Here Comes the Navy

Here Comes the Navy

By Peter T Yeschenko

Question: How many of you remember watching the 1934 movie “Here Comes the Navy”?!

“Here Comes the Navy” was a 1934 American romantic comedy film starring James Cagney, Pat O’Brien, Gloria Stuart and Frank McHugh.

The basic plot of the movie was a cocky guy (James Cagney) who joins the Navy for the wrong reason but finds romance and twice is cited for heroism.

Pat O’Brien plays a Navy Chief in the movie as shown in the picture.

There’s not a whole lot to read into “Here Comes the Navy” except that it’s very entertaining and fast moving.


BUT DID YOU KNOW….that the most interesting thing about the film was not the movie itself but the historical aspect of the film.

Warner Bros. received permission from the US Navy to film aboard the USS Arizona, both at sea and in port.

YES! The USS Arizona you see in the movie is the same USS Arizona that was sunk at Pearl Harbor and is now a memorial.

In the movie you can see how beautiful the ship was and the footage of the ship sailing through the ocean, and Sailors loading its enormous guns, was something to see.

Many of the crew members served as extras in the movie.

Watching the movie….I wondered how many of those Sailors we saw in the background were aboard the USS Arizona on 7 December 1941. Back in those days it wasn’t uncommon to do your whole Navy career on one or two ships.

But not only the USS Arizona, but the airship shown in the film’s climax was the USS Macon, the Navy’s last dirigible airship.

The USS Macon also met a tragic end, crashing into the Pacific Ocean a year after filming the movie, fortunately with only minimal loss of life – two crew members out of 100.

The footage showing the operation and flight of the USS Macon was very impressive.

Again, actual crew members served as extras and because the USS Macon crashed a year later, I’m sure the Sailors we see on screen are the same ones who were involved in the USS Mason’s crash.

“Here Comes the Navy” was such a rousing success, even earning a Best Picture nomination that year, that Warner Bros., seeing gold in the Cagney/O’Brien match up, put into production the next year “Devil Dogs of the Air”.

Again securing cooperation from the Navy and the Marines.

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3 thoughts on “Here Comes the Navy

  1. Paul Robitaille says:

    Your absolutely right! Great movie. Those old battle wagons sure looked impressive bristling with guns!

    I was a Fire Control Technician and was ready to re-up for an assignment on one of the renovated battleships in the 1980s!


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