American soldiers train in jungle warfare in Panama during World War II. Soldiers walk across a dense forest. They cross a pond. The soldiers seated on the ground as they eat.
USS Lexington (CV-2) passing through the Gaillard Cut of the Panama Canal as she heads into the Pacific Ocean during World War 2, Her deck is full of aircraft. Sailors perform routine chores, mopping and cleaning. They stow propellers in the hangar deck. Sailors at mess in the dining hall and ready to sleep in their bunks. Officers in the ward room. Aviators discussing air navigation. Air crews receiving orders on flight deck. During an interlude crew members enjoy themselves swimming in tropical waters. They dive from the flight deck, from a lower section of the ship, and even from the ship's anchor. Sailors seen climbing the anchor chain. In an exercise of combat readiness, sailor sounds general quarters with bugle over ship's intercom. Aviators respond and are briefed about mission. Deck crews make aircraft ready for flight. Pilots run to F4F airplanes. Douglas Dauntless aircraft start their engines on deck.
Aftermath of Pearl Harbor attack. People in Oahu, Hawaii, prepare to deal with more air attacks by Japanese. Armed U.S. soldier in sandbagged position, in Hawaii. The territorial governor of Hawaii, Joseph Poindexter, signing a declaration of Martial Law. Four thousand members of Oahu's Civil Defense Committee, dressed in dark bottoms and white tops, wearing steel helmets with "W" on them, standing at attention in formation on grounds of a stadium. Windows in all downtown shops taped to prevent flying glass. Sand bags surrounding a power substation. Huge quantities of barbed wire in a storage yard and strung along the beaches, along highways, around schools, and public buildings of Oahu. A man pushing a lawn mower between sandbagged defense positions in a residential neighborhood. Construction machinery digging defensive trenches. Bomb shelters being constructed of precast concrete. Air raid sirens installed and school children leaving their building and sheltering in deep trenches during a test. Very small children taking shelter in zig-zag trenches and donning gas masks. Huge assemblies of children, and of grownups, all donning gas masks. Little children being dressed in capsule-like "bunny mask" protective gear.One of them crying inside the covering. Crowds of women and children lined up on a veranda waiting to receive these "bunny masks." Military personnel, civilians, and school children, all carrying personal gas masks with them at all times. Innumerable old rubber tires saved in an open yard. Japanese-Americans donating blood to the American Red Cross and lined up to buy war bonds. Soldiers arresting a Japanese resident known to be an enemy agent. Boarded up shops of Japanese-Americans, who had been interned. Japanese-Americans removing all Japanese language signs from their areas. Language school buildings with closed signs. An empty and boarded-up Shinto temple. One Japanese-American replacing his cafe sign with one reading: "Keep 'Em Flying Cafe." U.S. Army troops posted on roadways. The Aloha Tower in camouflage paint. A Lurline steamship leaving port, and being replaced by warships. Prewar view of people enjoying Waikakee beach, and current view of two boys playing in sand near barbed wire barriers. City streets deserted at twilight, as blackout procedures take effect at dusk. Views of darkened homes and palm trees silhouetted against sky at dusk. The "ghost" of a sailor killed in World War II, stands in front of Arlington cemetery, Washington, DC, and converses with the ghost of a soldier killed in World War I. They discuss idealistic notions about ending wars for good. Displays of flags is seen, including: Australia; Belgium; Brazil; Canada; China; Costa Rica; Cuba; Czechoslovakia; Dominican Republic; England; Ethopia; Greece; Guatemala; Haiti; Honduras; India; Yugoslavia; Luxembourg; Mexico; The Netherlands; New Zealand; Nicaragua; Norway; Panama; The Philippines; Poland; Russia; El Salvador; South Africa; and the U.S.A. "V" created in the sky by a skywriting airplane.
View of Diamond Head, framed by palm trees on Waikaki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii. Street scene with building. Inside, a sign reading: "Commander in Chief U.S. Pacific Fleet." In his office, Admiral Chester Nimitz is seen holding a staff meeting. He and one of his staff look over charts with magnifying glasses. Animated map shows prospective supply lines overwater to Australia from Pearl Harbor and Panama. View of U.S. supply ships in a convoy underway in the Pacific Ocean. Soldiers in life vests looking over the railing of a troop ship. Animated map shows threats from Japanese bases in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands in World War 2. Task Force 8, assembled around the Aircraft Carrier Enterprise (CV-6) prepares to attack Japanese positions in the Marshall Islands. The Cruiser, USS Salt Lake City (CA-25) in calm waters. Deck of the Aircraft carrier Enterprise, filled with F4F aircraft with engines running. A Douglas SBD Dauntless aircraft takes off from the Enterprise. View from the carrier as the Cruiser Salt Lake City passes to starboard. U.S. Cruisers begin naval bombardment. Smoke rising from burning shore installation. Formation of Douglas SBD Dauntless aircraft overhead. Port in Australia, with ships docked and a sentry patrolling. Soldiers waving from a troop ship arriving. Troops disembarking. Body of a P-38 aircraft being offloaded. A Cruiser docked at end of wharf.
A film on the history of U.S. soldiers. Various American landscape wide views, some with roads, some with natural features. Plains, deserts, mountains in the United States. A mountainous area in the western United States. A snowcapped mountain in the background. Three elderly United States Civil War veteran soldiers, both Union and Confederate, walking together in a American military cemetery. United States Army soldiers wearing helmets and marching at an Army base or encampment. U.S. soldiers marching on Constitution Avenue in Washington DC during a parade. They hold rifles and a soldier holds the U.S. flag. U.S. Army cavalry unit riding on horses in formation. Elevated view of an American city square with snow capped mountains rising in the background. Other American cities in the west with city center areas, pedestrians, and 1930s and 1940s automobiles on the roads. Cars parked at a large industrial factory with a water tower rising up. Aerial view of an urban, western United States city with a bridge over water in background. Aerial views of various American cities. United States Army infantry soldiers march along a road and then cavalry are seen galloping by on horses. A railroad train approaching the camera and then passing by at high speed, with views of the locomotive, cars, wheels, and railroad tracks. View of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. Point of view shot from front of moving railroad train in Colorado on the edge of gorge near the Rocky Mountains. A river steamboat or paddle steamer with a bridge in the background. Men harvesting sugar cane in Cuba. Lock gates on the Panama Canal opening, as seen from a ship waiting to enter. A World War I memorial sculpture honoring American soldiers.
Construction of the Panama Canal connecting the Caribbean Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. Views of abandoned and failed first attempt by French team led by Ferdinand de Lesseps, with scenes of Panama natives cutting vegetation with machetes. Scene of abandoned canal work area. Scenes of United States work to build the canal beginning in 1903. Steam shovels digging and moving earth. Laborers construct railroad for use in canal building. General Glen Edgerton talks about the construction difficulties from malaria, and the worker prescription of quinine three times daily. Views of British and French workers on the site working and arriving by rail to work. Dynamite explosion removes rumble for railroad construction. View of locks under construction 1000 feet long and 110 feet wide. Excerpt from interview with former Canal Zone Governor and Congressman Maurice Thatcher, who characterizes the project as the greatest liberty that man had ever taken with nature. (Thatcher was honored when the first bridge connecting both sides of the Panama Canal was named after him as "Thatcher Ferry Bridge". In 1979 the name was officially changed to the Bridge of the Americas.) Clip next shows 1970's aerial view of the Panama Canal. Ships moving through the Panama Canal.