Documentary Shows How Great Lakes Aircraft Carriers Win the War Against Japan – Free Admission for Vets and Active Duty

Posted Jul 25th, 2016 by Christopher H. Gillcrist  Category: Community Interest, Other, Toledo.com


Toledo: The National Museum of the Great Lakes announced today the screening of the Ohio premier of Heroes On Deck, a documentary film exploring the critical role two Great Lakes aircraft carriers played in winning WWII. The screening will take place on August 4, 2016 at 7PM at the Valentine Theatre. Christopher Gillcrist, Executive Director of the museum also announced that an anonymous donor had pledged a gift sufficient to underwrite the free admission of 400 veterans and active duty military personal to the screening.

“We are so pleased to insure that those who have made or are making that great personal sacrifice to protect us will be able to attend the screening of this important documentary free of charge.” An admission fee of $7.50 for members of the museum and $10 for non-members will be charged. Interested parties are encouraged to make reservations.

Heroes on Deck is directed by Michigan native John Davies who has been actively involved in Hollywood productions for the past three decades. The documentary uses personal interviews, declassified war footage from the National Archives as well as other primary source material to tell the story of the only coal fired, steam powered, sidewheel aircraft carriers in world history. The USS Wolverine and the USS Sable, both converted Great Lakes passenger steamers, were used to train over 15,000 fighter pilots how to land their planes at sea in the safety of Lake Michigan. The United States Navy made the decision to acquire the passenger steamers and convert them to aircraft carriers after the attack on Pearl Harbor and numerous Nazi submarine attacks off the New Jersey shore.

Between 1942 and 1945, the USS Wolverine and the USS Sable operated off Chicago in Lake Michigan permitting US Navy pilots flying Grumman F6F Hellcats, TBM Avengers, F4U Corsairs, and SBD Dauntless Dive Bombers, a safe zone to train for at sea landings and takeoffs. One of those who learned these critical skills was 41st President of the United States George H.W. Bush.

“The importance of these two aircraft carriers to winning the war in the South Pacific cannot be underestimated” stated Christopher Gillcrist. “Through the course of the war, the number of carrier qualified pilots for the Japanese navy diminished but grew dramatically for the United States. This difference meant victory.” The museum is screening the documentary on August 4 as its way to celebrate V-J Day—normally celebrated on August 13. Director John Davies will speak to those attending the pre-screening reception at 6PM. There will be a screening of the documentary for the press on August 3 at the National Museum of the Great Lakes. Contact Christopher Gillcrist for more information and to reserve your space.

What: Screening of the Heroes on Deck, a one hour documentary.
When: August 4, 2016, 7PM (screening) 6PM Reception and Director Talk
Where: Valentine Theatre
Cost: Screening Only $7.50 for members and $10 for non-members. Screening and Reception: $25 for members and $35 for non-members.

For More information:

To contact Christopher Gillcrist of the National Museum of the Great Lakes: Email at glhs1@inlandseas.org or call at 216-956-9734.

To review Heroes On Deck Press Kit go to: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9g2ndrox7l24ucj/AACoGBo9YvzjXJWccz1dDXjQadl=0

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Christopher H. Gillcrist - National Museum of Great Lakes | 1701 Front St. | Toledo, Ohio 43605

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