20th Century Fox makes a movie about the USS Yorktown: The Fighting Lady
Robert Taylor narrates;
"It is a fine sunlit morning in 1943, somewhere off the Atlantic seaboard, an aircraft carrier, powerful, serene, cleaves through the water. Above, in the glaring heavens, a throbbing noise is heard. Scores of planes, fresh from the assembly line, are coming "home" to their new base.
The Fighting Lady is new. Eighty five percent of her crew is green. It the skipper's, Captain "Jocko" Clark's, job to whip them into shape. The Fighting Lady's destination is a closely guarded secret, but no one can hide the fact that the ship is entering tropical water.
Life settles into monotony. Weeks pass. The green crew becomes efficient. The men, over 3,000 strong, hide their nervousness. When a fleet tanker refuels the ship at sea, the crew knows they will be out for a long, long time.
Then one day, "pilots, man your planes!" They are to strike at Marcus Island, deep within the ring of enemy defenses. Taking the enemy completely off guard, they leave Marcus a lovely mess. The ship's brood is growing up. Fighting through a swarm of Zeros, they set Kwajalein afire; Army men and Marines hit the beach-Kwajalein is ours.
Truk is the next target. For two days, tankers and ammunition ships are riddled with shells and left sinking and burning. This time some planes do not return. Others, riddle by enemy fire, feel their way back onto the carrier deck. But losses are light.
Now the Fighting Lady, with many new faces (replacements) aboard, becomes part of a mighty task force-Task Force 58. The force is joined by Navy transports crammed with Marines. Another amphibious assault is in the making. This time the objective is the Marianas. The men aboard the Fighting Lady prepare for battle-physically and spiritually. The waiting is interminable.
Then it comes. The ship is attacked. Jap torpedo planes skim low over the water. When the haze of battle smoke clears, nineteen Jap planes are burning on the sea. Not a single carrier is hit.
Made at the height of World War II and considered one of the best documentaries of that time, this film records the life of the aircraft carrier Yorktown from her launching in 1943 through her victorious sweep across the Pacific--including unsurpassed color footage of a suicide attack by Kamikaze pilots. It received the Academy Award for Best Documentary as well as a Special Documentary Award from the New York Film Critics.
This release includes an update showing the Carrier Aviation's National Memorial Hall of Fame aboard the USS Yorktown CV-10. Narrated by Robert Taylor.
USA, 1944, Color, 57 minutes.
Now the carrier's planes take off. Plane after plane wings from the flight deck and bores toward the Marianas and Guam. Scores of Jap bombers are smashed on the ground. Oil dumps are blown up The planes return for refueling, and the surface vessels blast all life from the shores which the Marines are to take. Several of the Fighting Lady's planes are crippled. Incredible heroism is exhibited by the ship's crew in rescuing pilots from planes which land afire.
The comes the word: "Enemy planes attacking!" They are beaten off. The Fighting Lady miraculously escapes unhurt.
The Jap fleet is spotted, and our planes spring to the attack. Hundreds of Jap planes contest the way. This day is still called the "Marianas Turkey Shoot." 360 Jap planes are shot down in this single day-to our loss of 22 planes.
Now our planes spot the Imperial Battle Fleet. The dive bombers peel off; the torpedo planes bore in low; the fighters strafe the decks, their machine guns blazing. A Jap flattop is sunk. A destroyer and cruiser suffer direct hits.
The planes return to the Fighting Lady. Several of them are limping badly. But they have done a good day's work. 17 Jap warships have been sunk or severely damaged.
But we have not come through unscathed. Some of our pilots will never return from this strike against Jap held strongholds. Some who do come back will never fight again. But many more will return to smash again and again at the Japanese. And others will come forward to take the places of those who did not return. For the battles The Fighting Lady fought on the seas and in the sky are only the beginning-the beginning of the end for the Sons of Nippon."
click here for nearly 60 scenes from the movie The Fighting Lady
click here for 15 one minute segments from The Fighting Lady.
Scrappy, the dog "star" of "The Fighting Lady" goes AWOL
Further note from Bernard Hartz firstname.lastname@example.org son of former crewmember Bernard R. Hartz (1923-1992) MUS 2nd Class 1943-1945
When the Yorktown was in port and the crew returned from shore leave, it was customary to bring a crate, box, trash can, barrel, or whatever was stacked up on the dock. That shortened the time for the work party to bring supplies aboard later.
Some Yorktown band members spotted this little pooch wandering around the docks of Pearl Harbor, and on the spur of the moment, caught the little fellow, put him in a trash can and stowed him away until the ship was out to sea for several hours.
Occasionally you could see Scrappy walk between the planes parking on the flight deck. Scrappy was the ship's mascot. Unlike the large dogs seen on other ships, Scrappy was just a small dog. There was the reason for this; Scrappy was small enough to walk under the whirling propellers. He would jump at a plane, prance around it, and then walk off looking victorious. he had challenged the roaring, fire spitting monster, and it just sat there, afraid to attack him! The crew always brought Scrappy bits of food from the mess deck. With Scrappy around, the tensions of the war were sometimes eased.
But, Scrappy didn't like being drafted into the US Navy. Some months later, when the Yorktown was in port again, Scrappy wandered off the ship...never to sail again.
Scrappy probably wasn't interested in all this "hero" stuff and just wanted to get away from all that "boom, boom, boom" all the time!
Note: The Fighting Lady is shown daily on board the USS Yorktown at Patriot's Point, South Carolina.
Further note from Captain Dale Potts, USNR (ret) email@example.com Thought your readers would be happy to know that the movie "The Fighting Lady" still plays a vital role in the fleet. I have a nephew on the carrier, USS JOHN F KENNEDY. He tells me that the movies is part of the orientation process for new crewmembers. They also play it for morale building purposes while out on deployment.
Another Movie called "Men Of The Fighting Lady" (1954)
Synopsis: The story centers around the "Fighting Lady" which is an aircraft carrier stationed off Korea in the Sea of Japan. Says Jason W. Smith, "
Perhaps the most under-rated war film ever made, "Men of the Fighting Lady" is a fine piece of work. Like James Michener's "Bridges at Toko-Ri" this story centers on Naval Aviation during the Korean War. Taken from stories originally published in "The Saturday Evening Post," this is an engrossing and moving story with acting that is first class (Walter Pidgeon and Van Johnson head an outstanding cast of familiar faces). Though the print is decidedly more grainy than that of "Bridges at Toko-Ri" (both movies use some of the same footage) the story is just as compelling.
The tale of Ensign Ken Shechter, based on "The Case of the Blind Pilot," is
knuckle-biting to say the least. Far more captivating and emotionally taxing
than "Top Gun," "Men of the Fighting Lady" must surely be ranked
among the great war films. It is guaranteed to please. Don't forget to chuckle
at "Ski," the absolute embodiment of the typical airplane maintenance chief."
Join the USS US Navy click here