Synopsis: Major Chick Davis proves to the U.S. Army the superiority of high altitude precision bombing, and establishes a school for bombardiers. Training is followed in semi-documentary style, with personal dramas in subplots. The climax is a spectacular, if somewhat jingoistic, battle sequence.
Genre: Drama, War
Production: RKO Pictures
99 min

I want you to know about

a new kind of American soldier,

the most important

of all our fighting men today.

He is most important

because upon him,

finally depends the success of any

mission in which he participates.

The greatest bombing plane

in the world, with its combat crew,

takes him into battle,

through weather,

through enemy opposition, just so he

may have 30 seconds over the target.

In those 30 seconds,

he must vindicate

the greatest responsibility

ever placed upon an individual

soldier in line of duty.

I want you to know about him,

and about those who had the faith

and vision and foresight to bring

him into being,

to fit him for his task,

long months before our war began.

"Who is he? This soldier who rides

alone, who must think alone,

"and who must act alone in a war

which can be won or lost by the..."



That's the way the German

dive bombers do it.

I think you'll all admit they're

good at it, and if events should

lead us into this war

I don't think anyone who will deny

the fact that we have got

to be better.

If events should force us into this

war, there's only one thing to do -

train pilots by the thousands -

hundreds of thousands.

Sacrifice everything else.

Well, gentlemen, you've just

seen one side of the subject

under discussion. Any comments?

I'll argue with anyone who doesn't

realise that someday

Bombardiers will be recognised

as the spearhead of our force.

Plane crews, ground crews,

the supply lines behind them,

the factories here at home,

all working on one thing -

to provide a Bombardier with

30 seconds to hit a target.

I don't want to seem opinionated,

but after one year as observer

with the Royal Air Force,

my unqualified opinion is

that Bombardiers should be trained

by their own pilots and squadron.

That's the system the English and

Germans use and I've seen it work.

Yeah, I know - you've seen a lot,

but perhaps there's something

that you have never seen work.

And what might that be, Major Davis?

Our bombsight, affectionately

known as the Golden Goose.

The Golden Goose, huh? I hope I don't

end up talking nursery rhymes.

Put it on the table, men.


All right, we'll have a look at it.


Captain Oliver...

meet the Golden Goose.

Where do I put my penny to

see the goose lay an egg?

Right in there, and you get it

back if it doesn't lay the bomb

right on the top of a barrel at

24,000ft or dot an "i" at 18,000ft.

You're looking at a bombsight to

put anything in Europe out of date.

I'm still against the idea.

The way to hit is to have pilots

who'll bring a ship

so close to the target that a bomb

can't miss, and I say train them.

Forget about everything else.

Captain Oliver, you'll see the day

when a pilot will be nothing more

than a taxi driver

to drive a Bombardier to his target.

Not from where I'm sitting, Major.


you're my witnesses.

I'm challenging Captain Oliver

to a bombing duel.

Dive-bombing versus high-altitude

precision bombing.

This is something new.

The Military Affairs Committee

should have front-row seats.

What do you say, Buck -

is it a deal?

It's a deal, Chick.

Captain Oliver to Operations.

292 observation post,

ready for my attack release.

This is your last chance, Captain.

Yes, sir - I've just been warming up.

This is it.


What a little anti-aircraft

couldn't do to that baby.


All right, Major - you're up.

All right, gentlemen.

I'll be right up there, 20,000ft.

You won't be able to see me -

just keep your eye on the target.

Where is he?

I can't see anything.

We were under the impression

this was a bombing demonstration -

not an altitude test.

This is a precision bombing

mission at 20,000ft.

And we're lucky that Major Davis

is up there instead of down here,

talking your arm off about it.

Navigator, what do you

think of precision bombing?

I don't know, sir.

Don't know, huh?

Bombardier to pilot,

Bombardier to pilot.

Altitude 20,130ft.

Let's fly a 90-degree heading.

Ready to open bomb bay doors.

"All right, sir.

"On course and level, your ship."

Bombs away.




You don't know, huh?

Well, he showed me.

That's remarkable.

Impressive, General. Thank you.

Lucky stiff.

Read that back.

Burton Hughes, Hughes Field,

Almansor, New Mexico.

Dear Burt, when the securing of

property for the new training centre

first received approval,

I immediately tossed your name

in the hat. That's right.

All I had to do really was...

to remind them that Hughes Field

belonged to General Hughes, your dad,

the greatest man

ever to climb into a cockpit.

So you can blame me for turning

your highly respectable

civilian flying school

into a Bombardiers' training post.

It all started as a crazy experiment

perpetrated by an old friend of mine,

Major Chick Davis.

Personally, I'm afraid he's due

for a nosedive.

Whoever heard of building a vault

to keep at trick glass eye in?

They'll probably use it for

a mausoleum one of these days,

to bury poor old Chick and his dream.

I suppose Chick's assistants

have already got the first classes

of cadets under way

and almost any day now Major Davis

will be arriving to take charge.

How do you like it here, Sergeant?

Very well, sir.

We'll change that - from now

on it's the Bombardier School.

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John Twist

John Twist (July 14, 1898 – February 11, 1976) was an American screenwriter whose career spanned four decades. Born John Stuart Twist in Albany, Missouri, he began his career in the silent film era, providing the story for such films as Breed of Courage, Blockade, and The Big Diamond Robbery. He earned his first screenwriting credit for The Yellowback in 1929. Twist died in Beverly Hills, California. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Bombardier" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 29 May 2024. <>.

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