Masters of the Air – S01E04 – Part Four | Transcript

Lt. Rosenthal joins the 100th just as one of its crews reaches a milestone. The U-boat pens at Bremen become a target for the second time
Masters of the Air - S01E04 - Part Four

“Masters of the Air” Season 1 Episode 4 begins in Teleghma, Algeria, where members of the 100th bomb squad take a brief pause before their mandated return to England. Quinn decides on a dangerous journey back with Bailey, only to face a test of authenticity by Belgian men aiming to identify a German spy among them. In England, the airbase is abuzz with the objective of completing 25 missions to enable the crew’s return home, with Captain Glenn Dye’s crew nearing this pivotal milestone. Despite the celebration of their safe return, the mood is tinged with the harsh reality of war’s toll and the urgent need for more pilots. Amidst the backdrop of war, personal relationships emerge and are tested, notably Nash’s fleeting romance with Helen. The storyline shifts focus to a critical assault on Bremen’s U-boat pens, a mission fraught with losses yet deemed a strategic victory, casting a pall of sorrow and resolve across the squadron. With Egan missing this crucial operation, his resolve to lead the next mission intensifies upon learning about the grim outcomes.

* * *

[Douglass] Know that you are always in my thoughts, from the moment I wake till the moment I rest my head at night.

But even then, you fill my dreams.

You are and always will be the only girl for me.

I hope.

[Crosby] The RegensburgSchweinfurt mission was by far our largest and costliest battle to date.

We lost Biddick, Claytor, Van Noy, and their crews.

We didn’t know who was killed or who was captured.

[airplanes approaching in distance]

There’s the 12th.

[soldiers chattering]

Well, better late than never, huh?

[Buck] Better have that ice cold beer for the boys.

Don’t count on it.

All right, fellas, let’s hustle up.

Yeah. Get your things, boys.

We’re going home.

[Bucky] Now.

[Crosby] Courage took many forms during the war.

Allied airmen like Sergeant William Quinn, who successfully parachuted to the ground had only one way to avoid capture, the help of foreign friends.

If anyone was caught helping a downed flier, they were either thrown into a concentration camp or executed.

The risks were enormous.

[patrons chattering in German]

[whispering] You sit there. I’ll be right back.

[door opens]

[patron 1] Psst…

[door closes]


[sighs] Bailey.

You’re alive.

Anyone else make it?

[stammers] You’re the first familiar face I’ve seen.

Who’s he?

That’s Bob.

[stammers] Uh, which group you say you’re from again?


You’re a gunner?


Hey, you guys sure must have kicked the hornet’s nest.

They came after us with a fury I ain’t ever seen. [chuckles]

[Quinn] We got our share.


Been drinking out of a trough since yesterday.

What about you?

[stammers] What happened to Baby Face? Everybody else?

You. Come with me.

[person] What is your name?

Sergeant William Quinn.

Serial number 6391477.

[person] Please write down your answers.

What was your mission?

To bomb a Messerschmitt factory.

Your position?

Radio operator.

Write down your answers, please.

Do you like baseball?


Who did Babe Ruth play for before the Dodgers?

Babe Ruth never played for the Dodgers.

Uh… [stammers] …he played for the Yankees.

And before that… [stutters] …it was the Red Sox.

What is the statue in Trafalgar Square?

I don’t know where that is, sir.

Have you never been to London?

[stammers] We’re stationed in East Anglia.

You need at least a twoday pass to get to London.

I’ve never had two days’ leave.

Write today’s date on the top of your paper.

What is your national anthem?

StarSpangled Banner.

Can you sing it?

♪ O say can you see ♪

♪ By the dawn’s early light ♪

♪ Just how proudly we hailed At the twilight’s last gleaming ♪

♪ Whose broad stripes and bright stars… ♪


I haven’t been grilled that hard since my social studies final.

You’re telling me. I thought I’d failed.

Bob, you have a light?

Yeah. Hey, you got one for me?




[birds squawking]

Why did you do that?

He was an infiltrator.

No, no, no, no, no, no, no. I talked to him for an hour. Okay?

[stammers] Quinn? You talked to him. He was American.

German. They have tried many ways to infiltrate our network, but we always catch them.

