|Directed by||Louis King|
|Story by||Carl Krueger|
|Produced by||Carl Krueger|
|Edited by||Arthur H. Nadel|
|Music by||Herschel Burke Gilbert|
Carl Krueger Productions
|Distributed by||United Artists|
Sabre Jet is a 1953 American drama war film set during the Korean War, directed by Louis King and starring Robert Stack, Coleen Gray, Richard Arlen, Julie Bishop and Leon Ames. It was shot in Cinecolor using United States Air Force footage. Sabre Jet was based on a story by the producer Carl Krueger with the screenplay written by the husband and wife playwright and screenwriting team of Dale Eunson and Katherine Albert. The opening credits state: "This picture is dedicated to the air force wives who shared their men with a world made desperate by the most brutal aggressor in history."
The United States Air Force at Itazuke Air Base during the Korean War has a visitor: Jane Carter (Coleen Gray), a female journalist who wishes to do a feature story on the wives of the American pilots. Jane admits to the wing commander General Hale (Richard Arlen) that she is the wife of one of his squadron leaders, Colonel Gil Manton (Robert Stack). This surprises everyone.
Gil and Jane have been separated for two years. Jane prefers life under her former name as a major journalist with frequent travel, while Gil prefers a wife who will stay home and have a family. Gil is not only upset that Jane left their anniversary celebration to get a story from the wife of a Death Row prisoner about to be executed, but Gil feels Jane callously used and exploited the woman for a story. Gil has kept their separation a secret as a divorce would hurt his career.
Jane meets the wives and learns their motivations and that though they are open with each other, they hide their fears from their husbands lest it affect their performance.
Meanwhile, with the Korean War raging, military intelligence has discovered A North Korean air base filled with Soviet-built Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 fighter jets and piston engine Yakovlev Yak-9 aircraft threatening the United Nations forces. General Hale wishes to lead a carefully synchronized combined airstrike of Boeing B-29 Superfortress bombers escorted by North American F-86 Sabre to deal with the enemy aircraft and Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star ground-attack aircraft to destroy the enemy’s anti-aircraft defenses.
General Hale’s superiors are sympathetic but inform the General that approval for such a massive combined operation can take a long time to approve. General Hale replies that the wet season in North Korea will begin in a week that would make the operation impossible after it has begun. 
General Hale disobeys orders by personally flying an F-86 on a reconnaissance mission without escort over the target. After he is aloft, intelligence discovers the air base is located elsewhere and that what the General is flying over is a stronghold full of anti-aircraft weapons and enemy fighter aircraft.
The General is shot down; Jane is with the General's wife Marge (Julie Bishop) when Gil breaks the news of the loss of the General. Marge's incredible composure and courage brings Jane to tears and makes her reevaluate her marriage and behavior towards Gil.
Gil takes over command of the fighter wing and leads the escort mission protecting F-80 fighter-bombers and B-29 bombers on an attack against the North Korean air base. While their mission is successful, Gil loses three jet pilots. After consoling the wives of the pilots that were lost, Gil see Jane waiting for him at the gate, and they embrace.
Producer Carl Krueger had previously produced the William Wyler aviation film Thunderbolt! (1947) that was shot during World War II but not released until after the conflict.  [Note 1]
The film was announced in February 1953. Krueger would make it independently for United Artists. 
Sabre Jet was made in cooperation with the United States Air Force and used four Korean War veterans of the air war as technical advisors.  [Note 2] The film was mostly shot at Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas but also featured extensive use of actual World War II aerial combat film footage.   [Note 3] When Sabre Jet eventually was relegated to television broadcasts, the film was screened in a black-and-white version. 
The aircraft seen in Sabre Jet include Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star fighters as well as F-86 Sabres. Other aircraft included Republic F-84 Thunderjet, Aeronca L-16A, Douglas A-26 Invader and Boeing B-29 Superfortress (in archive footage).  A number of F-86 Sabres were repainted to act as MiG-15s. 
Sabre Jet was premiered in Dayton, Ohio, on September 3, 1953, during the National Air Show, in the presence of nine Korean aces, including Joseph McConnell Jr.  The film was critically reviewed by Bosley Crowther in The New York Times . He noted: "You'd never guess it from the title, but the little picture called 'Sabre Jet', which opened last night at the Criterion, is a great deal more concerned with the bravery of the wives of jet pilots than with that of the fellows who fly the planes."  In his book The Aircraft-Spotter's Film and Television Companion, aviation film historian Simon D. Beck considered Sabre Jet a "... thoughtful if emotionally distant" account of the air war in Korea. 
In similar reviews, aviation film historian Stephen Pendo described Sabre Jet as a "weak" example of the air war in Korea, especially singling out the female characters as being a stereotype of military wives, who were "... overly hysterical" when their husbands went to war.  In a similar assessment, aviation film historian Michael Paris noted that the film was built around two elements, the missions flown by "Sabre" fighter pilots, and the effect on their families. 
