Victory Films | The Ninth Air Force in Color

Reviewed by Floyd S. Werner, Jr.

Often overlooked in the European Air War, the Ninth Air Force was in fact larger than the celebrated Eighth. Flying a variety of medium and light bomber types, such as the A-20, B-26 and the A-26, and fighter bombers such as the venerable P-47 and the P-38 and P-51, the Ninth played a pivotal role in the conquest of Hitler's Europe. In fact, the first P-51 unit was assigned to the Ninth AF.

This DVD from Victory Films is completely in color and a wealth of inspiration. It is not broken up into segments as other Victory Films are but the aircraft type is covered in the same area. Let me explain, the first part of the film covers the Douglas A-20. It features them landing and crashing. The color is in perfect balance. In case you were ever looking for reference on the Tow Tractor from the Monogram B-24 it is covered here. There are Natural Metal Finished aircraft and Olive Drab over Neutral Grey machines.

The next segment covers the A-26 Invader, sporting a Natural Metal Finish with guns everywhere. There are guns in the nose, in the turrets and under the wings; this thing carried a whole lot of whoop ass. On top of that they are shown flying in a nice formation. Break out the Monogram kit.

The B-26 Marauder is the next aircraft type covered. If you need inspiration for a diorama then this DVD is for you. There are plenty of great detail shots while the aircraft is serviced. The other feature of the B-26 section is the range of nose art. I use to think that modelers tended to over weather their models. I was wrong. These aircraft exhibit some heavy weathering and severe paint chipping. I think if you were to replicate it in scale you would be laughed off the judging table. You can tell this was a hot shot airplane as the takeoff sequence shows pilots retracting the gear immediately, and I mean milliseconds after lift off. Looks cool but way dangerous. There are some tight formation shots that give you the feeling that you are a part of the flight.

The ultimate ground attack aircraft, the P-47, is covered next. Lots of great looking aircraft here, including a razorback with a red spine and nose art. There is a lot of information to be gleaned from this section. I noted that the Natural Metal Finishes included US insignia of various sizes on the wings. Some were large and some were normal sized. This would be a good point to do a shameless plug for my instructional DVD on Natural Metal Finishes coming out in August utilizing the P-47 as the subject. You'll see how dirty the aircraft actually get with this video and how to replicate with mine. End of shameless plug thank you for hanging with me on that. Some wonderful in flight stuff including yellow nosed aircraft bearing the codes B8 over the patchwork fields of Europe. To see it in color is great. Who would have ever guessed that they could have green fields in WWII?

Some of the most exciting gun camera film is included. I was ducking and weaving as the P-47s wheel around smoke stacks and bridges. WAHOOO! They are close. Even the Thunderbolt couldn't survive hitting the stacks. Every wonder what it would be like to shoot down a Me 262? Here is color footage of a P-47 getting one. The right engine is on fire and once it was out of the fight the Me 262 is nothing more than a target. This is followed up by some more staffing valleys, roads, trees and even flying below the tree line. You'll notice the technique of hitting the rudder to shoot up airfields and avoid the flak that comes up. Heck you see the 262 take a powder now it is time for a couple of FW-190D9s to hit the silk. If you need proof of the second class status of the Ninth AF then you will see a lot of aircraft codes, such as B8, L0, D3, A6, B2, and O7 and I bet you can't name the squadrons.

In the same sequence you get to see a pink elephant fly. Remember those decals from the IPMS/USA Nationals from Virginia Beach? That aircraft is shown here with the red, blue and yellow checkered cowling and the pretty pink elephant and "Five by Five". Some of the other nose art is included after the elephant that is humorous.

P-51s are next on the DVD. Remember the Ninth flew the P-51 before anyone in the Eighth. That unit is covered here with excellent coverage of "Angel's Playmate". Noted absent is Eagleston's Mustang. There is more gun camera footage, but in comparison to the P-47's wallop the P-51's six .50 calibers seem dainty. Lots of FW-190A and D are shot down in this sequence. FYI, Eagleston scored all his kills in the P-51 and when he switched over to the P-47 he never scored another victory. Still I love his airplane. Did I mention that it is covered on my new DVD? Sorry couldn't resist another shameless plug. I'll try not to do that again.

