This topic was touched upon in another thread but rather than cludder that up I've created a new thread:

Originally posted by RooJay
I don't recall any of the promotional materials for this movie state that it was anywhere near an attempt at education. In my opinion, Pearl Harbor is simply a major, traumatic event that takes place during this movie (in spite of the title). I don't think it dishonors the memory of anyone involved with the actual event. In fact, I'd hope that it would help raise public interest and cause people to seek out the true story. The movie Tora, Tora, Tora might make for a good starting point for that.
This is my biggest problem with movies like this. Pearl Harbor was about the attack on Pearl Harbor. With that being said, how can someone rewrite it? Change the facts and it's no longer the attack on Pearl Harbor. Why not make a movie about the Doolittle Raid and rename Doolittle? If I had relatives who were participants who were decorated for their actions I wouldn't want a movie to take their story and assign it to some made up character.

Only one American pilot of 7 survived the Battle of Britain. His name was PO J K Haviland of 151 Squadron. No where is his name to be found.

Ok...ok, here's the thing: what I said was that there were only two pilots (I have done a fair amount of research on the subject, and I honestly have never heard of this hird pilot being able to lift off during the attack. Was he already in the air?) that managed to get off the ground DURING the battle. This is absolutely true. The two of them managed to shoot down somewhere between 6 and 8 enemy fighters combined; the actual numbers these two pilots shot down have never been confirmed. I'm sure there were many planes that managed to get off the ground later that day, but there were only two during the battle that managed to lift off. I'm also certain there were other planes already in the air (like the bombers you mentioned, though they didn't arrive until well into the battle, and had very little effect on the battle itself.
Recheck that research. 4 of the total pilots to get off the ground got off during the first wave. Remember their were 2 total that day, 183 Japanese aircraft the first wave and 170 the second. All 4 were in P-36 Hawks. The USAF has an exhibit honoring one of those P-36 pilots, Lt. Phillip Rasmussen, who was given a Silver Star for his actions that day.

http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/early_years/ey26.htm

Additional pilots got airbourne after the first wave as well as during the second wave including some flying P-40 Warhawks.

Likewise, any other military aircraft that were already airborn; no other type of plane was able to shoot down any enemy craft, and the japanese Zeroes would have flown circles around them.
Not every plane the Japanese flies is a Zero. A majority of the aircraft that day flown by the Japanese were bombers, torpedo and dive bombers. All of those types are poor air-to-air combat aircraft and were fair game for even the aweful American P-36.


23 of the 75 airmen involved in the Doolittle raid recieved Distinguished Flying Crosses. Rather than include those brave men in the movie they've been replaced by fictional characters. Why?

It would be fine to use the attack of Pearl Harbor as a backdrop for a fictional story. Saving Private Ryan used the Normandy Invasion as a backdrop for a fictional story quite successfully in my opionion. Spielberg didn't rewrite the story of known/decorated soldiers to tell his story. If you decide to make a movie about such specific actions in any historical event then you must try to honor those that were involved. Black Hawk Down is a perfect example of translating a historic event to the big screen. Band of Brothers is a perfect example of translating a historic event to the small screen.