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Great images, not accurate timelines.
on October 20, 2015
From the get-go, one has to remember that this is a war time propaganda film. Therefore the narration is "government" approved, many of the life-aboard scenes are staged for filming and the described timelines do not match-up with the film images. Case in point, the first raid in the movie is supposed to be of Marcus island. However, at the beginning of the film it shows SB2C Helldivers landing aboard the carrier. SB2C's did not enter service until November of '43 and they first saw combat aboard the USS Essex at Rabaul. And the national insignia on the TBF's and SBC2's are the later style white and blue bars of the 1944. In '43 U.S. aircraft still had the red outline around the insignia. The voice overs do not match the character images. Take for instance "Jacko" the so-called ship's captain as he explains how to line-up the aircraft at the start of the film. Furthermore, in actuality the ship's captain wouldn't be concerned about the air group. That's the Air Boss' or Air Group commander's function. His concern lies solely with the ship. Suffice to say, the film is rife with inaccuracies simple because it was as I said, a propaganda film for the folks back home.
That being said the movie still is a wonderful time capsule. The aerial footage is in color and rare indeed. I truly did enjoy seeing moving images of the naval aircraft instead of the usual black and white stills. What I ended up doing is turning down the sound so as not to be distracting by the inane narration and just enjoying the visual images.
As for the identity of the "Fighting Lady" I originally thought that it was the USS Essex. The F6F Hellcat in-flight towards it's carrier at the beginning of the film was Air Group Commander Flatley's F6F-3 from the Essex. But as I got into the film it was obvious that the "Fighting Lady" was more than one carrier. The radar suites changed from image to image. So to did the camouflage schemes and on-board aircraft markings. Like I said, ignore the audio and just enjoy the various film images. It's a collection of many different scenes from the mid-war in the Pacific.