansfield,
make yourself useful
and drop that guy a boat
and some crackers.
- Aye, aye.
- Everybody else hang on,
whatever prayers you were
saving for a special occasion,
now would be a good time
to use them.
- Oh, Jesus Christ.
- I can't see him.
Bogey coming on at six,
- I can't get a bead on him.
- No. I can't--
I don't know where he is,
I can't see him.
- Smokey, you got him.
- He's gaining on us.
- How's that boat coming,
- Working on it.
Just make another pass.
Boat's away, skipper.
Not sure
if we dropped it anywhere
near that poor bastard.
- That's why they invented
swimming, Mansfield.
- We may be racing him for it
if we don't get the hell
away from that Zero.
- God damn it, where is he?
- I just spotted him
headed upstairs.
That asshole's gonna hit us
from above.
- That's not good.
All right, boys,
eyes to the skies.
You see a meatball, you set
your sights right on him.
- Whoo! He's breaking off!
Way to go, Smokey!
- Hey you scared him off,
- Champion machine gunner
of Honolulu,
you're damn right I did.
- Skipper.
We took a few rounds
in the wings,
maybe a pontoon.
We should check it out
while we still got sunlight.
Set us down, yeah?
- I'll get some distance
to put her down.
- Banks, you okay?
- Yeah.
Got any clean drawers
back there?
- I'll take a look.
Hey, Champion Machine Gunner
of Honolulu
ain't got dick to do with that.
That Zero had us dead to rights.
He chose to go play
somewhere else in a real hurry.
- Oh, yeah, we know.
But let Smokey have his moment.
- If you say so.
- What's that noise?
- I don't know.
Maybe a ship alarm.
It sounds that,
kind of, funny on the water.
Sound travels real far,
and I'm not sure.
- I wish it would stop.
- Yeah. Me, too.
- Sir.
- Norman.
- What?
- Call me Norman.
- Norman.
- Yeah.
- I'm thirsty.
- Me, too.
I guess we know what
the Ancient Mariner felt like.
- Who?
- It's a poem.
It's about this sailor
who shoots an albatross.
This bird leads him
out of the Arctic,
and he shoots it
with a crossbow.
- Well, why did he do that?
- You know,
it's not particularly clear
why he does it in the poem.
The rest of the crew
gets pissed at him
because they thought the bird
brought the wind with it.
They tied this albatross
around the neck of the sailor.
He wears this
rotting bird around,
hoping it'll bring back
the wind with his suffering,
but it doesn't come.
Instead, the crew
starts dying one by one...
until he's the sole survivor.
I know it doesn't sound
like a good story,
but it's a parable of sorts.
In the end, this poor bastard
suffers and suffers.
In his suffering,
he's redeemed by God
and rescued.
Hang in there, Lee.
You're gonna be okay.
We both are.
- Admiral, sir.
- Good morning,
Captain Browning.
- Last night,
the submarine Tambor
reported the location
and bearing of several contacts.
I can send word to Commanders
McClusky and Gallaher
to ready their pilots
to launch at first light.
- Let them sleep.
Midway has their scouts
in the air,
and if that turns out
to be a landing force,
we will need to stay put
to cover the island.
- And if it is
a fifth carrier?
- We will engage,
once we get confirmation.
I will not make the same mistake
as yesterday and overextend.
- Yes, sir.
- Oh, good.
They remembered
my wake-up call.
I haven't seen
the room service to...
bring me my pancakes,
orange juice--Lee, Lee.
Lee! Lee!
Don't go running off on me
like that, Lee.
Scared the crap out of me.
- You know me,
always running off
chasing tail.
- Yeah?
You found some tail out here?
- Mermaid.
- Let me check that wound.
- Hmm. It's okay.
- I'm okay.
No, it's fine.
It's getting better.
- Let me check
the damn wound, Lee.
Yeah. You're right.
It is getting better.
- I told you.
- Keep those eyes open,
all right?
I need you to help me
spot our pickup.
I'm no good
without my coffee.
So I'm counting on you.