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 is a jet fighter aircraft developed by Mikoyan-Gurevich for the Soviet Union. The MiG-15 was one of the first successful jet fighters to incorporate swept wings to achieve high transonic speeds. In aerial combat during the Korean War, it outclassed straight-winged jet day fighters, which were largely relegated to ground-attack roles. In response to the MiG-15's appearance and in order to counter it, the United States Air Force rushed the North American F-86 Sabre to Korea.
The North American F-86 Sabre, sometimes called the Sabrejet, is a transonic jet fighter aircraft. Produced by North American Aviation, the Sabre is best known as the United States' first swept-wing fighter that could counter the swept-wing Soviet MiG-15 in high-speed dogfights in the skies of the Korean War (1950–1953), fighting some of the earliest jet-to-jet battles in history. Considered one of the best and most important fighter aircraft in that war, the F-86 is also rated highly in comparison with fighters of other eras. Although it was developed in the late 1940s and was outdated by the end of the 1950s, the Sabre proved versatile and adaptable and continued as a front-line fighter in numerous air forces.
This is a list of aviation-related events from 1953:
Robert Anderson Hoover was an American fighter pilot, test pilot, flight instructor, and record-setting air show aviator.
Joseph Christopher McConnell Jr. was a United States Air Force fighter pilot who was the top American flying ace during the Korean War. A native of Dover, New Hampshire, Captain McConnell was credited with shooting down 16 MiG-15s while flying North American F-86 Sabres. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions in aerial combat. McConnell was the first American triple jet-on-jet fighter ace and is still the top-scoring American jet ace.
James "Jabby" Jabara was the first American and United States Air Force jet ace. Born in Oklahoma, he lived in Kansas where he enlisted as an aviation cadet at Fort Riley after graduating from high school. Jabara attended four flying schools in Texas before he received his pilot's wings and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. Jabara flew two tours of combat duty in Europe during World War II as a North American P-51 Mustang pilot, and scored 1.5 air victories against German aircraft.
Manuel John "Pete" Fernandez, Jr. was the third-leading American and United States Air Force ace in the Korean War. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in Korea on March 21, 1953.
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"MiG Alley" was the name given by United Nations (UN) pilots during the Korean War to the northwestern portion of North Korea, where the Yalu River empties into the Yellow Sea. It was the site of numerous dogfights between UN fighter pilots and their opponents from North Korea and the People's Republic of China. Soviet-built Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 were the aircraft used during most of the conflict, and the area's nickname was derived from them. It was the site of the first large-scale jet-vs.-jet air battles, with the North American F-86 Sabre.
Fighter Squadron is a 1948 American World War II aviation war film in Technicolor from Warner Bros., produced by Seton I. Miller, directed by Raoul Walsh, that stars Edmond O'Brien, Robert Stack, and John Rodney.
Jet Pilot is a 1957 American Cold War romance film directed by Josef von Sternberg and starring John Wayne and Janet Leigh. It was written and produced by Jules Furthman, and presented by Howard Hughes. Filming lasted more than eighteen months, beginning in 1949. The last day of shooting was in May 1953, but the Technicolor film was kept out of release by Hughes due to his tinkering until October 1957, by which time Hughes had sold RKO. Universal-International ended up distributing Jet Pilot.
Yevgeny Georgievich Pepelyaev a Soviet fighter pilot in the Korean war; most Russian sources credit him as the second-highest scoring pilot in the war with 19 shootdowns, placing him only below Nikolai Sutyagin. However, some Western sources indicate him to be the top ace of the war, and he claimed to have 23 victories in his memoir, which would put him above Sutyagin's 22 shootdowns.
The McConnell Story is a 1955 dramatization of the life and career of United States Air Force (USAF) pilot Joseph C. McConnell (1922–1954) directed by Gordon Douglas. McConnell served as a navigator in World War II before becoming the top American ace during the Korean War and was killed on August 25, 1954, while serving as a test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert, California. The Warner Brothers production, filmed in CinemaScope and Warner Color, stars Alan Ladd as McConnell and June Allyson as his wife. Longtime Warners staff composer Max Steiner wrote the musical score for the film.
Winged Victory is a 1944 American drama film directed by George Cukor, a joint effort of 20th Century-Fox and the U.S. Army Air Forces. Based upon the 1943 play of the same name by Moss Hart, who also wrote the screenplay, the film opened only after the play's theatre run. The film version of Winged Victory used many of the Broadway cast, who were brought to Hollywood.
Mission Over Korea is a 1953 American war film released by Columbia Pictures, directed by Fred F. Sears, from a story by former war correspondent Richard Tregaskis, author of Guadalcanal Diary. The film stars John Hodiak, John Derek, Audrey Totter and Maureen O'Sullivan.
Jet Job is a 1952 American aviation action film directed by William Beaudine. The film stars Stanley Clements, John Litel and Bob Nichols. Jet Job features stock footage of various types of USAF military aircraft.
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