Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Last Flight Home DVD|
Actors: Dr. Patrick Scannon, Flip Colmer, Valerie Thal-Slocum
Director: Jennifer Powers;Daniel T. O'Brien
Genres: Educational, Documentary
They bravely served their country during some of the most brutal battles of World War II so we could have the freedom we enjoy today. But, in an instant, they were lost to their families forever. For more than 60 years, th... more »
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James Hooper | England | 01/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Last Flight Home
I want to tell you about Last Flight Home and Jimmie Doyle and his son Tommy. Before I do, it's only fair that I declare a personal interest: my father was a naval aviator during WWII and flew many missions against the Japanese during the same period and not far from where this superb film is set. But I get ahead of myself ...
Jimmie Doyle was a crew member of Babes in Arms, an Army Air Corps B-24 Liberator based in New Guinea. Back home in Texas, a son was just learning to walk. On August 29th, 1944, he wrote to his wife Myrle: "Dear Precious ... maybe it won't be too long until the day when I will be home and we will be together again. With your arms around me I can forget all of this and settle down to spending years with you. ... tomorrow is a busy day, and I have to get up early, so I'll stop for tonight ... with all of my love, Jimmy."
For reasons unknown today, the next morning he was assigned to another B-24 that took off to bomb Japanese forces in the Palau Islands. Anti-aircraft fire sent the four-engine bomber plunging thousands of feet into the lagoon. Three parachutes were seen. All eleven crewmen were listed as missing in action. None came home.
In 1993, as part of an expedition searching for a Japanese trawler sunk by Ensign George H. W. Bush in July 1944, Dr Pat Scannon saw an aircraft wing near the Palau shoreline. His guide knew nothing of its origin or the fate of the crew. "You can't have this kind of catastrophic failure without death," Scannon said, "and the scene just overwhelmed me ... I didn't want them to be forgotten." Six years later, the BentProp Project took form.
More than 200 Marine, Navy, and Army Air Corps planes were lost over the Palau archipelago, where Scannon and his team of volunteers use their vacation time to search for crash sites. Their annual trips have recovered the remains of more than fifteen MIAs, whose surviving family members knew only that a father, brother, or husband died defending his country there.
Jennifer Powers and Dan O'Brien's film is part history lesson, part detective story, and all human interest, segueing effortlessly from jungle and watery searches, to profiles of lost airmen, to interviews with their families. While each of the vignettes is guaranteed to touch your heart, none is more moving than the discovery of a sunken B-24. Matching serial numbers with US Air Force records proved it was the Liberator Jimmie Doyle boarded a few hours after writing to his young wife. Half a world away, his son Tommy received a telephone call from Pat Scannon.
"That was just like a dream come true that wasn't ever going to," Tommy remembered. "Somebody's actually found this thing, sixty years on ..."
Tommy and his wife, schoolteachers in Snyder, Texas, agonized over what to do. "We finally told ourselves - we can't pass this up," Nancy Doyle said. "We just bit the bullet and pulled out the credit card and went."
In Palau, wearing scuba gear for only the second time, and with the BentProp Team hovering protectively, Tommy was taken to the bottom of the lagoon.
"[My father] was the tail gunner," Tommy says. "There was a hole sorta under the bottom, and I tried to get in as far as I could. . . And to think that ... I may be within ten or fifteen feet of where he died. And to touch the plane that he died in and to think that probably about over there somewhere were his remains - that's pretty, I don't know what the word is. But it grabs your whole heart and twists it in knots, I'll tell you that.
"And we had a little conversation. Nobody else's business, but we had a little conversation in there. And I don't know how to describe it, except that it was just - it was like we made contact. It was like I got to say some things to my dad that I'd never said before."
Last Flight Home is a testament to fallen warriors, the families
who remember them, and a small group of men and women dedicated
to finding and honoring them.
As I said at the beginning, my father flew in that war. He came
home. Jimmie Doyle and thousands of others did not.
Last Flight Home- DVD
Kevin D | New Jersey | 12/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this film advertised on the history channel during Military week and knew I had to add this to my Library. This DVD traces the lives of lost soldiers (Typically airmen) from their entrance into the service, to their disappearance. It lets you learn who these men were, and see the impact their loss and ultimate recovery has/had on their family. It is a heartwarming display of patriotism and shows closure while remaining constantly reverent to the deceased and their family. This is a truly inspiration and educational film."