The Charge of the Devastators project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound
$425 pledged of $12,000 goal
backers
$425 pledged of $12,000 goal
backers

About

  "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)
  
   
OTHER VOICES:
   
         "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"

        Through 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

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    You have my fondest thanks for supporting the project and the veterans! PLUS you'll get digital downloads of the "Overture to the Devastators" and The Charge of the Devastators "movie poster" -- the original artwork that opens the project videos featured here.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    You'll receive a digital copy (e-book) of "The Charge of the Devastators" in its forthcoming novel format. The novel will follow the storyline and flow of the already completed action packed movie script, but with additional true stories that were not included in the script for brevity's sake. So in a few months you can be reading the entire riveting, true story of "The Charge of the Devastators" and the epic Battle of Midway, as told from the veteran's eyewitness accounts -- all for just $10!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Get the $10 perk PLUS TWO RARE VETERANS' AUDIO INTERVIEWS! One is with a Devastator pilot who tells the gripping story of his combat experience at Midway from start to finish!. Very few Devastator aviators survived the battle and the war, and only TWO pilots recorded interviews -- you will get a digital copy of one of those rare interviews! ADDITIONALLY, you'll receive a second rare audio account of the battle -- this one from a Dauntless dive bomber pilot who scored THREE hits at Midway --- two on carriers and one on a battleship. Truly PRICELESS historical items!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Get everything in the $20 perk PLUS you also get a paperback copy of the forthcoming "Devastators" book!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Same as $25 perk but you'll get the book in hard cover -- , and additionally, I will sign the book and write you a personal note of thanks. With your help, the "Devastators" book/film project will come to fruition, I'll become famous, and that signed copy will be worth a lot of money some day!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Everything in the $40 perk (to recap: includes digital download and autographed hard copy of the book, two pilots' audio interviews) PLUS an additional PDF download of a rare copy of a hero of Midway's flight log/war diary -- over 100 pages (including rare photos) recounting exploits from not only the Battle of Midway but many other stirring air actions and missions from the war. This log book is a PRICELESS one a kind treasure for aviation/WWII buffs!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Everything in the $50 perk PLUS you'll get over 90 minutes of exclusive VIDEO interviews (from my personal archives) of Midway aviators and sailors discussing their combat experiences! These priceless videos were mostly filmed at the numerous reunions and commemorations I attended over the course of many years. They have never before been made public. Most of these great veterans have sadly passed on, making these oral histories the only surviving accounts of their heroic actions that saved a nation.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Can't wait for your digital or hard copy of the book version to arrive? For $100 you get the $75 perk PLUS rush delivery of a PDF of the already completed movie script -- which itself reads like a page turner of a novel that you won't be able to put down. The PDF script file will be confidentially distributed to you in JUST 45 DAYS OR LESS from the campaign's end! (All other items distributed in May),

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    (RECAP of the $100 perk = autographed copy of the book, 2 pilots' audio interviews, video interviews, PDF of hero of Midway's flight log and rush PDF download of the movie script).

    For the $150 perk ADD 3 more books (for a total of 4). After reading the script of this incredible story, you'll want others to know all about these heroes of Midway. These extra copies will make perfect gifts that will be truly appreciated!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Get all the $150 perk, PLUS recieve a stirring, original, as yet unreleased dramatic short film docudrama (DVD or download) about "The Charge of the Devastators" and the Battle of Midway! This docudrama will be like a "sneak peak" at the movie I hope to make, and will include veterans' interviews never before released to the public, original music, and NEW original Battle of Midway artwork!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    By now you probably realize that I know a bit about this battle and this amazing era in history and have some serious passion for paying tribute to these veterans and telling their stories. For $250, in addition to all that's in the $200 perk, we will have a 1 hour Skype or phone conversation about all things Devastators, Midway, and Naval Aviation/WWII, plus whatever else you want to discuss! (WARNING: get me started on this stuff and we will likely go WAY MORE than an hour!) .

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Get all of the $250 perk (recap: autographed hardcover copy of the book, 3 additional books, 2 pilots' audio interviews, video interviews, PDF of hero of Midway's flight log and rush PDF download of the movie script, docudrama DVD, 1hr phone or Skype conversation) PLUS your name prominently featured in the book's "Squadron Commanders Honor Guard" as a valued project contributor and supporter of Midway veterans. ADDITIONALLY, get another signed hard cover copy of the book dedicated to a person of your choice and three more paperback copies (for a total of 8 book copies in all).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Get everything in the $350 perk (see recap at $350 perk level) PLUS two beautiful color prints of original Devastator/Battle of Midway art -- one of "The Charge of the Devastators" movie poster, plus another dramatic original artistic rendering of the battle that I am currently working on, giving you TWO beautiful, full color Devastator/Battle of Midway (BOM) original, framable and signed art pieces for your wall space.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    For $750 get all of the $500 perk PLUS I will print your own short TRIBUTE (similar to a book "blurb") from you to the great veterans, to be included in the book!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    You will get everything in the $750 perk PLUS, send me your audio or video tribute to the heroes of Midway and I will incorporate it into the forthcoming original docudrama -- meaning your personal tribute will long be remembered by the veterans, their families and all other viewers who will see this finished short film. After reading the movie script (distributed at the $100 level) you will undoubtedly have plenty to say in tribute to the brave men who fought for our freedom that fateful day. I plan to widely distribute this video, so your tribute will last through history!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Get all the great offerings in the $1000 perk PLUS I'll give you up to an ENTIRE PAGE in the "Devastators" book to pay tribute, comment, speak your mind, write your bio, post your picture or write/post whatever you want as long as it is relevant to the "Charge", the Battle of Midway or WWII. For example, if you want to honor a relative or acquaintance who fought in ANY theater of WWII, you could have up to an entire page to devote to that tribute -- because honoring these great veterans is what this project is all about. If the book becomes the best seller I think it can be, your statements and tribute will be published worldwide!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Get the $1500 perk (all of it delivered by June 2014) PLUS I'll come to your hometown (by March 2015) to do a lecture/media presentation and book signing at a venue you provide -- home, civic group, book club, etc.. (NOTE: I'll consider travel outside the US but on your dime).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (44 days)