The unsung heroes of the aircraft carrier battles in the Pacific theater of WW2 were, without a doubt, the deck crewmen. Working tirelessly to repair and prepare the airplanes so that the next strike could lift off they also displayed the utmost heroism when a damaged airplane crash landed on the deck.
In this amazing color video, you will see planes, badly damaged in combat, smashing onto the flight deck. Before the planes have come to a complete stop, the deck crew have already climbed onto the wreck to save the pilot. Frequently the pilot is wounded or simply too exhausted from hours of flying to and from the battle, intense combat that he is unable to climb out of the cockpit. When the plane burst into flames – not an uncommon event – it does not stop the crew. They will risk their lives and do what they can to get the pilot out.
Not shown on this video but it deserves a mention, whenever the carrier is damaged in battle it is the deck crew that is in the line of fire and are the ones to begin the firefighting and the rescue attempts.