Saturday, February 21, 2015

Retro Saturday: The Air Force Missile Mission

Click the arrow to watch the film. Video source: PeriscopeFilm YouTube channel.

This week's Retro Saturday is a 1959 U.S. Air Force Film titled The Air Force Missile Mission. Narrated by actor James Stewart, it's a 24-minute overview of the relative merits between planes and missiles as military weapons.

The focus, of course, is on Air Force missiles. In the 1950s, all three military branches had rockets as weapons, but by the end of the decade the Army was phasing out its ballistic missile programs.

Jimmy Stewart had a distinguished career as a military pilot. He joined the Army Air Corps (the forerunner of the Air Force) in March 1941. He flew combat missions in B-24 bombers over Nazi-occupied Europe, and by war's end held the rank of full colonel. Although he resumed his acting career after the war, Stewart remained active in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. His first film after the war? It's a Wonderful Life. Perhaps you've heard of it.

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