Away All Boats

Synopsis: The story of USS 'Belinda', Attack Transport PA22, launched late 1943 with regular-navy captain Hawks and ex-merchant captain MacDougall as boat commander. Despite personal friction, the two have plenty to deal with as the only experienced officers on board during the "shakedown." Almost laughable incompetence gradually improves, but the crew remains far from perfect when the ship sees action, landing troops on enemy beachheads. And few anticipate the challenges in store at Okinawa...
Genre: Drama, War
Director(s): Joseph Pevney
Production: MCA Universal Home Video
114 min

Pearl Harbor

was already history.

U.S. Marines had clawed

their way onto Guadalcanal...

and American soldiers

were settling in North Africa...

before that ship was ready

for sea late in 1943.

Here's the story of that ship

and the men who sailed...

to the battered beaches

of the Pacific in World War ll.

This is the way it was.

Dave, are you sure you won't

get another night off?


- I'll write every day.

- So will I.

Bye, darling.


Detail, forward...


Hup, two, three, four.

Column left.


You sailing on her, Captain?

Wrong rank, old-timer.

I'm a lieutenant.

Wasn't you captain

of the Roamer?

- Yeah.

- Yeah. I thought so.

Last time I seen you

around San Francisco...

was on the bridge of the Roamer

when she was in dry dock.

You seen them launch this ship

months ago.

That's right.

Launched and towed away

for outfitting.

I wondered then what

she would be.

Now you're sailing her

off to war, huh?

No. Not quite.

I'm not the captain

of this ship.

Why is that?

I was a captain

in the merchant marine.

I gave up two stripes

to enter the navy.


did it because...

I know.

I wish they'd let me

sail on her.

I helped build the Belinda.

Yep. She's still talking.

Don't laugh, boy. She

was talking while we built her.

She's still talking. Come here.

Listen to her.

Those sounds-they're just

locked-in stresses working out.

They're slow

in a part-welded hull.

I know. I know.

Each part is trying to be free

again. They'll settle together.

She's a good ship...

a fortunate ship.

She'll go far...

and she'll come home again.

Mr. MacDougall, our captain is

scheduled to finally show up...

- at noon tomorrow.


Oh, I'll never get used

to navy time.

Anyway, his name is Hawks,

Captain J.S. Hawks.

I saw it on his baggage.

- Would you know him, sir?

- No.

Mr. Fraser says he's seen action

in the Atlantic AND Pacific.

Won a Navy Cross at Guadalcanal.

- Then he's seen more.

- Yes, sir.

Academy man, naturally.


Well, good night, Mr. Kruger.

Good night.

I'm relieved we're getting...

another officer who's had a lot

of sea experience.

I didn't mean me, sir.

I mean, BESIDES you.

I mean, as captain, sir.

Yes, Mr. Kruger.

I mean, 0300.

Another hour of this.

Getting the midwatch

is for the birds.

Yes, sir. Owls.


Captain Jebediah S. Hawks...

requesting permission

to board, sir.

Permission granted. Yes, sir.

What's your name, mister?

- Kruger, sir. Boat group.

- Kruger.

California will miss you

at quarterback next fall, son.

Mr. Kruger, all officers

not on watch...

will assemble in the wardroom

in five minutes.

Aye, aye, sir. Yes, sir.

And the assistant boat group

commander-Lieutenant Sherwood.

How do you do?

He adds some culture

to the ship.

He was Literature instructor

at Yale.

Princeton, Commander Quigley.

I'm Dr. Flynn,

senior surgeon, sir.

- Doctor.

- Dr. Bell and Dr. Gates.

Dr. Bell. Dr. Gates.

I'm impressed

with the civilian background...

of my medical officers.

I'm looking forward to catching

something requiring treatment.

I doubt you'll have

much opportunity...

to practice your specialty,

Dr. Gates.

- Obstetrics, wasn't it?

- Yes, sir.

And your first lieutenant, sir-

Mr. Fraser.

Considering your experience,

I'll have the best...

deck department in the fleet.

Thank you, Captain.

And the signal

and recognition officer-

Ensign Twitchell.

I'll do my best for you

and your executive officer.

Let's hope it'll be good enough.

And your boat group commander-

Lieutenant MacDougall.

I'm gratified you were assigned

to my ship.

Glad to be aboard, sir.

Please sit down, gentlemen.

So lacking in dignity.

This casual popping aboard

at 3:
00 in the morning.

War or not, we should have some

kind of impressive ceremony.

Dress blues and all that.


We have a new ship.

With the exception

of our chiefs,

we also have an almost totally

inexperienced crew.

When I speak of you as being

without experience,

I don't mean it as a criticism.

It's a situation

we're always in...

when war is suddenly

thrust upon us.

Failing to remember the past,

we're doomed to repeat it.

We have to make the most

of what we have...

and pray that it's enough.

How you as individuals

will weather...

the months or years that

lie ahead is an imponderable,

but this ship is not.

The Belinda

is an attack transport,


of all amphibious types.

An attack transport's

main battery...

unfortunately is not her guns.

It's her boats.

The singular duty

of this ship...

is to carry a combat-loaded

battalion landing team...

of some 1,400 officers

and men...

and land them, together

with all necessary equipment,

right in the laps

of the enemy.

You will learn how

to accomplish this...

easily, I hope...

or, if you prefer, as painfully

as you wish.

Commander Quigley.

Is the Belinda ready for sea?

Um, yes, sir.

Very good.

The Belinda will get under way

for a shakedown cruise at 0630.

Destination is Pearl Harbor.

Good morning, gentlemen.

Carry on.

And you, Mr. O'Bannion,

are my beachmaster.

Yes, sir.

I was sleeping,

and I wasn't on duty-

Mr. O'Bannion,

on my ship, every officer's

on duty 24 hours a day.

Yes, sir.

Old shipmate told me about him.

He was skipper of a destroyer

that sunk...

when the Japs tried to take

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Ted Sherdeman

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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