- I'm on it.
I'm on it, sir.
- You got to be cheating.
You beat me four times.
The odds are not in your favor.
- Caroll, you--
- Good morning, fellas.
- Morning, Nus.
- Morning, Nus,
The boys watered and fed?
- Aye, sir.
You ready for another day
of being shot at by Zeros?
- Nope.
- Hell, nope.
- All right.
Well, boner appetite.
- Okay.
This--Are you even--
- Do you even hear it?
- Hey,
NAS Midway
just sent orders our way.
We're to scout and report
any and all enemy surface ships
we come in contact with.
Relay positions.
- We're already doing that.
- And now we're still
doing it,
and we got a search area
- All right. Well, tell the boys
to weigh anchor.
And, Nus, you just...
just keep on doing your thing.
- Okay. Here we go.
Possible main body
fleet sighted
700 miles,
92 degrees off Midway
bearing 262 degrees.
Two carriers,
four light cruisers,
two heavies,
six destroyers,
eight troop transporters.
Bring 'em all,
bring 'em all
Bring the long and the short
and the tall
- Bring the long
and the short
- Sharks. Sharks.
- What?
- It's behind you.
- Oh, God.
Please, no, please.
- It's a ray.
- A ray shark?
- No.
Manta ray.
- Does it eat humans?
- Not that I'm aware of.
They're all over
the waters off Pearl.
When we get back,
I'll take you snorkeling,
and you can see one up close.
- Thank you.
But I respectfully...
You see,
I just saw one
too close for comfort,
and I think I'm gonna
swear off all things
H20 after this.
- You say that now,
but no one likes a landlubber.
- Hey.
I'm from Sandusky, okay?
Grew up on Erie.
is gonna call me
a landlubber...
not even you...
- That's a lake, Keaney.
It doesn't count.
- Aren't you from Mississippi?
River boy.
- Hell, no.
I'm from Hawaii.
And so are you,
if anybody asks.
- Yeah.
- That's the spirit.
Now where were we?
- Bring 'em all,
bring 'em all
Bring the long
and the short and the tall
Bring 'em all
Bring 'em all
Bring the long
and the short and the tall
- Obviously
you don't understand.
Let me try and explain it
again in simpler terms.
Suicide Mission.
Earl and I did the math
the second we got these orders.
- Gentlemen, clear the room.
Commander McClusky,
is there a problem?
- They're objecting
to the mission, sir.
a heavily damaged carrier
with no ability
to launch aircraft
is proving to be
a formidable foe.
- Maybe so,
but I believe I was asking
Commander McClusky.
He has us flying 240 miles
to the target
with thousand-pound bombs.
- The ordinance is to assure
destruction of the target.
- Lugging a thousand pounder
that far,
you're sentencing those men
to ditch in the sea.
We don't have enough gas
to get home.
- Per the specs
of the Dauntless,
you'll have enough fuel
to complete the mission.
- Sure, if the carrier
sits there quietly
and allow us
to slowly fly up,
drop our payload,
and slowly fly away,
but what the hell
are the chances of that?
- Commander McClusky
and the pilots
know the planes
better than anyone.
And I'm as eager as the next guy
to sink another carrier,
but not at the expense
of more men in the water.
Will you work the plan?
Allow the planes
to land on the deck,
not the ocean.
- Aye, sir.
Get your men
ready for action.
- Thank you, sir.
- Yes, sir.
- No.
No. No.
- I'm here, Lee.
I'm here.
- I don't wanna...
I don't--
I don't wanna...
be in the--
in the water anymore.
- I don't, either.
- I can't--
I can't wait anymore.
He-help me.
- All right.
- I'm trying to, Lee.
I'm trying to.
What can I do
so you don't drop?
Please tell me.
- God, I wanna--I wanna go.
- Come on, Lee,
just hang in there, man.
Just hang in there, buddy.
Just hang in there.
- I-I need to go.
- Just hang in there.
- I don't need to wait.
Back home...
to my mom.
- Don't leave me.
- Hey.
Is anybody else seeing this?
