Friday, November 11 at 7pm the Tower Theatre Foundation will honor our military veterans with the Northwest Premiere of Heroes on Deck: World War II On Lake Michigan. Doors to the theatre open at 6pm, and patrons will enjoy vintage 1940-50s newsreels and cartoons on the Tower’s big screen, in addition to a live performance of 1940’s swing hits sung by local trio, The Harmonettes.
Heroes on Deck highlights the U.S. Navy’s bold and innovative response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Two Great Lakes passenger steamers were immediately converted into makeshift aircraft carriers, the USS Wolverine and USS Sable.
Between 1942 and the end of the war, more than 15,000 aviators, including future President George H.W. Bush, were trained aboard these “freshwater flattops.” Crashes and “water landings” often led to serious injuries and occasionally death. As a result, more than one hundred fighters and dive-bombers sank to the bottom of the lake.
To date more than 40 aircraft have been brought to the surface.Heroes on Deck captures some of the key recoveries and restoration efforts, and celebrates the stories of the brave pilots who survived this ingenious training operation.
Narrated by legendary CBS, NPR and A&E newsman, Bill Kurtis, the film brings to life a vital chapter of American history: the story of the forgotten World War II fighter planes at the bottom of Lake Michigan, the brave pilots who trained in them and their link to U.S. victory in the Pacific.
This film is not propaganda, not political and neither pro- nor anti-war. It is history, and it tells a little-known story with amazing archive footage of planes going into the Lake and coming out 70 years later. Plus, the film’s producer/director John Davies will be at the Tower to host a Q&A following the film.