A national bestseller when it was originally published in 1942 and the subject of a 1945 John Ford film featuring John Wayne, They Were Expendable offers an account of Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three's heroic actions during the disastrous Philippine campaign early in World War II. The author uses an unusual and effective format to tell the story: an interview with the four young survivors whose names are forever linked with the tragedy - John Bulkeley, Robert Kelly, Anthony Akers, and George Cox. Deeply moving, it describes Squadron Three's brave exploits, from the first appearance of Japanese planes over Manila Bay to its calamitous end, including a thrilling account of Gen. Douglas MacArthur's escape from Bataan.
A Navy commander fights to prove the battle-worthiness of the PT boat at the start of World War II.
Release Date: December 19, 1945
Release Time: 135 minutes
Robert Montgomery as Lieutenant John Brickley
John Wayne as Lieutenant (junior grade) "Rusty" Ryan
Donna Reed as 2nd Lieutenant Sandy Davyss
Jack Holt as General Martin
Ward Bond as "Boats" Mulcahey C.B.M.
Marshall Thompson as Ensign "Snake" Gardner
Paul Langton as Ensign "Andy" Andrews
Leon Ames as Major James Morton
Arthur Walsh as Seaman Jones
Donald Curtis as Lieutenant (J.G.) "Shorty" Long
Cameron Mitchell as Ensign George Cross
Jeff York as Ensign Tony Aiken
Murray Alper as TM1c "Slug" Mahan
Harry Tenbrook as "Squarehead" Larsen SC2c
Jack Pennick as "Doc"
Alex Havier as 'Benny' Lecoco ST3c
Charles Trowbridge as Admiral Blackwell
Robert Barrat as The General
Bruce Kellogg as Elder Tompkins MoMM2c
Tim Murdock as Ens. Brant
Louis Jean Heydt as "Ohio"
Russell Simpson as "Dad" Knowland
Vernon Steele as Army Doctor
1945 Academy Awards
Best Sound - Douglas Shearer - Nominated
Best Special Effects - Donald Jahraus, Robert MacDonald, Michael Steinore, Arnold A. Gillespie - Nominated
White, author, journalist, and war correspondent, worked for the Washington Post and Fortune before taking over his Pulitzer Prize-winning father's famous paper, the Emporia Gazette.