You could’ve made a mistake.

We don’t make mistakes.

[Crosby] Twentyfive was the magic number.

If you survived 25 missions,

they sent you home and built bond tours around you.

How are the boys gonna take it if Dye doesn’t make it?

It’ll either be one hell of a party or one hell of a wake.

[Crosby] In the fall of 1943, Captain Glenn Dye and his crew were the first to get close.




Tommy, you came to watch.

These boys, they keeping you out of trouble?

Well, they’re keeping me in trouble, John.

I bet.

Hey, Billy, Sammy, you working with these ruffians now?

Unless you’re gonna give me a job.

So come work with us.



Couple of eager beavers over here.


Lil, don’t worry about Dye. Twentyfive missions. He’ll be here soon.

Thank you, John.

See ya, boys.

[horn honks]

[soldier 1] Hey there, Major.



[Bucky] You look like a war bond poster. Very handsome.

[soldier 2] Feel like a war bond poster too.

[soldier 3] Hey.


It means a great deal coming from you, Major.

[Jack] How you doing, Bucky?

Jack. How are ya?

Sun’s out. Can’t complain.



[soldier 4] Hey, hey, hey. Look here.

It’s Dye.

There he is.

[laughing, cheering]

[soldier 5] Twentyfifth mission!

You’re going home!

[whooping, cheering]


[soldier 6] You’re going home, you lucky bastard!

He stole your move.

He stole your girl.


[Dye] You wanna go see the boys? Follow me.

[swing music playing]


Well, there he is.

Look like you’re having a swell time.

[stammering] Watch out for the lady.

Oh, no, no. I’m I’m going that way.

Come on, Bucky. Too much.

That’s too much? That’s too much?

His mom died.

[cheering] There he is.

There’s our very own Charlie Robertson.

Charlie? Who’s Charlie?

1922. White Sox at Tigers. No runs, no hits, no errors.

Yeah, he’s the last guy to throw a perfect game.

[Bucky] Till now.

You get to go home before Florida?

Uh, yeah. Three days.

Yeah, maybe go hunting with my pops, let Mom fuss over me.

Then I’m dropping by some stations to prove that 25 can actually, you know, get done. [chuckles]

[scoffs] Yeah, by the skin of his teeth.


We’re all that’s left, aren’t we?

Twelve crews out of

Thirtyfive that flew in from Greenland.


That’s right.

We’re just happy for you, Dye.

That’s right. We are. Very happy for you. Very happy.

And to the fellas who aren’t here tonight, who should’ve been.

Drink to that.


[Bucky] Yeah, cheers to that.

Gentlemen, I’m gonna go check on the boys, make sure they aren’t celebrating too hard without me.

Charlie Robertson.

What’s he trying to do?

One down.

Stop staring.

I’m not staring.

You’re staring.

You did? No.

Neither of you is bothered by this?

I’m hot and bothered.

It’s Nash. Nash is Nash.

No, I’m not talking about that.

I’m talking about the giant shindig ’cause one crew isn’t going home in a box.

Why? Why you always got to say things like that?

[pilot 1] Well, look who it is.

Watch out, fellas. Here comes twinkle toes. Oh.


[pilot 1] Okay. Oh Oh.

[pilot 2] No No, don’t encourage him. He’s gonna scare off all the ladies.

[pilot 1] Nice moves.

Gentlemen, what have I missed?

I’m eyeing broads while Pappy here is trying to dour the mood.

In other words, nothing.



The mood. It’s “sour the mood,” you mean.

No, no. All I said is it’s not a good sign for us.

One crew making it merits a blowout bash?

All pilots do that. [chuckles]

You know they’re on to you, right?

I hope they are.


Thank you.


Major Egan.

Major Cleven.

Rosenthal. Nash.

That’s right.

Copilots, uh, Spatz and Lewis?

Speas. Sir.


Lewis, sir. But people call me Pappy. [chuckles]

All right.

You boys, uh

You were pilots before the war?

Lawyer, sir.


I practiced, uh

Where’d you learn to fly a B17?

Laredo. Nine months, 12 hours a day.


Gunnery training. Lieutenant Nash too.

