The Charge of the Devastators
In early WW2, freedom's fate rests with young aviators manning obsolete Devastator torpedo bombers who must attack a colossal fleet.
"IT WAS THE GREATEST CHARGE IN HISTORY..."
....And yet most of the millions of people who owe their lives and their freedom to the men who made that charge on a fateful day in 1942 do not even know it took place. My aim is to change all that, and you can help me do it!
As the videos posted above attest, The Charge of the Devastators would be an exciting page turner of a novel as well as an epic motion picture. Having competed a screenplay that has already garnered critical acclaim, and as I continue to work toward getting "Devastators" produced as a movie, it's time to turn the completed script into a dramatic novel which leaves nothing on the cutting room floor.
Whether in book or movie form, the story's most riveting aspect all starts with the unprecedented nature of the “Charge” itself -- three squadrons of obsolete Devastators attacking in succession, roaring in at wave top level through a seemingly impenetrable shield of fighters and flack, desperately trying to strike at the same elite carriers and crews that had obliterated Pearl Harbor. In the annals of warfare there was never before anything like this "charge" and there will never be anything like it again.
Imagine what it was like to be in one of those planes, knowing you were in a do or die fight while knowing your chances of survival were next to nothing. What did that feel like? What was it like to charge in against that massive armada, alone and without fighter escort in a plane nicknamed “The Flying Coffin” ?
Through first hand accounts gleaned from years of research and interviews with the veterans who were there, I'll put you right in the cockpits of the charging Devastators as they roar in. You will learn of the pertinent decisions -- both simple and monumental -- and the amazing twists of fate that led these men to their destinies on that oceanic wilderness. You'll know what they experienced every step of the way -- from their rushed and inadequate training days to the day they headed to sea on an unknown mission, to the moment they found out what they were up against, to the hours before launch, the dramatic launches themselves, the desperate search for the enemy, and the epic attack itself and its aftermath. You'll learn the untold story I uncovered that traces the incredible victory at Midway to the decision of a single Devastator squadron leader, whose willingness to sacrifice all -- coupled with the same indomitable fighting spirit displayed by his compatriots -- led to an incredible sequence of events that ultimately won the battle.
But the unprecedented first hand accounts of battle don’t stop with just the Devastator crews. You'll also be in the cockpits of Dauntless dive bombers screaming down on enemy carriers from 20,000 feet with one pressure packed shot at scoring a hit. You'll be in the cockpits of Wildcat and Buffalo fighters as they battle to the death against the far superior Japanese Zero. You'll be part of a gun crew aboard the carrier Yorktown, blasting away at enemy dive bombers that scream down from above, and torpedo planes that roar in low.
As if the epic “Charge” itself and the other combat scenarios were not enough to set this story apart, there are many other compelling elements that only add to the story's unprecedented, transcendent nature. There's the backdrop of the do or die nature of the battle, and the fact that the Japanese had been all but invincible since they wrought epic destruction at Pearl Harbor; plus you have the revenge factor of going after the same carriers and crews that had obliterated Pearl, and the fact that the U.S. was down to its last three remaining operational aircraft carriers. If the Japanese won at Midway, there was nothing left standing between them and the West Coast of America. Every one of the American combatants who fought that day knew they were truly defending their native soil and families back home. The impact of these factors as they weighed on the minds of these men -- especially the young American aviators -- will be thoroughly covered in this book, all coming from first hand accounts.
AN UNPRECEDENTED ACCOUNT OF AN UNPRECEDENTED BATTLE
To create The Charge of the Devastators screenplay I spent years traveling across the country at my own expense to attend reunions and commemorations and visit museums, military shows and displays -- basically going anywhere I could to meet and interview the great veterans of the battle. Whether in person, by phone or through other correspondence I did countless interviews with these veterans. I also read all the literature I could find on the battle and picked the brains of numerous scholars and historians, My research could not have been more extensive, and was all done to ensure that virtually 100% of the details of the combat sequences depicted in my script and in the forthcoming book would be based on first hand accounts.
I can say with assurance that a dramatic book based on my completed script would be an unprecedented written account of the battle. Though many good books have been written on the subject, I've not seen anything resembling a dramatic novel portrayal like the one I am proposing -- a book that weaves in so many intricate personal story lines while keeping strict accuracy with facts AND telling the complete story of all the combat action.
My extensive research gives you the TRUE stories of combat as the veterans told them -- many of them never before published. But instead of telling them in clinical, technical, interview format, my book will use the dialogue and descriptiveness of a fast moving movie script to bring the characters to life in a way that puts you right there with them in the action. But that's not all -- without the length restrictions that I had to consider in writing a screenplay, the book will include ALL the great stories I uncovered with my research, with nothing left on the cutting room floor. For all these reasons, The Charge of the Devastators would stand alone either as a literary or cinematic portrayal of the Battle of Midway.
