A long time ago, you could go to the movie theater and not have to deal with 40 minutes of crappy movie previews. Instead, you saw a newsreel that was focused on the war and an ad to sign up and go kick some Hitler and Tojo ass.
This black and white video from the 1940s is a recruiting commercial for the Unites States Army Air Corps during World War II. It starts with the caption, “Attention Young Men.” It then shows cadets standing attention, while a voiced over narration explains that just a short while ago, they too were “average American boys from average American families.” Soon, they will learn how to pilot a plane, how to navigate, and eventually ship off to defend freedom.
Young men are told that if they are 17, they can sign up for the army reserve, and will be called soon after their 18th birthdays. Men between the ages of 18 and 26 are cordially invited to join the army to crush the axis powers. A row of muscle toned, shirtless cadets graces the screen, making young men everywhere want to be just like them.
“There are things to do and places to go,” chimes the narrator, “and the Army Air Forces will supply both, to whoever has the will to smack the enemy where it hurts the most.”
Most interesting are the planes of WWII, shown flying throughout the commercial. The marvelous AT-6 stands ready to challenge cadets to become real pilots.
If you are up for the challenge, you are encouraged to stop in the lobby on your way out of the theater, or to inquire at 607 Custom House, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. No phone number is given.
Are you up for the challenge?