Mmm. Mmhmm.

Well, you boys, you come with a hell of a reputation, I’ll tell you that.

Are you talking about us flying in our skivvies, sir?

I’m not following.

Well, we were known for flying in our underwear.


All of you?

[Pappy, Speas] Yes, sir.

That’s what the kids are doing these days?

In Texas, those forts get so hot, you could fry an egg on the instrument panel.

Is that so? [chuckles] We hadn’t heard about the the underwear, but we, uh we heard you’re outstanding pilots.

We’re happy to be in the war, sir.

We’ve been requesting a combat position for months.

Now that we’re here, feels like we’re actually gonna do something.

Yeah, you’ll do something, all right.

Enjoy yourselves.

[Rosenthal, Speas] Yes, sir.

Oh, boy. Why’d he have to mention that?

I mean, what am I thinking, talking about my skivvies in front of

You’re fine, you’re fine.

Pray for me, gents. I’m going in.


[Nash sighs]

[chattering, laughing]

Lieutenant Herbert Nash.


[Nash] Like Helen of Troy.


I can’t believe you came halfway around the world to hand out coffee and doughnuts.

[chuckles] I wanted to help, and this is what I got.

Tough break with this lot.

Yeah, I’m not complaining. [chuckles]

I bet you give that look to any chump who wants some breakfast.

Well I could be the last pretty face they ever see.

Well, how am I supposed to tell?

Tell what?

Whether you just feel sorry for me, or you wanna kiss me.




I’ll bet you like her smile, Buck.

Major Egan. Major Cleven.

I, uh I heard you were already on 20 missions.

Around there.

Well, he’s at 21.

Any advice?

Try to stay alive.

For at least 11 missions.

Yes, sir. What, uh What happens after that?

Ah, you beat the odds.

Or you didn’t. You know?

Thank you, Major. Major.

[Bucky] You have a good night.

You too.


All these are, uh, new faces…

We go down, they won’t remember us either. Like we never existed, Buck.

[sucks teeth]

What does it matter?

Nothing, I guess.

My boys.

[soldiers clamoring]

Colonel Harding.

[Harding] Listen up.

I just had a moodkilling conversation with Doc Stover.

Now, he thinks you sissies could be getting flakhappy.


Not us, sir.

I told him war is war, and the longer you go at it, the more it screws a man up.

And it’s been that way since the first caveman son of a bitch picked up a club and went after the other.

Did cavemen go for headshrinking?


[muttering] Not that I know of, sir.

You’re damn sure not.

[grunts] What counts is that you soldiers show up ready and able to fight, hmm?

What you do between battles… [chuckles]

I like your style, sir.

[soldier 1] Yes, sir.

Aerial combat like this hasn’t been around since the cavemen, sir.

Well, of course not, Red. Every war has its novelties.


Who the hell decorated this fiesta?

Well, I put together a committee, sir.

[Harding] The damn plane looks like it’s in a nosedive.


Fire ’em. Fire the committee.

[Jack] I won’t bother next time.

Come on, get in. Come here. Got something to tell ya.

You know how we could end this whole thing tonight?

We fill up one of our forts with as many 500pounders as she can hold, we bomb the hell out of Hitler’s hideyhole.

I’m sure Red and Bubbles could locate that mustachioed little fucker.

Yes, sir.

Now Now who’s flakhappy?


You are.

You are.

No, you are. Sir.


[soldiers chuckling]

Mmm. Single fillies.

Come on, boys. Let’s get the lead out.

Single fillies.

Order’s an order.

Let’s go, men.

Hey, Tatty. Tatty. Tatty.

You know you can’t resist.

Congratulations are in order.

You know you can’t resist.

[Buck] You need a break.

I think the colonel ought to fix you up a weekend pass.

Mmm. You should come.

London. Let’s do it up, Buck. Paint the town red.

Yeah, maybe next time.

Come here, Meatball.

[Meatball whines]

You wanna dance? [groans]

[Bucky] I’m telling Marge, Buck.

[Chuck] When I left for war, of all the things I thought could happen, none of them was spending a month on a Belgian farm.

We have more downed airmen than people we can trust to guide them.