- Yep! Looks like
a couple of dissonance SBDs
and some Wildcats.
- Guess they found
those carriers
they're looking for.
- I think that's our cue
to go back to Midway.
Fuel's looking a little low.
- We got some Jerry cans
left with gas,
but showers and real chow
are sounding mighty
good right about now.
- Yes, sir.
Let's come around and head home.
- Lee.
Lee, they're gonna fly
right over us.
Lee, they're gonna see us.
Hey. Help!
We're down here! Hey.
We're down here! Help!
They saw us, Lee.
They had to.
They flew right over us.
Good. Good.
No, no, no, no.
Hey. We're going home.
We're going home.
We're going home now.
We're going back.
Come on.
Come on. Get up.
Get up. Okay.
Lee, we're safe.
We're going home.
Look, Lee. Please.
- Lee, I'm sorry.
Don't leave me alone, Lee.
Don't leave me out here alone.
- Next tug up at 2130.
- Thank you, Petty Officer.
- Yes, sir.
- Admiral on the bridge!
- Henson,
turn on the running lights.
- Belay that.
Admiral, we cannot turn on
the running lights.
These waters are thick
with Japanese submarines.
We'd be broadcasting
our location
to every eye for miles around.
- Including our pilots.
- Who are not experienced
or trained to land
on a carrier in the dark.
- Henson,
light the whole ship up.
- Yes, sir.
- Petty Officer,
light the ship
full deck and bow.
Summon the Captain
to the bridge.
- Yes, sir.
- Henry, light the ship
full deck and bow.
Yes, everything.
- There they are.
Thank God.
- I hope you realize
what you're doing.
- I'm giving our pilots a chance
to land rather than crash.
Thank you for your advice,
Mr. Browning.
You are dismissed.
Good night.
- Good night, sir.
- Okay, sailors,
keep your eyes open.
We have planes
struggling to get home.
- Looks like the island
took a few licks.
At least
the dock's still here.
- Yeah. It would be
damn easy to find,
even without a radio beacon.
- I think even some
of the airfield was on fire.
- Eh, the island was a shit hole
even before the Japs anyway.
It looks like
we're all tied down.
You boys need anything else
for me?
- No. I think we're good.
We're just gonna see
what the skinny is
on the situation.
Go get yourself some grub.
- I wouldn't want to miss
Smokey's story
how he took on the whole
Jap Navy on his own, right?
- I expect the full reenactment
from you.
- Yes, sir.
- Gentlemen. Boys. Skip.
- Boys, see you in the AM.
- Sir. Good to see you.
- Sir.
- Good evening, chief.
We've been out sightseeing.
We miss anything big?
- Not really.
Just a little trouble
with the neighbors next door.
- Hmm, those little guys
with the bad
decision-making skills?
- Yeah. Them's the ones.
- So what the hell
happened here?
- Eh, the airfield's wrecked,
but it could've been held
a lot worse.
- The Marines flew every fighter
they could get in the air
and messed up
their formation up there,
chased them off.
They haven't been back since.
- And the more current events?
- That's a mixed bag
of good, bad, and FUBAR.
- It sounds about par
for the course.
- The good news is the Navy
scratched four Jap flattops.
Bad news is the Yorktown
got blown to shit.
She's still afloat,
but that's about it.
- And the FUBAR?
- Carrier planes
were slaughtered
after they dropped their bombs,
especially the ones
from the Enterprise.
- How bad?
- Let's just say that there's
not enough pilots
left on the Big "E"
to field a baseball team.
- You know, we were in the thick
of it earlier,
and we saw plenty of SBDs
in the air then.
- Those were Hornet
and Yorktown birds
flying off Enterprise.
Are you okay, sir?
- Uh, yeah, I'm...
Thanks for the info, chief.
- You got it.
Thank you, gentlemen.
Got it covered here?
All right. Take it easy.
- Sailor,
make fast these lines.
- Are you all right there,
- Um, yeah.
I have a lot of friends
on the Enterprise.
Half of them were in my class
in Pensacola.
