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Tom Hanks making new WWII series on US Army bombers

Tom Hanks at the "Sully" red carpet premiere in Japan. (Dick Thomas Johnson/Wikimedia Commons)
April 19, 2022

Adding to his list of iconic World War II-era productions like “Saving Private Ryan” and “Band of Brothers,” Hollywood superstar Tom Hanks’ latest project is “Masters of the Air,” a TV miniseries that retells the story of the men inside the American bomber known as the “Flying Fortress.”

“Five miles above the earth and deep behind enemy lines, eleven men inside a bomber known as the ‘Flying Fortress’ fight for their lives against swarms of enemy German fighters,” the series’ description states on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). “As American bombers are picked off one by one, their mission becomes very clear: survive.”

The $250 million series will air on Apple TV+, and neither executive producer Hanks nor the streaming service have released many details about the war drama, including its release date. Business Insider reported that the series is based on the book “Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany” written by Donald L. Miller.

Taking place during the last year of World War II, the series follows the team of airmen who were part of the 100th Bomb Group – which was part of the U.S. Army’s 8th Air Force at the time – and their attacks against Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime.

A Twitter account called “Masters of the Air Behind the Scenes” claims to share photos from the series’ production.

“How cool is that? an origional [sic] shot of Thorpe Abbotts, posted by Michelle Lemmons Walker on her WW2 100th BG facebook page, and an almost identical set shot from MOTA, attention to detail mind blowing! Ken Lemmons was crew chief for the 100th and Michelle’s father. Thank you Michelle,” the account tweeted with images of the scene.

Another post showed photos of World War II-era vehicles, men in U.S. military uniforms that were worn at the time, and multiple cranes to use during filming.

“Early filming Credit Tomasz Koliuba,” the tweet stated.

A second Twitter account, which chronicles the 8th Air Force of World War II, shared a photo earlier this month showing a dozen B-17 bombers taking off for the first of nearly 1,000 missions.

“79 years ago, Aug 17, 1942, the 8th Air Force began its air war on Germany, with its first 12 B-17s taking off from Grafton Underwood, below, for rail targets in Rouen, France. They will fly 986 heavy bomber missions, hitting the last industrial target on April 25, 1945 #WWIl,” the account tweeted.