The US Marine Corps presents “Tactical And Gunnery Air Observation,” developed to aid support to infantry units. The World War II-era color film (probably made post-war, likely in 1948) notes the importance of such observation, especially in situations when ground observation is impractical or impossible, as we see troops march through heavy foliage at mark 01:37 and a few seconds later we see a Stinson OY-1 Sentinel, a two-seat observation aircraft used during World War II, as well as a helicopter that we’re told can also be used to patrol. The narrator explains air observation operations starting at mark 03:25 with his words accompanied by a circle map. Aircraft can also be flown at night, we’re told starting at mark 04:22, with crews watching for artillery flashes on the ground and thus being able to redirect Allied fire. The film notes how all observers receiving a briefing prior to an operation (mark 05:15) and supplied with the most recent information about a mission. While planes are airborne the crew relay information to a radioman on the grounds, as is shown starting at mark 07:37. This film features some aerial footage as the action is described by the narrator. At times, tactical observers are required to perform utility missions (mark 09:44) such as cargo parachute drops. As the film nears an end we are told starting at mark 10:22 that observers can also fly point for convoys, observer rail lines for possible sabotage, or as a radio rely point.
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