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Flying the Secret Sky

Flying the Secret Sky

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Item Number:
75 min.
Closed Caption:
WGBH Boston Video
Grade Level:
9 - 12
In 1940, Nazi air strikes had Britain on her knees. The RAF was desperate for planes and their supply of US aircraft, sent on ship convoys, had been sunk in the icy Atlantic by relentless German U-boats. In response, a remarkable decision was made - to fly the planes across the unforgiving ocean.

Because of US neutrality, a message went out through the "aviation grapevine" only - that a secret operation in Montreal needed experienced civilian pilots. The benefits were irresistible - a vital and important job, a chance to fly the latest aircraft, and a large paycheck - but the risks were colossal. These "cowboys of the air" are forgotten heroes of WWII, men who embodied the improvisational spirit that was key to Allied victory.

Flying the Secret Sky tells the story of passionate, risk-taking young men braving treacherous winter skies over the North Atlantic in primitive, unarmed aircraft. Told by the flyers themselves, including an American civilian pilot who ferried Winston Churchill, the film uses never-before-seen home movies and rare footage of Ferry Command aircraft and crews to reveal one of the great unknown stories of WWII and of aviation history.

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