Combat Color Film — Pacific Fighter Aerial Combat and Strafing

Rare color gun camera films show AAF fighters engaging Japanese aircraft and targets on the ground near the end of World War II in the Pacific.
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The film is silent; actual air-cooled .50-caliber machine gun sounds and additional audio were added. Some viewers liked the audio, some muted it, and a few complained about it. We have a hard time figuring out the fuss — if you want it the way it originally was, simply mute it and enjoy it your way. And we get it that some of you don’t like this audio. It was what we had available back when this was produced, but we are looking at other options for future productions. And to answer other questions that crop up — yes, this is color, and no, they did not always use black-and-white film in gun camera magazines. If you have seen any of this footage elsewhere in black-and-white, that is because after the original was shot in color, it could be used in other black-and-white productions of the era; it was much easier to copy and process black and white than color film. We have noticed this as we research archival film holdings. Some color footage shows up elsewhere in black and white. And yes, this is Pacific footage; no, you don’t see German aircraft in here even if you think some of the airframes resemble them. And yes, Japan is verdant and green like this, and AAF P-51s were making ground attacks on Japan proper in the summer of 1945. Since Japan used small boats as picket ships to warn Japanese fighters and antiaircraft defenses of incoming Allied aircraft, such boats could be considered valid targets to be disabled.

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World War II combat camera footage against the Luftwaffe and ground targets:

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