Eighth Air Force TV Epic

The wartime operations of the US Eighth Air

Force are the subject of the latest TV series from film director Steven Spielberg and actor/ director Tom Hanks. Commissioned by the HBO network, the new series is reported as the most expensive television production ever, with a budget around $500 million.

Donald L Miller’s book Masters of the

Air forms the basis of the production, Miller having earlier been involved on The Pacific.

Filming for the series will take place in

Georgia during October, while Norman

Wells, the museum’s UK representative, says that interviews will be filmed with veterans attending the annual reunion of the 100th

Bomb Group in Savannah. The 10th BG flew from Thorpe Abbots, Norfolk, during the war.

Wells notes: “While Donald Miller frequently refers to crews of the ‘Bloody Hundredth’ in his book, it’s probably too early to confirm it will be the ‘focus group’ of the TV series – but he has said the master script ‘will most likely’ highlight one group and one station.”

The production team has informed the museum that series characters will include

Lt Gen ‘Jimmy’ Doolittle, who commanded the Eighth from early 1944, Curtis LeMay, who led the 305th Bomb Group and later the 3rd Bombardment Division, and a flight surgeon. Norman Wells says that the latter,

“…fits in with Miller’s emphasis in the book on the psychological as well as physical effects of combat on aircrews.”

Filming will also be carried out in the

UK and Germany, and is likely to include prisoner of war experiences, these being important to Miller’s book.

Skipper believes that the series – likely to be scheduled for 2015 screening – will create massive public interest in the subject.

Doug Armstrong

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