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Task Force

Task Force(1949)

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As Jonathan L. Scott faces retirement from the Navy, he recalls twenty-seven years earlier when he was a Navy pilot stationed in San Diego: The first aircraft carrier in 1921 is a converted collier, the Langley . Because the Navy does not have the money to purchase airplanes especially designed to land on carriers, several pilots die as they attempt to land on the sixty-five foot deck. One day, Scott must tell Mary Morgan that her husband Jerry has been killed. In 1923, Scott is transferred to Washington, D.C. to help develop a carrier plane and to convince the admirals to support naval aviation. At a party he encounters Mary, who is there with another officer. Scott becomes involved in an argument with powerful isolationist newspaper publisher Bentley and thus greatly angers Admiral Ames. Scott is then assigned to a desk job at the Panama Canal. Before he leaves, Scott proposes to Mary, who refuses to marry another flyer, but advises him to continue his fight for the carrier planes. When a newly designed carrier, the Saratoga , is launched, Scott is transferred to it. Learning to fly with a new system, Scott loses control of his plane and crashes. While he is recovering, Mary visits the hospital and accepts Scott's second proposal. The couple spends two years in Hawaii and then moves to Annapolis, where Scott, now a Lieutenant Commander, is to teach naval aviation. His outspoken stand in favor of aircraft carriers in combat causes him to lose a promotion, and after Japan invades Manchuria, Scott decides to accept a civilian job selling planes in Europe. Mary, however, encourages him to remain in the Navy, and they return to Hawaii, where Scott is made a commander. When Pearl Harbor is attacked by the Japanese, Scott's ship, the Enterprise , sets out to prove the worth of the carrier. During the Battle of Midway, the flight deck is badly damaged by Japanese torpedo planes, and they are forced to abandon ship. Afterward, Scott is made a Captain and travels to Washington to plead for more carriers. Eventually a carrier fleet is produced, and Scott is placed in charge of one of the ships. During the Battle of Okinawa, the fleet proves its worth, and four years after the end of the war, Scott retires and joins Mary, who is waiting for him on the dock.