S u m m a r y
||The Fighting 51st Korea
available online from Wade Meyers Studios
||Great wartime footage of a
neglected conflict, terrific inspiration for modellers.
Reviewed by Floyd S. Werner Jr.
HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com
Korea - the
forgotten war. Until viewing this DVD I couldn’t remember the last time
I saw anything about Korea.
The DVD starts out with an Air Force documentary entitled “Thunder from
the Sky - The Tactical Air Forces in Korea.” Some of the unique footage
includes C-47s with loud speakers. This is not your typical
configuration for the cargo plane and would make an interesting
conversion. F-80 Shooting Stars, T-6 Texans and Skyraiders are shown in
action. It seemed strange to see the T-6 with rockets and gun pods.
While a great trainer it would seem slow to me. That shows how much the
UN forces were caught off guard by the North Korean invasion. F-80s and
F-84s are seen making gun runs. It is interesting to note the speed
differences from the WWII camera footage. These pilots were really on
the cutting edge. A couple of shots that were unique were shots from
trailing aircraft bombing targets. An airplane that was instrumental in
the war was the B-26 Invader. The amount of ordanance this airplane can
carry is phenomenal. You are treated to guns, rockets, and bombs. It is
a flying battleship.
following video is a bunch of F-80s strafing and bombing targets in full
color over a snow cover landscape. They go straight down and enter into
napalm runs. Beautiful inflight shots and attacks highlight the team
work required in the jet age. The F-80 can carry a bunch of different
ordanance and you see all of them and in action too. There are huge
bombs, napalm and rockets.
The next series features Sabres and Mig-15s fighting it out in Mig
Alley. Gleaming Mig-15s are being shot down left and right. The video is
even better than “Dogfights”.
The Navy isn’t forgotten and they are highlighted in the next sequence
in beautiful color. Skyraiders resplendid in navy blue. This aircraft is
a flying ammo dump and doesn’t even require the catapult to get that off
the deck. Amazing. Panthers are seen launching with helicopters hovering
in the back ground. Very reminiscent of “Bridges of Toko-Ri”. I was
looking for Fourney and his green top hat. Corsairs are shown being
bombed up with rockets, bombs, napalm and extra fuel tanks. Both the
Corsair and the Skyraiders don’t use a catapult despite having every lug
and hard point being loaded up to the teeth.
Some of the protective ships are seen providing the screens around the
carrier and the seas are not very smooth. After watching the carrier
deck pitch down into the water it became obvious to me why I became an
Army pilot. It is hard to fly when you are green. Seeing the aircraft go
feet dry, Skyraiders are loaded down with everything, including the
kitchen sink. What a great aircraft. Marine Corsairs are highlighted
going in low level and shooting up everything. Then those F4U-4s come in
for landing and again I remembered why I fly helicopters. They literally
plant them on the deck. It is amazing that the landing gear doesn’t come
up through the wings. The deck hands coordinate the ballet on the flight
deck, landing aircraft and elevator operations all at the same time.
Return from Mig Alley brings the return of a WWII icon, Francis “Gabby”
Gabreski lands his F-86E-10-NA complete with “Gabby” markings and four
red stars. Gabby gives a propaganda pep talk in front of serial number
51-2740. It seems highly dubbed as sometimes the words do not quite
synch up with the lips. Another sequence occurs when Gabby makes jet ace
in FU-734 and it isn’t his airplane.
Gabby is the feature of the next Air Force Propoganda film which gives
this film its title, “The Fighting 51st”. Gabby gives the old teamwork
pep talk as he briefs new crews, maintainers and weather people. You can
say whatever you like but when you see the rivets on the F-86s they are
quite noticeable. There are various shots of nose art and maintenance
actions. Diorama ideas are abundant with revetments and PSP taxiways.
There are good air-to-air shots of Mig-15s being shot down.
A full color John Ford documentary, “This is Korea-7th Fleet and 1st
Marine Division” is the next offering. Real closeups of napalm attacks
and battleship salvos. The documentary is very anti-Communist. Try as
they might the Marines look beaten and lack the winning look of a WWII
documentary. M-26 Pershing tanks are shown in action, as well as a few
M-4 Shermans. Interestingly, is the use of guilt in this documentary. It
is unlike any WWII documentary that I can remember seeing. Chesty Puller
the four time Navy Cross winner is shown to be the great Marine that he
was. Refueling in heavy seas will impress you with the amount of
coordination and level of difficulty. The Mighty Mo is highlighted.
Corsairs and Skyraiders are shown with the Skyraiders in a very close
formation. The attack aircraft shoot off some rockets and the
documentary ends as does the DVD.
Korea was a unique war and coverage of it seems to be lacking. This DVD
gathers a significant amount of video footage and presents it in a clear
format. The film, both color and black and white are representative of
the harsh conditions in the war. This DVD is typical of the quality
historical video I’ve come to expect from Victory Films. They present a
unique war time view of the conflict.
recommend this title and the rest of the series. Great research
material, color and B&W film makes these DVDs a great value for the
Thanks to Wade Meyers and
for the review copy.
Review Copyright © 2007 by Floyd S. Werner Jr.
This Page Created on 21 October, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007
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