My original purpose in writing "Devastators" as a screenplay was due to the fact that the unprecedented Devastators’ “Charge” and the Battle of Midway itself has never been adequately captured on film. In fact, World War II carrier plane warfare has also never been adequately depicted using modern film techniques. Certainly the time has come to create an epic motion picture which will accomplish all of the above, a film that will be the Saving Private Ryan of carrier plane warfare in the Pacific. While I continue to try to make that happen, the time has also come to put "Devastators" down in book form, and get the story to the public. Your contributions toward the creation and success of such a book can only enhance the chances of the book being made into an epic movie!
Of all the great reasons to get the "Devastators" story told, the most important is to create a well publicized, lasting tribute to the heroes who contributed so mightily to preserving our freedom and our very lives. Such a tribute is sadly lacking presently. The weakly scripted 1976 Hollywood movie on the subject was little more than a cursory look at the battle that ignored the numerous compelling personal stories, overlooked most of the combat aspects of the battle and devoted but a few brief scenes to the Devastators' "charge." As for the many well written but mostly clinically told literary accounts, the mainly technical and historical nature of these texts largely neglects the battle's many elements of intense human drama. Without the drawing power of a dramatic, exciting, "best seller" novel format, these literary works have failed to raise anywhere near the requisite interest and attention to the veterans that they rightly deserve.
My desire in creating a dramatic literary account and eventually a movie is to produce works that will have a massive appeal to the populous, getting all the stories out there for all the world to see as a tribute to the men who won freedom for millions worldwide.SO FEW of these men are still with us; and those that remain are all in their nineties -- my hope is to get this project completed as soon as possible so the few remaining veterans can experience this tribute to the bravery, heroism and sacrifice that they and their compatriots gave for their country and for the freedom of the world for generations to come.
The need to recognize these men is simple when we realize how truly we owe them our lives and our freedom. As I interviewed one of these great veterans in his home, I gazed at pictures on his wall -- of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren -- as he told me of his numerous brushes with death that day -- a bullet wound a fraction of an inch from being fatal, nearly drowning after his Devastator crashed into the sea, finally getting a blood transfusion just minutes before certain death. I realized that had inches or minutes gone the other way, all the pictures on the wall, all those descendants, would not exist. For the many who never made it back that day, there would never be any future pictures on their walls.
I then began to realize how many other lives were made possible by the victory at Midway. The crushing blow dealt to the Japanese was one from which they never recovered. It put them on the defensive for the first time in the war, buying America precious time to build better ships and planes to replace the obsolete equipment in use at the time. Had America lost at Midway, it would have been catastrophic. History would have been changed, and not for the better. The war would have gone on much longer. Tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands or maybe millions of additional lives would have to have been sacrificed for the U.S. and its allies to gain ultimate victory over the tyrannical Japanese military regime and its Nazi ally -- if victory could even have been won! The ripple effect of an American defeat at Midway would have meant that many thousands or even millions of future descendants across the world -- you and I perhaps -- would never have been born. We truly owe not just our freedom but in many cases our lives to the men who fought and sacrificed that day. HELP ME TELL THEIR STORY! Help me make their names household names!
WHAT I WILL DO WITH THE FUNDS/FINAL THOUGHTS
Since I have to date funded all my research, travel expenses and script production by myself, and have literally exhausted my funds in doing so, your funding and support are crucial to keep me "Charging" onward toward the goal of getting a book written, edited, published/printed and distributed in major retail stores. Additionally, I will be constructing a website to promote the book and the movie, and will use funds to promote the site and increase awareness of the project online, in the retail marketplace and in other media forums.
Since "Devastators" is essentially both a film and book project with the same goal -- to raise awareness and pay tribute to the great veterans and their role in preserving life and freedom for millions -- any funds in excess of what will be needed to publish/distribute/promote the book will be utilized to help me continue to promote the movie project. My primary objective in getting the film project rolling would be to hire a script agent and a name producer -- and funds in excess of my goal would go a long way to making that happen.
I thank you in advance for your support for this project, and your support for the great veterans of the battle to whom we owe so much.
CRITICAL ACCLAIM FOR THE CHARGE OF THE DEVASTATORS
"The Charge of the Devastators is
a superb tale of bitter combat but it is much more than that. Paul
Corio has crafted a meticulously accurate telling of the epic Battle of
Midway while at the same time giving the reader an exciting page turner
of a story. The action is intense, the dialog authentic, and every
important aspect of the desperate battle is graphically portrayed.
This is not simply a remake of the 1976 Midway movie. Corio has gone to great lengths to tell the real story, as it really happened, and without the usual Hollywood embellishments or fictional distractions. Through careful research into the historical record and especially through interviews with actual veterans of the battle, Corio has managed a snapshot of real history that reads more a like a very good novel.
Indeed, The Charge of the Devastators would make an excellent novel. For now, it’s an excellent script, and anyone with an interest in our naval or military history is going to want to see it produced."
R.W. Russell, Chief Warrant Officer, US Navy (Retired)
Former Long Time Administrator of The Battle of Midway Rountable
Author, No Right To Win: An Ongoing Dialogue with Veterans of the Battle of Midway
* * * * * * *
“It’s the best screenplay I’ve ever read on the subject.”