P-38s with unique nacelle names and heavy, I mean heavy, grey exhaust stains are the feature of the next section. Also included is a droop snoot P-38. There are a lot of diorama shots with buildings, intact and blown up, in the back ground and lots of debris. There is a couple of seconds that show a Ju-88 night fighter tail section which wears a unique RLM 76 with 75 over spray on the fuselage and 82 overspray on the rudder. The sequence ends with a somber sight as P-38s land behind a cemetery with a lot of crosses.

The P-61 Black Widow is shown to great advantage in the next segment. Both type of paint schemes are shown, black overall and the OD/NG. What a big airplane.

Lewdedorf (I know I spelled that wrong) Bridge is shown with the Anti-Aircraft guns, with an eagle and swastika in the background, in action. Some nice shots of armored vehicles and Sherman tanks are included, interestingly even some with dozer blades on the front.

Operation Varsity is covered with a sequence on Waco Gliders and C-47s. They look like a big parade in the sky. They are so low over the drop zone that you can clearly make out their shadows. The weather is clear blue and 22. The paratroopers are seen exiting the heavily weathered C-47s with their green parachutes. Interestingly you get to see an actual glider landing and a successful one at that.

The commanders are covered next assembling for a meeting on the continent. Spaatz, Van den Burg, Kasada and more. They are joined by Hap Arnold in an unpainted B-25. I couldn't make out any markings, not even the stars and bars. Hmmm!

GERMANS! Who would have thought you get to see fat Hermann Goring in his pretty powder blue uniform. Also in contrast to Goring who has every medal known to man on his jacket, Adolph Galland is there wearing only his Knights Cross. Smiling Albert Kesselring is included and he ain't smiling. The uber-nazi Hans Ulrich Rudel is included with all his decorations. Also his peg leg is shown to great effect. You get to see the C-47 that will carry the dignitaries back to England. You actually get to see both sides of it if you wanted to model it.

Imagine my surprise when lo and behold a Fw 190F-8 taxies onto the screen. "Black Chevron Green 2" with its yellow theater markings around the cowl ring and tail. It also sports a spiral on its nose. I'm thinking that is cool but wait there is more. A pair of Ju 87Ds flies over and land. They also have the yellow cowlings and spiral spinner. Be still my beating heart. Then there are Bf 110G-4s everywhere. One is really close up and you can make out the overspray of light green and the spiral spinners. I can't take too much more of this. An unpainted Me 262 Fighter Bomber is shown in a 360 degree perspective. It has dark grey primer over all the joints with a RLM 76 rudder. Finally, there is a Bf 109G where you can see the brown violet and dark green. There is a panoramic shot of the airfield and aircraft that I wish I was really there for. Beautiful airplanes everywhere.

The end of the war in Europe brings an over flight of Paris on VE day in a Cub that shows just how much a party it was in the City of Light. You get to see the Arch de Triumph and the Eiffel Tower.

That does it for this DVD. That is a lot of stuff and it is ALL in color. Needless to say I was impressed by the whole affair. There is minimal talking, aircraft sounds and period music through out. I also noticed that baseball was important to the troops as it is in a couple of sections.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this title and the rest of the series. Great research material, exciting action and new film makes these DVDs a great value for the money. For less than the cost of a kit you will be motivated to build numerous kits. Now where is that Tamiya 1/48th P-47D? No wait where is the Trumpeter 1/24th P-51D? No wait how about the Monogram A-26, AMT A-20. Oh hell, you get what I'm saying here. There is a lot of motivation and inspiration contained in this one hour and 40 minutes DVD. Buy it and the others and you won't be disappointed.

You can get a copy from Wade Meyers Studios online at
Don't forget to check out the wonderful artwork while your there.

The actual DVD, "The Ninth Air Force in Color" is online at

This is just one of many great DVDs that are available. Don't forget to use the coupon code at the bottom of the page to save postage. Let him know that you heard about it from here.

Thanks to Wade Meyers and Victory Films for the review copy.

© Floyd S. Werner, Jr. 2006

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This review was published on Saturday, July 02 2011; Last modified on Wednesday, May 18 2016