Yeah, I know. I’m one of the lucky ones.

Not as lucky as him.

Let’s go!

Come on, Romeo.

Hey, brother.

[Chuck] Where do you think they’re taking us? Any idea?

[Quinn] I don’t know. I’d imagine across France and into Spain.

[Chuck] Yeah, I wonder.

And if we’ll ever see any of the other guys again.

The way Alice was going down, I– I doubt it.

But Hinton got out.

Yeah. Yeah, course. I’m sure Baby Face found a way out.

[whispers] Quiet.

[Quinn] Hiya.



Is she your daughter?

[guide] Michou is your guide.

[scoffs] She’s barely a teenager.

She’s your guide, and you will do what she says.

[speaking French]

[speaking French]

What’d she say?

I don’t know.

Give it to me now.


Come on. That isn’t necessary.

[speaking French]

If the Germans find this, what do you think they will do to Louise and her family, hmm?

They would torture them until they talked.

And when they get the names they needed, they would shoot them.

And then they would find the next one and do the same to them.

Like pulling the thread on a sweater.

I didn’t…

I’m sorry.

It was stupid of me.

[speaking French]

What does that mean?


stupid means dead.

[jazz music playing]

[café patron in Polish] Na zdro Na zdrowie.

Na zdrowie.

Na zdrowie.

Na zdrowie. [in English] Yeah.

[in Polish] Na zdrowie.

[café patron chuckles]

[clears throat]

[bangs table]

[in English] So, how did you end up in London? Hmm?

With this drink, you are buying light conversation, not a tale of woe.

Well, I wasn’t aware I was buying anything.

So, you’re not trying to get me into bed?

Oh, I hadn’t thought that far ahead yet.

I suppose if you were looking to buy…


…you could get one in Piccadilly.

No need to come all the way to Hammersmith. [sighs]

Is that where I am? [chuckles]

A major in the Air Corps, but not a navigator.

No, pilot.

You know how to tell if a man is a pilot?


He’ll tell you. [chuckling]


My husband is a pilot.

So, you’re married?

How long have you been a soldier?

Since before the war.

How long you been out of Poland?

Since the Germans invaded.

Yeah, I saw the newsreels.

That’s why I joined up. Even before Pearl Harbor.

An American hero.

Maybe I wanted a adventure.

Where’s the husband?

Some pilots live to fight another day.

He stayed.

He wanted to be a hero, like you.

Last year, I found someone from his squadron.

He said Pavel was shot down over Silesia in the first week.

He’s either a prisoner of war or rotting in a potato field.


Maybe we are drinking his spirit now.

Do you want to take me to bed?

Take me dancing first.

[swing music playing]

[siren blaring]

[siren continues]

Never been on the business end of a bomb before.

[café patron] Business. A funny word for death.

I’ve dropped a lot of those things.

Probably done a lot of killing.

Hell of a job.

Does it weigh on your conscience?


Don’t bother. The Germans deserve every last one of your bombs.

Some believe there is a difference between war and senseless murder.

They don’t.

What do you believe?

I believe we should be as merciless and severe as they were to my people.

That would be fair.

Yeah, but…

[sighs] …if there was any balance to all this, my ticket was punched a long, long time ago.

There is no balance.

Just one event after another.

The worst come out untouched.

The innocent dead.


But you know one thing?

[kisses] The closer you are to death…

[breathes heavily, groaning]

…the more alive you feel.

Every second is a little death.

[breathes heavily]

And I thought that I got dramatic when I drank.

[groaning continues]

[breathes heavily] Mmm.

See you up there, Buck.

Scratch another one-off.


[grunts] Good luck, buddy.

[DeMarco] Yep.

Do you want a doughnut?


[soldier] Thanks.

It’s hot. Be careful.



[Helen] Any coffee with that, Lieutenant?


You miss me?

[chuckles] All four hours we were apart?

Well, this’ll be longer.

How will I manage?



Think you might be the last pretty face I ever see.

[stammers] Don’t say that.

And damned if you ain’t the prettiest.

[Helen chuckles]


I will see you later.

You bet.

Oh, look, it’s our very own Adonis.

[Nash] Knock it off.

Ooh. [chuckles]

[Nash] No.

