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NEW DVD - Black Jack's Last Mission

Posted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:19 am
by Justin Taylan
Dear friends,

I am proud to announce the release of the film, "Black Jack's Last Mission" on DVD, and a new website about B-17F "Black Jack / The Joker's Wild" 41-24521:

This DVD is the story of B-17F "Black Jack / The Joker's Wild" 41-24521, one of the 5th Air Force's most famous bombers. Assigned to the 43rd Bomb Group, it flew bombing missions until it ditched on July 11, 1943. The entire crew survived and were rescued with the help of friendly villagers and Australian spotters in the vicinity. ... 24521.html

The wreck was discovered by Rodney Pearce in December 1986.

Acclaimed author Steve Birdsall directed and produced the film, and was responsible for bringing the former pilot, Ralph De Loach to New Guinea to revisit the wreck and the village where he and the crew were rescued.

Shot on 16mm film, it originally aired on National Geographic Explorer and Australian Television. Today, it has been digitally remastered onto DVD, including special extra features:

I had the opportunity to meet and interview the former radio operator, George Prezioso, who is likely the last surviving member of the crew:

Half of all purchases support the non-profit Pacific Wrecks website. The DVD is available online and via mail order with free shipping worldwide.


Re: NEW DVD - Black Jack's Last Mission

Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:03 pm
by smoorej
My uncle, Joseph Moore, was the co-pilot on that mission. I grew up hearing the story of the ditching and the rescue by the villagers. I am ordering the DVD. FYI, the photo that appears on the website misidentifies my uncle as James Peterson. The person standing second from the left is in fact Joe Moore.

Re: NEW DVD - Black Jack's Last Mission

Posted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:13 pm
by Steve Birdsall
Thanks for making that correction, I'm sorry about the error. Ralph De Loach came up with that crew photo after the film was completed. It wasn't easy to identify several of the crew, and flight engineer Delbert Smith always insisted that the tail gunner on that mission was "Flynn", not Paul Blasewitz!