John Ford was one of the greatest directors of Hollywood’s Golden Era. He directed over 140 films over a span of 50 years. He was also a patriot and was commissioned as an officer in the US Naval Reserve during World War II. He made films for the Navy working for the Office of Strategic Services. The OSS was the predecessor agency to the CIA and Ford’s job was to make movies detailing naval activities for home front audiences.
One of the films he made, for which he won an Academy Award was titled “The Battle of Midway”. It was only
It’s a historically important movie because unlike land battles, images are what we have by which to remember most sea battles. It’s not as if you can walk around the battleground and look at relics of the battle. The film is less than 20 minutes long and well worth watching.
Ford also made a shorter, mostly forgotten movie. “Torpedo Squadron 8” was filmed before the battle of Midway and all but one of the naval aviators shown in the film died early in the battle when they attacked the Japanese fleet. Ford was on the USS Hornet and filmed the squadron. After the battle was over, Ford edited the footage into a short film and copies were presented to the families of the fallen sailors. The flim was not released to the public until well after World War II. It is a fitting tribute to the sacrifices made by members of the Armed Forces during World War II and beyond.