NEW YORK, Dec. 7, 2016 -- Today, the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, NBC Learn, Vulcan Productions and The Flying Heritage Collection will launch "Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation." Narrated by NBC News' and MSNBC's Kate Snow, the educational video series takes viewers on a journey through World War II history, as told firsthand by pilots and other aviation veterans from the U.S., U.K., Soviet Union, Germany, and Japan. The series highlights WWII aircraft such as the P-51 Mustang, F6F Hellcat and others that have been meticulously restored to their original flying condition by the Flying Heritage Collection (FHC), a premier aviation collection from philanthropist Paul G. Allen.
The series is inspired by and features interviews from the largest online archive of oral histories on war and aviation ever created, with more than 340 interviews with veterans from seven wars. Also called "Chronicles of Courage," this content offers further education about aviation history and launches online at the same time as the series, at www.flyingheritage.com/chronicles.
"For decades, we've been documenting the important stories of wartime fliers and soldiers in an effort to capture lessons from this important era of aviation," said Cory Graff, military aviation curator at FHC. "The 'Chronicles of Courage' series allows us to broadly share this rich oral history and make it available to students and future generations."
The "Chronicles of Courage" series draws on social studies as well as science, technology, engineering and math concepts, while aligning to state and national education standards. Lesson plans developed by the National Science Teachers Association and NBC Learn are available for high school and middle school students. Additionally, "Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation" will be available through NBC News affiliate stations and can be viewed for free online at NBCLearn.com/courage.
"We're pleased to partner with Vulcan Productions and the Flying Heritage Collection to create these compelling and visual stories about World War II," said Mark Miano, Executive Editor of NBC Learn. "These videos will help students learn about major wartime events as told by the brave men and women who helped spark an unprecedented era of innovation in military aircraft."
The series explores a collection of World War II airplanes as well as stories of the heroic aviation crews through the following episodes:
- "Pearl Harbor": U.S. Navy sailor Stuart Hedley describes the horror of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and the engineering that made the Mitsubishi A6M Zero such a deadly fighter plane.
- "P-47 and the Turbo Supercharger": U.S. fighter pilot Archie Maltbie shares his D-Day experience, and the innovation behind the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt's engine.
- "Flying the Beam": U.S. fighter pilot Jerry Yellin describes a low-tech but innovative navigation technique deployed on long missions after Iwo Jima was secured.
- "Flying Tigers": Flying Tigers squadron leader Tex Hill describes how their daring dive tactics with the P-40 airplane were successful against the Japanese Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa, aka the "Oscar."
- "P-47 and the Double Wasp Engine": U.S. P-47 fighter pilot Benjamin Cassiday Jr. describes his encounters with German Messerschmitt Bf 109s. The P-47's 18-cylinder engine is also examined.
- "The Doolittle Raid": Richard Cole, co-pilot for James Doolittle, details the U.S.'s top-secret mission to bomb Japan by launching bomber planes from an aircraft carrier — a feat that had never been done before.
- "B-17 and the Ball Turret": U.S. gunner Mason Howe describes his experience inside the ball turret, the underbelly of the B-17 Flying Fortress.
- "F6F Hellcat": Demonstrating innovation against all odds, the U.S. Navy's Fast Carrier Task Force introduces the F6F Hellcat and its unique folding wing.
- "Tuskegee Airmen": Fighter pilots William Holloman and Robert Friend are among the first African-American pilots admitted into the United States military, flying the P-51 Mustang. The Mustang's drop tank is also explored.
- "WASPs": A deeper look at the more than 1,000 women who were activated as Women's Airforce Service Pilots, flying military planes in a wide range of crucial missions.
About NBC News
More Americans watch NBC News and MSNBC than any news organization in the world. NBC News is a global leader in news across all broadcast and digital platforms. Its leading and award-winning television news broadcasts include NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, TODAY, Meet the Press, and Dateline, as well as primetime specials and breaking news reports. For the 2015-2016 season, all four NBC News broadcasts were #1 in the key news demo. MSNBC is the premier cable destination for breaking and live news coverage, in-depth analysis, and influential voices – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The rapidly-growing NBC News Digital Group, along with the SiriusXM TODAY Show and MSNBC radio channels and NBC News Radio on the iHeartMedia 24/7 News Network, provide continuous content to consumers wherever they are, whenever they want it.
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About Vulcan Productions
Vulcan Productions is dedicated to the power of storytelling. We produce content and large-scale campaigns that entertain, electrify and change the way people understand the world's toughest challenges. Our films, television series and digital content spark ideas and turn action into measurable impact. Founded by Paul G. Allen, Vulcan Productions creates content across all platforms, extending the wide-ranging work of Vulcan Inc. in wildlife, science, climate, oceans, education, technology, current social issues, history and the arts. Our award-winning projects include The Ivory Game, Racing Extinction, Naledi: A Baby Elephants Tale, Academy Award®-nominated Body Team 12, Mind of a Giant,We the Economy, We the Voters, Ocean Warriors,#ISurvivedEbola, Girl Rising and The Blues. For more information, visit vulcanproductions.com.
About Flying Heritage Collection
The aircraft in the Flying Heritage Collection are rare treasures of military aviation — a testament to the era's engineering skill and humanity's spirit during the world conflicts of the 20th century. On rotation in our working hangar are military artifacts from the United States, Britain, Germany, Soviet Union and Japan, acquired by Paul G. Allen and restored with unparalleled authenticity to share with the public. FHC is operated by Friends of Flying Heritage, a 501(c)(3) organization committed to educating people about these rare historic aircraft and artifacts. The collection is currently experiencing rapid growth, bringing in exciting new wonders like the Republic F-105 Thunderchief, de Havilland Mosquito and more.