The “Chronicles of Courage” is inspired by and features interviews from the largest online archives ever created, with more that 340 interviews with veterans from seven wars. The series draws on social studies as well as science, technology, engineering and math concepts, while aligning to state and national education standards.
The downloadable lesson plans listed below are developed by the National Science Teachers Association and NBC Learn for high school and middle school students.
With World War II raging in the Pacific, U.S. Navy pilot Ben St. John flies a torpedo bomber from the deck of the USS Intrepid to take on the Japanese Imperial Navy. He and the other pilots confront one of the largest warships ever put to sea, the Japanese super-battleship Musashi. “Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation” is a co-production of Vulcan Productions and NBC Learn.
Chronicles of Courage: Spitfire
Ken Wilkinson is a flying officer with the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force during World War II. He flies the Supermarine Spitfire, and thanks to a new technology called radar, he knows when and where to intercept German planes. “Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation” is a coproduction of Vulcan Productions and NBC Learn.
Chronicles of Courage: V-2 Rocket
Months after the D-Day invasion of Normandy, France in World War II, the Germans unleash a terrifying new weapon by order of Adolf Hitler: the V-2 rocket, nicknamed the vengeance weapon. “Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation” is a co-production of Vulcan Productions and NBC Learn.
Chronicles of Courage: Me 262, First Jet Fighter Plane
During World War II, leaders of Germany’s air force, or Luftwaffe, launch a top-secret aircraft: the Me 262, the world’s first jet engine fighter plane. Pilot Jorg Czypionka flies with a special German unit of Me 262s assigned to hunt down Allied aircraft on their bombing raids over Germany. “Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation” is a co-production of Vulcan Productions and NBC Learn.
Chronicles of Courage: Hurricane and the Battle of Britain
In July of 1940, the Battle of Britain begins as Adolf Hitler begins a relentless bombing campaign over England. Tom Neil, a pilot in the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force, flies the sturdy and dependable Hawker Hurricane during one of the greatest aerial battles of World War II. “Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation” is a co-production of Vulcan Productions and NBC Learn.
Chronicles of Courage: Storch
In the waning days of World War II in Europe, German pilot Sergeant Wilhelm Simonsohn is given his last mission of the war, which involves flying one of the most versatile non-combat airplanes in the German air force, the Fieseler Fi 156 Storch. “Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation” is a co-production of Vulcan Productions and NBC Learn.
Chronicles of Courage: Winged Tank
In an epic showdown between the Soviet Union and Germany during World War II, Soviet pilot Nikolay Olovyannikov flies the Ilyushin IL-2. Nicknamed the “Winged Tank,” this heavily armored ground attack plane is designed to fly dangerously low over the enemy, facing a barrage of enemy fire. “Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation” is a co-production of Vulcan Productions and NBC Learn.
Chronicles of Courage: Bf 109
Ernst-Dieter Bernhard, a pilot in Germany’s air force, or Luftwaffe, flies one of the deadliest fighter planes of World War II, the Messerschmitt Bf 109. In May of 1945, he is commissioned to destroy the last bridge left standing over the Rhine River. The Battle of Remagen would soon become one of the turning points of World War II, allowing the Allies to advance towards Berlin. “Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation” is a co-production of Vulcan Productions and NBC Learn.
Chronicles of Courage: Fw 190
Erich Brunotte, a pilot in one of the most decorated fighter wings in the German air force, or Luftwaffe, during World War II, flies the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter plane. As the war progresses, design modifications to the Fw 190 present new challenges for German engineers as they strive to improve the plane's performance. “Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation” is a co-production of Vulcan Productions and NBC Learn.
Chronicles of Courage: Night Witches
As millions of German troops invade the Soviet Union during World War II, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin authorizes women to form the first female bomber regiments. These young female pilots and navigators fly the old-fashioned Polikarpov Po-2 on night missions to attack enemy targets, earning them the German nickname of Nachthexen, or Night Witches. “Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation” is a co-production of Vulcan Productions and NBC Learn.
Chronicles of Courage: Women Airforce Service Pilots
With thousands of men fighting in World War II, women are offered jobs in fields that had not previously been available to them, including aviation. Bernice "Bee" Falk Haydu and Dawn Rochow Balden Seymour join a civilian program called the Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs. The WASPs perform a number of military tasks, including ferrying planes and helping train machine gunners in ballistics.