- Is that right?
- Yeah.
Tom Schneider, Frank Weber,
Bill Ramsay...
Norman Vandivier.
- Vandivier?
- Yeah.
- No. I know Vandivier.
He and I got into some, uh,
over darts and billiards
back in the good old days
at Pearl.
- Yeah?
Back in the good old days
before the Japs bombed us?
- Yeah.
Didn't know you two were
in the same class together.
How did you guys
become friends?
- Um...
it was a positively frigid
Florida Christmas afternoon.
We had just been given
holiday shore leave,
like all good pilot cadets,
we ended up at the closest bar
to celebrate
the spirit of the season.
- A time-honored tradition.
- Oh, yeah.
The place was packed.
There were aviators
and, as it happens
in such situations,
me and old Norman, well,
we got to know each other
the old-fashioned way.
- Bar fight?
- No.
Whiskey, a little sugar,
some bitters around the rim.
Come on.
- You're a goddamn laugh riot.
You know that?
- Hey. It's true. It's true.
Yeah. We hit it off.
We had plans to do our time
and then fly
beautiful, rich women
around the globe
in a seaplane.
- Globe?
- Of course he's gonna scare
the hell out of the passengers
if he brings his dive bomber
experience to the endeavor.
- So I'm thinking you make
a better flight engineer
at this point.
- Yep.
- Which means you can have
the co-pilot seat
if you can still stand me
after the war.
- What about Pags?
- We'll need a stewardess.
Oh, Christ.
- Shit, man.
It wasn't supposed to happen
like this,
everything going to shit
in one day.
- Those Dauntless bombers
are tough.
We've seen them hit rough seas
at a hundred knots,
and the pilot and gunner
swim out without a scratch.
- They've been out there
for three days,
and we're taking hot showers.
We should be out there
looking for them right now.
- It's night. We're not gonna
find them in the dark.
Besides, we need
to provision up, refuel,
take a look at all
the bullet holes in our wings
and all that's gonna happen
tomorrow morning.
- Just doesn't feel right.
Look, go get some chow
and a stiff drink.
I'll go report in,
see if I can't pump the RMs
for some intel.
Maybe they know where
some of these guys went down.
- All right. But I'm serious.
I want to be in the air
the second we're cleared.
- I hear you.
I'll see what I can do
on the clearance side.
You get everybody drunk
and convince them
to sleep on the boat.
- Deal.
Thanks, Caroll.
I mean it.
- Aw, skipper,
getting me all misty eyed.
- I always wanted
to be a pilot.
I wanted to see
the whole world.
So I joined the Navy.
When I went to Hawaii,
I knew that I was in paradise.
I never wanted to leave.
Was gonna do my time
for Uncle Sam,
fly around beautiful women
to exotic places.
This was not
how it was supposed to be.
- Still,
there are worse places to die.
Crystal clear ocean
under the beautiful stars...
with a friend.
- See you on the other side,
- Admiral.
- Hmm.
Hornet reports completion
of their sortie,
having struck two heavy cruisers
with thousand-pound bombs.
- That's good. Launch two scouts
to take photographs
of what remained
to the Japanese fleet.
- Aye, sir.
- George, any thoughts?
- We are running low on fuel,
and we'll need to slow
to allow the Oilers to catch us.
- When does Wake
become a threat?
- On our current course,
we could potentially be in range
of their land-based aircraft
by sometime this evening.
- I don't feel the need to risk
any more lives or planes
to sink two heavily damaged
Japanese ships.
- I concur.
- Remain on course at speed
till we collect our planes,
and then break our pursuit.
- Aye, sir.
- Sir, perhaps--
Aye, sir.
- And there was a Jap flag
painted on the bullet shield.
- What the hell?
- No, like a--like a kill.
Like, how the Wildcat pilots
paint kills
on the nose of their planes?
It was like that.
- Huh.
- Yeah, so,
the Japs hit a hangar,
took out a few planes
on the ground.
Some Marine dumbass
lugged one
of the salvaged dual fifties
from, uh, one of the planes
over by the latrines
and set up shop.