Steve Ewing, Navy Veteran, Noted Naval Aviation author, Paid Consultant, Battle of Midway Segment, Winds of War television miniseries.
FROM THE VETERANS WHO WERE THERE IN 1942
“In ‘The Charge of the Devastators’ Paul Corio has written with unusual
skill and sensitivity a screenplay devoted largely to the true heroes
of the Midway Battle, those who did not survive. Intertwining the
personal story of Lance Massey (my squadron commander in 1942) provides a
beginning and ending that brought tears to my eyes. For my fallen
comrades of VT-3, thank you, Paul, thank you.
Lloyd F. Childers, Ph.D., Lt. Colonel USMC(Ret).
“Paul Corio’s ‘The Charge of the Devastators’ is a real and exciting screenplay. The intrepid pilots and radioman/gunners of the three torpedo squadrons who flew to almost certain death in obsolescent TBDs (Devastators) are honored as their true story unfolds. Corio has gleaned information from survivors of the Battle of Midway and others familiar with the now long gone aircraft as well as from documented history in order to truly portray this event that played a key role in the outcome of World War II - the Battle of Midway - with emphasis on the contribution of those who flew in torpedo squadrons VT-3, VT-6, and VT-8. Long may those valiant men be remembered!”
R. L. White, Radioman/gunner, Torpedo Squadron Six (VT-6) USS Enterprise
"My small part was trivial compared to my VT-3 buddies who flew that mission form the carrier Yorktown on 4 June 1942. I am delighted that Paul Corio has taken time to research their fantastic exploits, and that he also covered the other two squadrons, VT-6 and VT-8, who likewise flew that similar mission and sustained such horrific loses.
"The manuscript's chosen dialogue and facts are right on target. It was truly amazing how accurate the portrayal was of the actual events. I can imagine the number of days, weeks and months that have gone into its preparation. The story is of such historical significance it should be told to the world."
Captain Bernard W. Peterson USMC Ret.
"Paul Corio has developed a comprehensive history capturing the mindset of the pilots and crewmen who flew the inadequate and poorly armed Devastators (TBD'S) at the Battle of Midway.
"You will experience their concerns and trepidation and fly with them. The odds for their survival were nil but they pressed forward. They met the enemy...they may have blinked but they did not flinch. Their heroism and sacrifice broke the Japanese air arm and placed that nation on the defensive for the balance of the war."
Norman Ulmer, Survivor, USS Yorktown CV-5
"In this fresh literary portrait Paul Corio captures the heart and soul
of young, valiant torpedo plane crews willing to risk it all in the Battle of Midway - - the shortest, most decisive battle ever recorded. This is a vivid, accurate, well written script."
CAPT. Jack "Dusty" Kleiss, Midway Veteran/ENTERPRISE Dauntless Dive Bomber Pilot (Scouting Squadron Six)
"I want to give thanks for sending the Screenplay to my husband, he got it today and as he was reading it I am sure I saw him grow 10 foot tall with pride. Again I want to thank you for putting the story down on paper, one that may never have had a chance to otherwise be told. You did a very good job of research
Peggie Brown, Wife of Elton Brown, Yorktown CV-5 Survivor
“Although most will deem my plaudits merely prejudicial, let me say ‘au contraire’. To read this screenplay knowing little or nothing about W.W.II or Midway, I gave up TV and Bible study to read this masterpiece of unrivaled literature. And to think it is all true! Every time I hear an airplane fly overhead I salute those 82 men and say thank you, thank you.”
Margaret Corio, a Grateful American
"If Not For Those 82 Men"
a series of fateful actions amid the pronounced fog of war, the final
outcome of a colossal naval battle, upon which balanced the fate and
freedom of our nation, all came to rest at a precise and crucial moment
squarely on the shoulders of a small group of Navy airmen, the mostly
young, largely inexperienced air crews who manned their slow, obsolete
Devastator torpedo bombers and launched themselves skyward toward the
distant location of a massive, seemingly invincible enemy fleet.
They took to the skies knowing the long odds they faced, well knowing that few would return -- yet when duty called, they answered, without delay, they answered, resoundingly, they rose to meet fate...
Had they hesitated, had they faltered, had they done anything other than charge in as they did when they did, what greater price in blood would our freedom then have claimed, if not for those 82 men?
Risks and challenges
With all the research having been done and a full movie script already completed, and with work having already begun on converting/expanding the script into an exciting novel format, the risks and challenges to completing the book manuscript are minimal. I've researched and priced publishing costs, and am confident that if my funding goal is met I can fulfill and meet the project's goals and rewards. With your support I believe I can have the book completed within a few months after funding is attained. This would mean that my goal of quickly getting this stirring tribute distributed and the veterans' stories told (while some of them are still among us) can be met! And again, the success of the novel can only help my efforts to get his epic story told on the big screen where it belongs.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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