[Helen chuckles]

[ground crew, soldiers chattering]

[Crosby] Our first attempt to bomb Bremen was a disaster.

But that seemed a lifetime ago now.

We were ready to try and hit those Uboat pens again.

No one more than Major Cleven.

[sighs] Is it cleared?

[engine whirs, clicks]


Well, shit.

Major, sir, I have a problem with the left magneto in number two.

It’s giving a real high drop on runup.

Now, I’m pretty sure it’s just the points.

I can fix them while you taxi.

Three engines?

I can do this, sir.

That’s crazy. What, you’re gonna ride the wheel?

Give it a whirl.

Yes, sir.

[DeMarco] I don’t know about this, Buck.

Fixing a magneto on the hardstand, yeah, that’s one thing.

But on the move?

Lemmons says he’ll do it, he’ll do it.

Believe. Believe.

Yeah, yeah.

How we doing there, Lemmons?

We gotta lead this squadron.

On it, Major. I’m going as fast as I can.

We got two planes left, Buck.

We got two planes in front of us.

[Lemmons] Yes, sir.

Right, we got one left, Buck. It’s now or never.

We got one left, Lemmons.

It’s not too late to scrub, Buck.

We could pull over on the right there.

We’re number one.

We’re number one.

Almost there, Major. [grunts]

Come on, Lemmons. Come on. Let’s go.

Go, go, go.

Should be good to go.

Come on.


[grunts, chuckles]

All right.

[Lemmons] Go get ’em, boys.

DeMarco, admit it. You’re wrong.

All right, I’m wrong. Let’s go.

[Lemmons] Yeah, baby.

Go, go.


Go, go, go, go, go, go, go.

Whoo! [chuckles, cheers]

[engineer] Come on. Let’s go! You got it, Baby.

We’re about to enter the station, so there’s going to be a lot of Germans.

Do as I do.

If I pull out my identity papers, you pull out your identity papers.

If I look at my watch, you look at your watch.

And whatever you do, do not speak.

[in French] All right?

[in English] Uh, are we going?

No, I’m gonna make peepee.

[Quinn] Now?


[door closes]



You, uh, think they’ll separate us?

I don’t know, Bailey.

There’s, uh [stammers] There’s something I have to ask you, Quinn.

It’s been gnawing at me.

About the crash.

Is Baby Face

Bailey, I, um…

Is he dead?

[breathes shakily] I couldn’t get him out.

The hatch was jammed.

I–I really tried.

I left him there.

Little Baby Face.

I–I tried.

I don’t know.

I would’ve done the same thing.

[in French] Tickets, please.

And please prepare your papers for the authorities at the station.

No, sir, that’s for the authorities.

Your ticket, please.

[Michou] Just a minute, sir.

Excuse me.

Hello, sir.

Hello, miss. Ticket, please.

[Michou] Here.

[conductor] Thank you.

Ticket, sir!

Sir, sir. I need to see your ticket.

[Michou] They are deaf. They don’t hear you.

[conductor] Look in your pockets!

What’s wrong with you? I told you they were deaf. He doesn’t understand.

Come on, why is he running away?

He got scared. Put yourself in his shoes.

[in English] Wait.


Stop. Stop. Stop.


Stop running.


You’re going to turn around, and then walk back calmly to the cabin.


Do you have your ticket?


Take it out.

[in French] You found your ticket?

[passenger] Sir.

Yes, miss?

[passenger] Sir! Someone has stolen a poor lady’s suitcase.

[conductor] Yes, yes. A minute, miss.

Just sit down and be calm.

[passenger] You’re not going to do anything?

Calm. Very well.

Over there. A little thief! You’ll see. He’s a redhead.


[in English] Don’t do that again.


You been here the whole time?

This is Manon.

We’ve got a long way to go.

We’ll get you to Spain, and then home to England.

But you must keep your head.

[train whistle blows]

[announcer speaking French]

You do anything like that again, I’ll knock you out.


[Lemmons] Wrist tight only.

[announcer 2] Clear the hardstand.

[ground crewman 1] Oh, God. Come on!

Get ready, boys.

Clear the hardstand.

