Saturday, January 31, 2009

Previously undocumented Navy training film

A friend recently sent me the following screen grabs from a training film, which was part of a series produced at Disney's in 1943 for the Navy. While almost all of the Studio's training films were produced in black and white, for some reason two of the films in this series were produced in color - you're looking at shots from one of them.

The agency of the film was produced for, the Naval Air Operational Training Command, was stationed at Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida. JAX, as the base was referred to, started life as a Primary Flight School, where new pilots learned the basics. As the war progressed, JAX became one of the so-called "top gun" schools, where the cream of Navy pilots received advanced instruction in fighter tactics.

As an interesting side-note, the Studio designed five different combat insignia for units stationed at the base, beginning with the first created in March 1941.

There is a lot more information about this previously unknown and undocumented series of training films, which I hope to be able to share with you at a later date, but for now, enjoy the accompanying image!

1 comment:

Tangaroa said...

Excellent... thanks for sharing this. I've been helping transcribe an interview from the 70s with animator Art Scott for Didier Ghez's "Walt's People" series. Scott was an animator in the Jacksonville unit, which worked under supervision from Ub Iwerks.

I wonder if this is one of the films Scott worked on - they were brought down to work with Jimmy Thach, who had invented the "Thach Weave" to help Allied fighters defeat the more nimble Zeros. The Navy was eager to get Thach's tactics out to as many fliers as possible, hence the training films.

Anyway, hope Didier doesn't mind me "spoiling" a bit of the upcoming interview, but I thought it was an interesting connection!