Merchant Marine Officer candidates learn seamanship at a basic school in Pass Christian, Mississippi. A doctor undertakes the physical examination of a seaman with a stethoscope. A sign: 'US Merchant Marine Cadet Basic School' on a gate. Merchant Marine Officer candidates enter the gate. The Merchant Marine Academy cadets try on uniforms. They stand at attention and take an oath to defend the U.S. and serve Marine Navy. The cadets sleep in bunk beds. They get up as an alarm rings and get ready. They gather on a ground. Ceremonies are conducted. The cadets salute as U.S. flag is hoisted. The candidates learn how to knot ropes. They learn how to row and sail boats. The candidates learn how to operate guns and how to transfer men via cables.
Merchant Marine Academy officer candidates learn seamanship at at a basic school in Pass Christian, Mississippi. The candidates march and stand at attention as their training is over. After the training two candidates meet a Cadet Corps officer. They board a ship and meet another officer. The Merchant Marine Academy candidates change their uniform. They supervise a cargo. A candidate operates an equipment aboard the ship. They make engine room repairs. A convoy at sea.
A summary report purporting to reflect phases of Japanese so-called "Tanaka Plan" beginning with Conquest of Manchuria, followed by Conquest of China; establishment of bases in South Pacific; and Conquest of the United States. Animated map shows pressure by German forces in offensive against Soviet Union and illustrates German air war against Britain. Scenes of bombing destruction in Britain, including overturned double-decker bus in ruins of buildings. A Nelson Class British battleship viewed from dead ahead. She is followed by the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious. The U.S. Capitol building in Washington, DC. American newspaper headline reads:"Navy Bill Passes House." and "Huge Sum Voted for Two Ocean Navy." A line of U.S. Navy battleships underway, led by the USS Mississippi (BB-41). A field full of U.S. M3 Lee tanks moving in formation, as they are overflown by several Douglas B-18 bombers. Assembled Japanese leaders in a forum. Japanese Naval officers in a planning conference. Closeup shows Admirals Shigeyoshi Inoue and Raizō Tanaka pointing at a chart and conversing as other officers look on. Next, bomb bursts and black smoke rises as the attack on Pearl Harbor is underway. The USS West Virginia, USS Tennessee, and the USS Arizona, burning on Battleship row, during the attack. Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek with staff officers walks to a waiting car. Forces allied with China, including American troops marching; British troops marching; and Dutch Colonial troops marching (in Batavia, the Capital of the Dutch East Indies). Japanese troops continuing their conquest of China, firing a field piece, and infantry charging. Newspapers announce Japanese advances into Malay Peninsula and Hong Kong. Others cite fall of Singapore fortress and of Corregidor (6 May, 1942). Animated map shows Japanese occupation encompassing Indo-china, Thailand,and Burma (with loss of the Burma road) all of which compounded China's war efforts.
A motion picture film explores the background of World War II. In the United States a view of a large hyrdoelectric dam with water gushing through its gates. Electrical towers of a power plant and a man throwing large switches to activate power. Newspaper headlines: 'Senator oppose the league of nation' and 'Senate passes tariff bill by 44 to 42 vote'. A crowd holds posters of Dewey, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler and other leaders. Books of competing ideologies for sales in the United States, including those of democracy, socialism, fascism including Mein Kampf and books about Stalin. Voting time in Germany with Hitler as the only candidate and signs promoting Hitler. Germans casting voting ballots for Hitler. People burning books in Nazi Germany. A church in America or Britiain with close up views of a boys choir singing hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers." Children in America playing at a playground on a jungle gym and slide. A girl makes a drawing of natural scenes. American children smiling, playing, and running.
Soldiers of the U.S. 442nd Regimental Combat Team (comprising Americans of Japanese ancestry) being trained by their own non-commissioned officers in World War 2. A group of 442nd soldiers stands in formation near a barracks. They all render a hand salute as their color guard passes with the American flag. Scene shifts to a Platoon of 442nd soldiers. Their Platoon Leader orders them to dress right and adjust their positions. Next he orders them to salute. He then moves along the formation, checking and occasionally correcting a soldiers hand position. Closeups of individual soldiers as the Platoon Leader makes small adjustments in their salutes. Next, a larger formation of soldiers stands at attention, including one holding a unit guidon. As a three-man color guard passes, all salute.
The legislative and maritime history of the U.S. Merchant Marines. Western railroad lines under construction in the United States. Groups of men driving in railroad ties for western railroad expansion. Horse drawn wagons carry equipment for railroad construction. Men work constructing railroads. Unused tall sailing ships and merchant vessels docked in a harbor seemingly replaced by railroads. Reduction in the number of ships because of inadequate financial assistance by the government. Actor portrayal of ironclad ship ramming a wooden tall sailing ship during Civil War. U.S. military forces unload foreign-bought ships during Spanish American War of 1898. They unload supplies and bring them ashore. A ship underway at sea. View of paddle wheel steam ship named "City of Memphis" steaming on Mississippi River. Smoke from the stacks of the ship. Tug boats push massive freight loads along a waterway in the United States. Men on the deck of a ship that is cutting through ice during spring thaw on the Great Lakes. Ship passing through lock of a domestic U.S. canal. View from inside the wheel house a large domestic waterway ship in the United States.