Taking Off With Jimmy Stewart And Clark Gable

1. WINNING YOUR WINGS (1942-USA). Narrated by LIEUTENANT JAMES STEWART. Produced by the U.S. ARMY AIR FORCE. James Stewart, one of Hollywood’s legendary movie stars, was also a legitimate hero ofWorld War II. Even though he was already an Academy Award-winning actor, he entered the military as did millions of average American males: as a private. Before the war ended, he rose to the rank of colonelÑ and this was earned on merit, not on celebrity. Stewart became a bomber pilot, seeing combat with the 8th Air Force and participating in 20-odd bombing runs over Germany. As the war entered its first full year, Stewart (who at that point had risen to the rank of lieutenant) appeared in this spirited, ultra-patriotic recruiting poster for the U.S. Army Air Corps. After exiting the cockpit of his bomber and addressing the Camera with a charming “Well, hello…,” Stewart observes how World War II has become a “war of the air.” In 1942, 65,000 fighting planes would be in use in the battle against the Axis; the following year, 100,000 would be seeing combat. To keep ’em flying,” he adds, “two million men will be needed).” If you’re a student with a year or so remaining in high school or college, you can enroll in the Air Force Reserve and be taken as a cadet after graduation. Even if you are a gas station attendant (played in a mini-dramatization by DON DEFORE), there’s a place for you in the corps. All corpsmen, from pilot to bombardier, engineering officer to meteorologist, work together as “one big team.” “Well, how ’bout it?” Stewart asks. After watching this fascinating time-capsule, you will surely want to rush off to your nearest recruiting station.
2. WINGS UP (1943-USA). Narrated by CAPTAIN CLARK GABLE. Produced by the U.S. ARMY AIR FORCE. Like Stewart, Clark Gable was a bona-fide war hero: In 1942, he joined the Air Force, attaining the rank of major and garnering the distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal after flying numerous bombing missions over Germany. Some of the aerial footage Gable filmed while on these missions may be found in this training short, which details the rigorous process by which American men from all walks of life learn leadership and discipline at the Air Force Officers’ Candidate School in Miami Beach. Explains Gable, “In the hands of these men, and their minds, and their discipline, lies the hope that we will always keep ’em flying,” Most Intriguing is the sequence in which some of the recruits are introduced. Among them are an array of men who had already earned medals for their heroics at Pearl Harbor or Cornegrdor; professional football and baseball players; world-class pole vaulters and high-jumpers; a symphony conductor; a playwright; an ecologist; in opera baritone; the fifth cousin of Franklin Roosevelt; a Ringling Bros, acrobat; movie actors GILBERT ROLAND and ROBERT PRESTON; and the mayor of Glen Cove, Long Island. 40 minutes total. Propaganda