by Christopher Johnson

JOURNEY TO ROYAL, a feature documentary, tells the story of Lt. Royal Stratton, a WWII rescue pilot with the 4th Emergency Rescue Squadron, who perishes while saving the lives of nine downed airmen in the open ocean of the South Pacific.

Archival imagery and interviews with Hollywood entertainers and service members from the Greatest Generation paint a portrait of life in the 1940s, setting the stage for events that inspired a nation and forged a unity of purpose. Firsthand accounts of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, the escorting of the Enola Gay, and the delivery of surrender documents to the U.S.S. Missouri culminate in Stratton’s final heroic mission; a vibrant tapestry is weaved by those who knew and served with him

Locating surviving members of the 4th ERS, filmmaker Christopher Johnson learns of the dangerous missions which carried them, unarmed, into the path of the enemy on 862 rescue missions saving the lives of 576 men. As recounted by Stratton’s sole surviving crewmate, Royal's courageous final flight lifts off in an unflinching cinematic portrayal.

Interviews with a varied demographic of service members explore the military experience and lead to a deeper understanding of the value of service, the struggles of losing brothers or sisters-in-arms and the challenges of reintegrating into the civilian sector and the American workforce.

Ultimately, Johnson travels to Iwo Jima, the last place Stratton set foot on earth. What awaits is the defining moment for a family seeking to reconcile with the fate of a loved one who never returned from war.


Last Updated (Saturday, 28 May 2016 17:36)