The film 'The Saga of the Franklin' to honor and remember the men who served in the U.S. Navy during during World War II. A board reads USS Franklin (CV-13). The log book of the ship. An entry from the log book. The ship leaves San Francisco, California in February 1945. A U.S. flag flutters on the ship. The ship in the western Pacific Ocean. A fleet of ships underway at sea. Aircraft take off from the deck for a mission on July 4th, 1944. The target is Iwo Jima, Japan. Other ships nearby. Guns are fired. A Japanese Kamikaze aircraft crashes on a ship. An aircraft in flight. Explosions on the ground below. A Kamikaze aircraft is hit by guns fired from USS Franklin by Air Group 13. Rocket equipped aircraft struck Japanese ships. Aerial view of burning ships in water. Kamikaze aircraft in flight. A Kamikaze aircraft which has been hit, falls downwards in a mass of fire. It crashes into water. A Kamikaze aircraft crashes into water near a ship. A ball of fire rises up. A Kamikaze aircraft crashes into USS Franklin in October 1944. After being repaired, USS Franklin reaches Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. A band plays to welcome the ship. U.S. Navy WAVES ( Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) on the ship. A U.S. Navy Vice Admiral decorates sailors. Air Group 75 and 35 aboard the ship. Aircraft on the deck. An aircraft takes off from the deck of the carrier. An aircraft prepares for a take off. A white diamond painted on the tail of an aircraft in flight. An aircraft comes in for a landing. An LSO ( Landing Signal Officer ) signals using flags. He makes a signal for an aircraft to cut off its engine while landing. The aircraft makes an arrested landing. An aircraft lands on its nose. Men sunbathe in Hawaii. A party abroad USS Franklin. A cake to celebrate the 9000th landing on the carrier. Ensign A. W. Graf who had made the landing cuts the cake.
The USS Crevalle (SS-291) on war patrols in East China Sea and Sea of Japan in final days of World War 2. Crew members hold a flag they made depicting their engagements with Japanese shipping. It shows Japanese Navy Rising Sun flag with marks below for five Japanese Navy ships. It also shows the Japanese Red Ball flag and fourteen marks for other Japanese ships. As the film continues, it reveals more of the flag, showing more encounters with enemy shipping. A Landing Craft Infantry (LCI) passing by. Sailors standing on deck in bright sunlight with breeze blowing. One has grown a notable full beard and smokes a pipe. Toward the end of the film, the boat's Captain, Navy Captain Everett Hartwell Steinmetz, is seen from the back and in profile, standing on deck. Another aircraft passes overhead.
(Note: Sailor holding flag in opening frames has been identified as James A. Katchis who served on the boat beginning as a Seaman 1st Class in August 1944.)
Scene opens with a map illustrating one possible Allied path for invasion of Japan. It proceeds from India and Burma to China and thence to Japan. A U.S. B-24 bomber is seen landing at a Far East Air field. Next, the Supreme Allied Commander of South-East Command (SEAC) Admiral Lord Mountbatten, is seen posing with Chinese General Li Zongren (AKA Li Tsung-jen) and other high ranking Chinese officers, and then walking with them. Next are views of U.S. General Joseph Stillwell working with staff as they consult maps. Then, Chinese laborers are seen engaged in construction of a bridge over a riverbed, that is to be part of the "Ledo Road,"traversing Burma and providing a highway from India to Chunking, China. Trucks moving over the already completed segments of the road, carry men and war materiel. One truck passes a local native drawing water from a well using a long counterbalanced pole. At the frontier of the roadbuilding, Chinese soldiers chop their way through dense jungles and battle Japanese forces firing at them. A fallen soldier. Allied soldiers shouting as run into a village engaging Japanese forces. Structures in the village burning and spreading in the area. Scene shifts abruptly to an animated map illustrating what are believed to be the Japanese plan for its last desparate defense. It shows them falling back to highly defensible boundaries encompassing sources of supplies needed to sustain their defense. Aerial views of Manchurian landscape. Japanese officials are seen at their administrative offices in Manchuria. Large numbers of Manchurian workers are seen headed to work near a factory. Others are engaged in open pit mining, where explosives are used to expose and ready ores for extraction. Views inside a Manchurian steel plant supporting the Japanese war effort. Japanese military forces are shown moving by horseback in the area, ostensibly to push further into China and add more protection against potential Allied offensives. Likewise, Japanese warships are shown at sea maneuvering to defensive locations. This is all summed up in a map showing the expected disposition and status of military defensives for Japan's final defense (Fortress Japan). Street traffic on a city street in Japan. A large group of Japanese women in traditional dress, carry banners and quietly bow. View of the Japanese Diet Building (Parliament) and political and Military leaders inside, including Prime Minister Tojo, Hideki.
