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Aerial Gunner


Two rivals join the Air Corps during WWII.

Aerial Gunner is a 1943 American World War II film directed by William H. Pine and starring Chester Morris, Richard Arlen and Jimmy Lydon.


Policeman Jon Davis (Richard Arlen) informs "Foxy" Pattis (Chester Morris) at his shooting range, that his criminal father has died. Foxy blames all policemen, feeling they harassed him all his life and were responsible for his death. Both men enlist in the United States Army Air Forces where Foxy becomes the instructor at an aerial gunnery school. He makes life miserable for Jon, now a "Flying Sergeant" student, trying to force the former policeman to resign.
Despite Foxy's hostility, Jon is able to pass the course. He later befriends a young Texas boy, Sandy (Jimmy Lydon), whose father was an airman killed at Hickam Field during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Sandy invites Jon and Foxy to his family's ranch, where both men fall for Sandy's sister Peggy (Amelita Ward).
After graduation, Jon is commissioned as a Lieutenant and is assigned as a pilot of a light bomber, with many of his classmates now his crew. A belligerent Foxy serves as his gunner and is not accepted as a team player by the others. During a bombing mission against the Japanese, however, he makes the ultimate sacrifice in trying to protect the other crew members when the bomber is shot down behind enemy lines.


  • Chester Morris as T/Sgt. "Foxy" Pattis
  • Richard Arlen as T/Sgt, later Lt., Jonathan "Jon" Davis
  • Jimmy Lydon as Pvt. Sanford "Sandy" Lunt
  • Amelita Ward as Peggy Lunt (credited as Lita Ward)
  • Dick Purcell as Pvt. Lancelot "Gadget" Blaine
  • Keith Richards as Sgt. Henry "Jonesy" Jones
  • William 'Billy' Benedict as Pvt. Jackson "Sleepy" Laswell
  • Olive Blakeney as Mrs. Sanford Lunt
  • Robert Mitchum as S/Sgt Benson (uncredited)


File:Screen shot Aerial Gunner.png
Principal photography for Aerial Gunner by the Paramount Pictures Pine-Thomas Productions unit took place over a period from October 21–mid-November 1942.




  • Hardwick, Jack and Ed Schnepf. "A Viewer's Guide to Aviation Movies". The Making of the Great Aviation Films, General Aviation Series, Volume 2, 1989.
  • Orriss, Bruce. When Hollywood Ruled the Skies: The Aviation Film Classics of World War II. Hawthorne, California: Aero Associates Inc., 1984. ISBN 0-9613088-0-X.

Category:American war films
Category:Aviation films
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:English-language films
Category:Films about the United States Army Air Forces
Category:Pacific War films
Category:United States Air Force in films
Category:War drama films
Category:World War II films made in wartime
William H. Pine

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