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Hardin-Simmons University Library

Sound | 1950s

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  •  North American F-86D Sabre 
  •  94th Fighter Interceptor Squadron 
  •  How an Air Force interceptor base operates  
  •  First assignment 
 
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Produced by North American Aviation in cooperation with the Continental Air Defense Command and the Ground Observer Corps, this industrial film highlights the importance of air defense during the Cold War. Film, television, and radio actor Reed Hadley hosts the film. (Hadley was born in Petrolia, Texas, near Wichita Falls.) The film first stresses the role of civil defense organizations like the Ground Observer Corps, with members potentially spotting enemy planes that cannot be detected by radar technology. Next, the film follows Captain Bill Donovan of the 94th Fighter Squadron as he becomes combat ready and embarks on his first assignment. Organized in 1917 as the 94th Aero Squadron at Kelly Field in San Antonio, the 94th is one of the oldest units in the United States Air Force. During the Cold War, the squadron was assigned to Air Defense Command, with pilots flying the North American F-86D Sabre in the interceptor role.
Born Reed Herring in Petrolia, Texas, on June 25, 1911, Reed Hadley was an American film, television, and radio actor. In addition to his extensive work in Hollywood, Hadley also provided narration to several Department of Defense films, including “Operation Ivy,” about the first hydrogen bomb test in 1952. He also narrated the 1954 documentary The Nazi Plan, which was used by the prosecution in the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg. Hadley died of a heart attack on December 11, 1974, at the age of 63.