My grandfather served with the RAF from 1939 to 1945, he lied about his age so he could join on the first day of war.
Wayne was about 43/44 in Flying Leathernecks so I doubt there were pilots that old. As you get older your reflexes slow.
When Michael Caine made The Battle of Britain he asked if he was too young at 36 to play a squadron leader and they told him he was actually too old, because most of them were 24.
Posts from ColeThornton in thread „Sands Of Iwo Jima (1949)“
It should have been in black & white because the colour made the archive footage too obvious. It's hard to take the film seriously at all. My grandfather told me he never saw a pilot over the age of thirty through six years of war, yet Wayne and Ryan were in their forties.
The worst one of the trilogy was Flying Leathernecks. A shame, because it had the great Robert Ryan.
I must admit I wasn't overly impressed by Sands. Yopu would expect it to have dated after all these years, but while Wayne gave a good performance I found the story rather cliched. In some ways I prefered Operation Pacific which at least had Ward Bond.