[siren blaring]

[airplane passing overhead]

[ground crewman 2] Let’s go, guys. Time.

Eleven, 12.



There’s thirteen.

[sighs] Where are you, Buck?

That’s it.

That’s it, sir.

We got, uh, 24 forts.

Thirteen made it.

[sucks teeth] Three mechanical returns.

That makes eight lost.

[sighs] That’s 80 men.

[Garcia] Sir.

Some replacements. Ah.

Kidd and Blakely.

DeMarco and Buck Cleven too.


Lieutenant Crosby?

I’m sorry, son.

Damn Bremen.


[stammers] What’s wrong?

[Meatball whining]

They didn’t make it.

Who’ll look after Meatball?

[Tatty] Let me give you a hand with those, Doctor.

Rosie’s Riveters. 418th.

Here you go.

[soldier 1] Thanks.

[Helen] You all good?

Good to have you back.

Take some coffee there.

[Tatty] Coffee’s on that side.


[breathes heavily]

Come on.

[soldier 2] It was as if we were flying through a solid wall of flak.

[interrogator 1] Go on.

[soldier 2] An FW rammed ’em headon.

Both planes blew up.

[interrogator 2] What were the conditions? Could you see the target?

[soldier 3] No, we flew through it.

[soldier 2] Squadron lead went down.

[interrogator 1] Did anybody get out? Did you see any chutes?

[soldier 4] I only saw four chutes. That’s all.

[interrogator 2] I see.

So, how’d you end up alone?

There was a a lot of confusion up there after the lead of the 350th went down.

Our Baby with Buck Cleven and DeMarco.

The whole first element.

Nash and Speas too.

I didn’t see any chutes.

[chatter continues]

I’m gonna get some more.

Give me a minute, Pappy.



It was hell up there today.

Lieutenant Nash didn’t make it.

I’m sorry.


[Crank] Hey.

Did you see what happened to Blakely and Croz’s fort?

When? Where? How many chutes?

No, they dropped out of formation somewhere over the IP.

And Buck?

Who’s gonna tell Egan?


[grunts] Good morning.

Morning? It’s past noon.

[Bucky sniffs]

Hair of the dog.

It’s my head.

No, it’s the hair of the dog that bit you.

It’s the cure.


I have to go.

You have somewhere to be?


We should not make more of this than what it was.

Oh, it was pretty damn good. How much more can we make it?

Look, um, I’m gonna go out today and I’m gonna drink.

I’m gonna have some fun.

I would like to do that with you.


My heart couldn’t take another pilot in the potato field.

I know you understand me…

[chuckles] …sweet man.




Excuse me, ma’am. Do you know where I can buy a paper?

Just there. Round the corner.

[parent sobbing, shouting] Oh, my God.

Let me see her. Please, God.

Thank you.

[parent sobbing] Just let me see.

[crowd clamors, whispers]

Just let me see! Is she dead? No, she’s not!

[breathes heavily, screams]

Is she Tell me wh Is she dead?

Is No, she’s not! [sobbing continues]

[Bucky] Can I get one of those?

Keep the change.

[vendor] Thank you.

Norfolk 7322, please.

[coin clinks]

This is Bowman.

Red, Egan here.

How’d the game go yesterday?

Not as well as we hoped.

Was Buck in the lineup?


Did he have a good game?

He went down swinging, John.

[breathes heavily]

Who else?

Most of the starting lineup.

Is there a game tomorrow?


[breathes heavily] All right, uh, tell Coach I’ll be there by game time.

And, Red…

I wanna pitch.

[Bucky] No use wondering, gentlemen.

You can all do the math as to why I came back early.

Another mission.

[Bowman] The target is just east of the city center.

[Crank] There’ll be a lot of people in that cathedral.

We’ve never had a target this close to a city center before.

Ah, Jesus Christ, Crank.

It’s a war. Here to drop bombs.

[engineer] Got it yesterday. But it’ll fly.

That makes me feel better.

[Bucky] Fighters 12:00.


Engine one’s quit.

[Bucky] Christ, engine four is done!

[Hafer] We got to get out of here now.

[Harding] Do you know where my group is landing?

[Jack] Where are our boys, Chick?


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