I missed one item of avionics. In the SBD close shots, you can see the type DU radio direction finding loop directly to the fore of the rear gunner.
I did not want to give a negative impression of the film, despite my comments on occasional technical inaccuracies. I thoroughly enjoyed the
carrier deck scenes. The starting up of the bombers and the coughing of their engines, a distinctive wonderful sound. I was impressed with how
difficult it was for the rear gunner to defend against fast, jinking fighter planes. The scene with the line of 'sweepers' checking the carrier deck
for loose detritus after – action is spot on. Clearly the producers did homework. The pilots' ready room was also very realistic, I thought, and
included the status board up front. And so on.
Years ago, in the 1990s when I lived in Seattle, I met a gentleman, Donald R. Blaney ( SK ), who had flown as rear gunner in a TBF off the carrier
Gambier Bay. This carrier was sunk in the 'Battle off Samar', part of the 'Sea Battle of Leyte Gulf'. He told me about diving on Japanese ships,
even after bombs and ammunition was expended, to try to distract the enemy from pounding our own ships. He said they were firing every
caliber of weapon at the diving planes. Without a carrier to return to, the planes flew on and landed in the Philippines. He also described once,
feeling bored and depressed, he went out and crawled into his plane and tuned the plane's ARB receiver to listen to the Tokyo Rose broadcast.
Now of course, I wish I had interviewed him in greater length. There has been a precipitous drop in the number of those witnesses in the years since,
and now they are very few.