This real-life biopic portrays the unlikely rise of Captain Joseph C ‘Mac’ McConnell Jr (played here by Alan Ladd, who seems way too old for the part) into the ranks of Korean era jet pilots.
Despite washing out of medical school and nearly being bounced out of flight school for going AWOL, McConnell doggedly pursues his dream and eventually, circumstances permit him to become a jet pilot. And then he really shines.
McConnell becomes an ace in short order and eventually becomes America’s first triple jet ace. Recognising his importance back stateside, Washington grounds him from further combat.
On 25 August 1954, while testing the fifth production F-86H at Edwards Air Force Base, Joseph C McConnell Jr was killed in a crash following a control malfunction. The cause of the crash was attributed to a missing bolt. Major Chuck Yeager was assigned to investigate the crash and replicated the malfunction at a much higher altitude, recovering before he hit the desert floor. The end of this movie had to be changed to reflect this event.
Captain Joseph C ‘Mac’ McConnell Jr
Pearl ‘Butch’ Brown
Colonel Ty ‘Dad’ Whitman