They Were Expendable

Synopsis: Shortly after Pearl Harbor, a squadron of PT-boat crews in the Philipines must battle the Navy brass between skirmishes with the Japanese. The title says it all about the Navy's attitude towards the PT-boats and their crews.
Genre: Drama, War
Production: MGM Home Entertainment
Rotten Tomatoes:
135 min

of war exists between...

...the United States

and the Empire of Japan.

Govern yourselves accordingly.

My compliments, gentlemen.

Here are the orders.


Got anything for us?

What do you call that outfit again?

Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three.

No orders for you now.

Maybe tomorrow.

What do you want us to do?

Sit on our duffs?

I'll ask the old man.

Stand by.

Have one boat patrol the bay

and one stand by for messenger duty.

All boats fueled. Torpedoes will

be loaded within a half-hour.

Any dope?

Our orders are to stand by.

Those destroyers aren't standing by.

They went down that channel

like a rat race.

Somebody might have given

them orders to go.

You got 20 boxes of 50-caliber there.

Give 12 to Lefty.

Now hear this.

Unidentified aircraft approaches Cavite.

Unidentified aircraft

approaching Cavite.

Those are Jap planes.

Headed this way.

All boats out in the bay.

Follow me, and stand by for signals.

Is that another drill?

Can't be a drill.

All we get in this Navy

is drill, drill, drill.

Fire in the paint locker!

One formation.

Breaking off.

Heading up our way, sir.

Stand by to disperse.

All boats from 41.

All boats from 41.

Stand by for scatter plan.

Stand by for scatter plan.

Thank them, Smokey.

Scatter plan Baker.

Scatter plan Baker.



Good shooting, Smokey.

Recognize him?

Iknew him well.

Shaved his father.

Get him, Junior!

All boats from 41.

All boats from 41.

Return to base.

Return to base.

Pretty rugged, isn't it?

Let's go, Rusty.

We've checked everything, sir.

The storeroom's gone.

No torpedoes, no motors,

no spare parts, no nothing.

Wonder if they have

any torpedoes at Corregidor.

- Might be.

- I'll check on it.


A little rugged.

You got wet clothes on

underneath that blanket?

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Frank Wead

Frank Wilbur "Spig" Wead (24 October 1895–15 November 1947) was a U.S. Navy aviator who helped promote United States Naval aviation from its inception through World War II. Commander Wead was a recognized authority on early aviation. Following a crippling spinal injury in 1926, Wead was placed on the retired list. In the 1930s, he became a screenwriter, becoming involved in more than 30 movies. He also published several books, short stories and magazine articles. During World War II, he returned to active duty. He initially worked in a planning role, but later undertook sea duty in the Pacific, where he saw action against the Japanese in 1943–44 before being placed on the retired list in mid-1945. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"They Were Expendable" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 9 Jul 2020. <>.

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