Shot down a Zero.
Crashed on Sand Island.
- Bullshit.
- Hand to God. Saw it myself.
- Mansfield, Nusbaum,
focus on the job.
- Aye, sir.
- Sorry, skipper.
We're on course.
We have a fair amount
of mileage to eat up
before we course change.
- Keep me posted.
- Look, I'm sorry.
I'm still sorry.
- Not your fault.
- Well, certainly seems
like my fault.
- We were
the first plane back.
bad luck, I guess.
- We didn't have
to be first back.
I could have checked it
in the morning,
but I was so eager
to get clearance.
- That's all right, Caroll.
It's all right.
Pappy Cole found a TBD pilot
in the water yesterday, so...
I'm sure
they're gonna be fine.
- Yeah, I'm sure.
Still, it feels
like a bullshit order.
- You mean the bullshit order
that has us following
a crippled Japanese fleet
back to Wake Island
with no intention or capability
of actually attacking it?
- Yeah.
- What, you don't think this is
a damn fine use of our time?
I mean, what if these damaged
battle-wagons leaking oil
and traveling at about 15 knots
in gentle waters,
somehow by the grace of God,
turned around,
made a run from Midway?
- I'm sorry, skip.
- You have control?
- I have controls.
Just fly the damn plane.
Don't worry about it, man.
- Please.
- Skip, they see us now.
- What, they raise a flag
or something?
- No, watch. They're zigging.
I bet they think we're spotting
for a sub or something.
- I wish. Nus, you think
they're changing destination?
- No way, skipper. There's
nowhere else for them to go.
- I wish they'd get to where
they're going in a hurry.
They are crawling.
- Yeah, they got damaged ships
they're attending.
Fleet's only as fast
as the slowest ship, after all.
- Well, get comfy, then,
because at this rate,
we've got a long flight
ahead of us.
- You have controls?
- I have controls.
I'm gonna get some shuteye.
- Hey.
Sweet dreams, Sally.
- Ah ha ha!
Fuck you, ocean!
- Pulling back from a fleet.
Looks like they've picked up
a little steam
and patched up some damage.
They might even take
a pot shot at us.
- Copy. They probably ran
their bunkers down to fumes.
- I'll keep my distance.
- Probably a good idea.
- All hands, eyes on port side.
- What do you see, Nus?
Ah, shit. Another one!
Starboard side.
- Oh, hell.
We've wandered into range
of Wake's air strip!
- Dinner's over, boys!
- At least we got some
altitude this time.
- Does give us
a couple more options.
I don't know what those options
are right now,
but we'll think of something.
- A little weather right now
would be fantastic.
- Good idea.
Let's find a squall.
Hang on, boys!
Keep him off our backs,
- I'm on it, skip.
- Left, left, left,
coming through, coming through!
Here he comes. Climb low.
Watch it, though.
He's still behind us.
- And where the hell are they?
- I can't spot them!
Oh, going low, going low!
- I'm going up high,
going up high!
Now where the hell are they?
- A brace of them
on the west side!
- Where the hell are they?
I can't spot them!
- You got get eyes on them?
- I think we lost them.
- You're a damn jinx, Mansfield.
Shut your damn pie hole
and get back here!
Oh, here he comes again.
Six o'clock level.
Torch it, Smokey!
Get that son of a bitch!
- Yeah, we took a piece off him!
- Hopefully
that'll slow him down.
- Down.
- Drop in the water
and play hole in the sea?
- Getting awfully dark outside.
I'd rather hide than hope
he gets bored and goes home.
- Agreed.
- We've completed our turn
and are en route back to Pearl.
The galleys are serving
something special tonight
for the aviators
and the flight deck apes.
I'm sure
they can save you some.
- I've got a fondness
for Yankee pot roast.
- Admiral Fletcher
will be taking command
to the Saratoga tomorrow
when she arrives
with replacement aircraft.
- Yes, I know.
I saw the dispatch.
- It's a tragedy
to lose a tough girl
like Yorktown.