Interior of the USS Spadefish (SS-411) as the Captain looks through the periscope. Slate states "U.S.S. Spadefish sights a Soviet Merchantman in the Northern Japan sea." The Captain (a Navy commander) speaks with a Lieutenant standing with him and then continues to look carefully through the periscope. The Captain seems to be issuing orders as he looks through the periscope.
World War II film about the China, Burma, India (CBI) Theater of Operations. A soldier is seen filling out a form seeking information about him and inviting him to write in questions about anything he hadn't learned through normal information channels. Scene shifts to Information and Education Department of the Burma-India Command, where it is being processed by a soldier. Lieutenant General Dan I. Sultan, commander of Burma-India Theater, is seen next, seated at a desk, with wall map of the region behind him. He is appearing in an information film intended to inform troops under his command. He notes that more than half the troops who filled out the information form, asked why American troops were stationed in India and Burma. He refers to the recent recall of General Stillwell and the splitting of CBI into two theaters (China and India/Burma). He states that the purpose is a path toward Japan. An animated map shows China (that narrator notes has been fighting Japan since 1937). Animation shows Japan walling off China from the outside world, by seizing her ports, and then concentrating its grip on the Eastern part of the country. Without access by sea, the allies had only one option to assist China in the fight against Japan. That was to open the Burma Road. Film shifts to scenes of Japanese bombing of Shanghai and Chinese civilians abandoning the city. Wounded and injured Chinese fighting fires while tending casualties in an open area. Glimpse of Chinese soldiers near one of their few large artillery pieces. A gun crew manning one of her few antiaircraft guns. Chinese jam road in trek to the unoccupied provinces of the country. Chinese carrying casualties on stretchers, making do without ambulances. Chinese coping in the face of all kinds of shortages. In contrast, well supplied Japanese troops are shown in formation. Japanese troops, military vehicles and equipment are seen. Japanese firing machine guns and heavy artillery against Chinese positions. Japanese armor and long lines of troops engaged against the Chinese, who continue to resist in spite of shortages and hardship. Chinese soldiers without shoes, marching in a column.
Brief view of damage to Light Cruiser, USS Birmingham (CL-62) suffered while trying to aid Light Aircraft Carrier, USS Princeton (CVL-23) which burned and exploded from Japanese bombing, on Oct. 24, 1944, in World War 2. Scene shifts to United States sailors aboard a battle ship wearing Purple Heart medals awarded following Battles of Midway and Coral Sea. Fleet Admiral Chester W Nimitz, commander of U.S. Navy forces and General Douglas MacArthur, commander of U.S. ground forces, look at a map on wall, and consult together. MacArthur holds his traditional corn cob pipe. Admiral Nimitz on battlefield inspection tour with Admiral William Halsey and Navy Secretary Frank Knox in Solomon Islands. American flag flutters at United States Base camp. President Roosevelt, Admiral Nimitz and General MacArthur meeting at CINCPAC headquarters. Nimitz points at a map on wall. Roosevelt and MacArthur having private conversation. Admiral Nimitz hands pointer to General MacArthur, who prepares to brief the President about the final invasion of Japan. Admiral Nimitz climbs over an obstacle and sits next to President Roosevelt. Outdoor scene on Hawaii, President Roosevelt seated and Admiral Nimitz and other officers standing in relaxed gathering.