Chronicles of Courage: Tuskegee Airmen
With World War II looming, the first African-American pilots are admitted into the U.S. Armed Forces. Fighter pilots Robert Friend and William Holloman fly their North American P-51 Mustangs as they bravely escort bomber planes across enemy lines while still facing social injustice in the military and at home.
Chronicles of Courage: F6F Hellcat
In 1944, the United States Navy's Fast Carrier Task Force navigates towards victory in World War II. Navy Pilot Robert Turnell launches his newly designed Grumman F6F Hellcat from the decks of the USS Wasp, and fights against the legendary Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero.
Chronicles of Courage: B-17 and the Ball Turret
At the height of World War II, Allied bombing missions often include hundreds of Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses that strike deep behind enemy lines. Gunner Mason Howe survives these harrowing missions while operating one of the plane’s most innovative defenses: the ball turret gun.
Chronicles of Courage: The Doolittle Raid
Only months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, famed pilot James Doolittle leads a top-secret mission to bomb Japan. Richard Cole co-pilots the first of a group of 16 North American B-25 Mitchell bombers that launch from an aircraft carrier – a feat never before achieved in combat.
Chronicles of Courage: P-47 and the Double Wasp Engine
In 1943, the Allies struggle to get a foothold in Europe. Fighter pilot Benjamin Cassiday, Jr. flies his Republic P-47 Thunderbolt against deadly German planes. The P-47's mighty engine, the 18-cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp, helps provide Cassiday with the power he needs to defeat the enemy in the skies.
Chronicles of Courage: Flying Tigers
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 launches America into World War II. Just weeks after the attack, a small group of American volunteer pilots known as the Flying Tigers use their Curtiss P-40 Tomahawks to score some of the first U.S. victories against the Japanese in China. Pilot Tex Hill is one of the squadron leaders.
Chronicles of Courage: Flying the Beam
After a bloody battle with Japan, U.S. forces gain control of the island of Iwo Jima in the Pacific Ocean, turning it into an important American airbase. From there, U.S. fighter pilot Jerry Yellin escorts bomber planes on long, dangerous raids to Japan in his North American P-51 Mustang with help from a primitive navigation system using Morse code.
Chronicles of Courage: P-47 and the Turbo Supercharger
On June 6, 1944, Allied forces begin the D-Day invasion of Normandy to liberate Europe from the Nazis. Fighter pilot Archie Maltbie provides cover for Allied troops in his Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, a tough American plane known for its innovative turbo supercharger.
Chronicles of Courage: Pearl Harbor
On December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan launches a surprise attack on the U.S. military stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Stuart Hedley is a sailor on the USS West Virginia and witnesses the horror of the attack firsthand.
Distributed by NIEonline.com with permission
About Vulcan Productions
Vulcan Productions is dedicated to the power of storytelling. We produce content and large-scale campaigns that entertain, electrify and change the way people understand the world’s toughest challenges. Our films, television series and digital content spark ideas and turn action
into measurable impact. Founded by Paul G. Allen, Vulcan Productions creates content across
all platforms, extending the wide-ranging work of Vulcan Inc. in wildlife, science, climate,
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projects include The Ivory Game, Racing Extinction, Naledi: A Baby Elephants Tale, Academy
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About Flying Heritage Collection
The aircraft in the Flying Heritage Collection are rare treasures of military aviation — a
testament to the era’s engineering skill and humanity’s spirit during the world conflicts of the 20th century. On rotation in our working hangar are military artifacts from the United States,
Britain, Germany, Soviet Union and Japan, acquired by Paul G. Allen and restored with unparalleled authenticity to share with the public. FHC is operated by Friends of Flying Heritage,
a 501(c)(3) organization committed to educating people about these rare historic aircraft and
artifacts. The collection is currently experiencing rapid growth, bringing in exciting new wonderslike the Republic F-105 Thunderchief, de Havilland Mosquito and more.
About NBC Learn
NBC Learn is the educational arm of NBC News dedicated to providing resources for students, teachers, and lifelong learners. The online resources NBC Learn has created for the education community leverages nearly 80 years of historic news coverage, documentary materials, and current news broadcasts. Currently two offerings, NBC Learn K12 and NBC Learn Higher Ed, give students and teachers access to thousands of video clips from the NBC News archives, including great historic moments--from the Great Depression to the Space Race to the latest political coverage. NBC Learn also offers primary source materials, lesson plans and classroom planning resources, and additional text and image resources from our content partners. For more information, visit www.nbclearn.com.