I wish we would have had
the planes to help defend her.
- We lost a lot of planes
sinking those carriers.
But we could've lost
a lot more.
You were true to the men,
and they won't forget that
anytime soon.
- I hope Fletcher
doesn't use them all up,
listening to overeager men
like Browning.
- I certainly will drink
to that, Admiral.
Well, why don't you
get started on the toasts?
And I'll begin the reports.
See you, George.
- Lee.
I'm thirsty, Lee.
I can't...
This albatross
around my neck.
I have no water.
But I won't die.
I won't die.
But I'm not your puppet.
You hear me, God?
I'm not your Job.
And I can't suffer anymore.
I'm not gonna suffer.
- Hey.
- Hey, welcome aboard, Doc.
- Yeah, welcome aboard.
All we have is Mansfield there.
He's only got two techniques
for medicine--
aspirin and stitches.
- I'll try and teach him
- Good luck.
- All right, boys. Listen up.
There's at least a hundred men
out there
from the Enterprise alone,
waiting to get picked up.
We've got supplies,
so let's go.
We never did go look
for that poor SOB
we dropped a boat to.
- Oh, yeah.
No, they picked him up.
Hand to God, a destroyer
picked him up yesterday.
Nearly ran him over.
Marine aviator. Go figure.
- Well, we're gonna keep
on looking.
- I'm all for looking,
but, uh,
how long can someone
on the water last?
- Doesn't matter. We've been
nearly shot down twice
since the Japs came to town,
and I sure as shit would want
somebody out there
looking for us.
We've got orders
to search and rescue,
so we're searching
and we're rescuing.
And when we run out of fuel,
we'll come back here,
we'll get some more,
and we'll do it again.
Our brother's been out there
long enough.
It's time to bring him home.
- I don't know, uh...
I don't know.
- Norman Francis Vandivier.
- Didn't you promise
never to walk through that door?
- We had plans to do our time
and then fly beautiful,
rich women around the globe.
10,000 a year to start.
It's three times more
than what we get paid
flying for Uncle Sam.
- I still got four years in,
- That's the beauty of it.
So am I.
In those four years,
we will log enough hours
to get a job like that.
- They're gonna want
to hire us?
- Pan Am is huge.
They're opening up routes
to China and Australia,
all right?
They're hiring tons of pilots.
They're dying for us.
- I don't know.
Uh, four years is a long time.
- Mm-hmm.
- I was kind of thinking about
settling down here in Hawaii
when I get out.
- Are you still seeing
that, uh, that hot number?
What's her name, um, Ellie?
So it's getting serious?
- I think she's a good fit.
- It's perfect.
Free vacations for her.
- Less competition for me.
It's a win-win.
- I'll give you a maybe.
- Like I said before,
that's perfect.
A maybe is three Mai Tais
away from a yes.
- It's a parable of sorts.
Hey, Lee.
Poor bastard.
Suffers and suffers.
And in the end, because...
of his suffering,
he is redeemed
and restored by God's mercy.
- You know, you only mentioned
one poor bastard.
Not two.
- I only--
I only meant about us.
- I know what you meant.
- I'm sorry, Lee.
- It's okay.
See you on the other side,
- See you on the other side,
Jim, I'm here.
I'm here.
- Hey.
- All right. Setting her down.
- Easy. Easy.
- Huh?
- Hey, Doc, you're on.
you feel like taking a swim?
- Machine gun champion
and Olympic class swimmer,
you know me.
- I got control.
Let's get him.
Go get him.
- Let's go, boys!
- You got him.
- Come on, Louie.
- Be careful, man.
- You got him.
Norman Francis Vandivier,
I thought I left you
back at Pearl,
black-out drunk under a table.
You still owe me,
like, 10 drinks!
I have an IOU
that says otherwise.
- Less talking,
more swimming.
- Come on, come on, let's go.
- We got you. We got you.
- Come on, Smokey.
- Hey, you're in shock.
You're in good hands now.
- Thank you. Thank you.
- Yeah. Welcome aboard.
We're gonna take you home.