Air Force

Synopsis: On December 6, 1941 nine B-17 bomber set off on a flight from San Francisco to Hawaii. One of the bombers, the Mary Ann, is commanded by 'Irish' Quincannon. The bombardier, Tommy McMartin, has a sister living in Hawaii and the co-pilot, Bill Williams, is sweet on her. The men are all highly professional with the exception of aerial gunner Joe Winocki, a bitter man who has every intention of leaving the army air corps. They arrive at Hickam Field on the morning of December 7, just as the Japanese are attacking Pearl Harbor and other military facilities. All of the men prepare to face the enemy, including Winocki whose attitude changes quickly. The bomber and its crew will participate in many missions but not all will survive.
Genre: Action, Drama, History
Director(s): Howard Hawks
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
124 min

- Code message, sir.

- Thanks.

- Harper, code message.

- Yes, sir.

All right, everything clear to the pilots?

- Major Roberts.

- Yes, Quincannon?

- Gonna use the radio beam all the way?

- Yes.

Flight leaders

will work Hickam radio control...

...while the other planes work the

home station. How about the navigators?

- One question, sir.

- How soon...?

- Sorry.

- Hauser?

How soon will we get our maps

and charts, sir?

Anytime you want them. You'll be given

the route weather forecast soon.

- Wendell?

- That's what I wanted to know, sir.

Any questions from the bombardiers?

- Major Roberts, sir.

- Parker.

- What about ammunition?

- No ammunition.

- Yes, McMartin?

- Are we taking bombsights along?

We're ferrying them fully equipped

except for ammunition.

Maintenance crews are working on them.

Pilots, check with them

to be sure everything's in shape.

- And Harper, you'll check for us.

- Yes, sir.

I guess that's all for now.

Oh, yes. The crews haven't been told yet

what the destination is, so keep it quiet.

- Anything else?

- How about phoning our wives, sir?

Evidently your copilot

doesn't take you into his confidence.

He got permission to send a radiogram

to Lieutenant McMartin's sister in Honolulu.

I thought that might interest you,


- Yes, sir.

- Well, I guess that's about all.

We'll meet here 30 minutes before

takeoff time for final instructions.

- How's everything, sergeant?

- Everything's going fine, sir.

Gotta put a new magneto on number two.

Gear's shot.

They told me to get her ready

for a long trip.

- They didn't tell me where.

- They didn't, huh?

- No, sir.

- Can you keep a secret, sergeant?

- Yes, sir.

- That's good.

Captain Quincannon?

Private Chester reporting, sir.

Second radio.

Sergeant White, your crew chief.

- How are you?

- How do you do?

- Glad to have you with us.

- I'm glad to be assigned to your airplane.

I've been hoping to get on a Flying Fortress

since radio school.

- How long ago was that?

- Three months ago.

I've had experience.

I've been in light bombers.

That's fine.

Better turn him over to Peterson, sergeant.

He can look over the radio set

and get the hang of things.

- I'll be in Operations if you want me.

- Yes, sir.

You'll find Peterson inside, son.

- Must be a big flight. Nine Fortresses.

- So they say.

Do you know...?

I mean, can you tell me where we're going?

- Can... Can you keep a secret?

- Oh, yes, sir.

That's good.

- Hello.

- Hello. Are you the new gunner?

- No, second radio.

- Yeah?

- My name's Weinberg, second engineer.

- Chester's my name. Glad to know you.

- Glad to know you.

- Hey, is that what they call her, Mary-Ann?

That's her.

And she's the best ship in the outfit.

Hey, Peterson,

here's your new static chaser.

- My name's Chester.

- How are you?

Come on, I'll show you around.

- Hey, you the crew chief?

- Yeah.

My name's White.

Are you the new gunner?

Yeah, Winocki. Joe Winocki.

We've been expecting you.

Put your stuff inside.

- Okay.

- You're lucky.

- Our regular gunner's on furlough.

- I wouldn't say I'm lucky.

- Looks like everything's okay, sergeant.

- I think so, sir.

- How about coffee and sandwiches?

- Got them, sir.

- I wish we could get ahold of extra oxygen.

- Already inside the plane, sir.

- How'd you do that?

- Six bottles.

- You haven't got an extra engine, have you?

- Almost enough parts to build one, I guess.

I'm getting sort of worried about my wife.

She should be here by now.

Oh, Winocki.

- Yeah?

- This is our new gunner, sir.

Captain Quincannon.

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Dudley Nichols

Dudley Nichols (April 6, 1895 – January 4, 1960) was an American screenwriter and director. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Air Force" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 23 May 2022. <>.

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