Motion Picture Production, Processes, History... playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL946E9DAD36E3CC64
US Army Training Film playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0C7C6CCF1C0DEBB3
FIRST MOTION PICTURE UNIT: ARMY AIR FORCES
'In the behind-the-scenes short, First Motion Picture Unit (1944), the unit demonstrates how they are a little bit Hollywood and a whole lot military... Although this film makes the claim that the use of motion pictures for visual education was “virtually unexplored”, government agencies like the United States Department of Agriculture had actually been using film for instructional purposes for two decades (check out Charge of the Tick Brigade  if you want to see an early example of government filmmaking). But the FMPU did so much more of it, and at such a high level of quality, that it set an example for other agencies to emulate.'
Public domain film from the US National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
The First Motion Picture Unit (FMPU), later 18th Army Air Forces Base Unit, was the primary film production unit of the US Army Air Forces (USAAF) during World War II and was the first military unit made up entirely of professionals from the film industry. It produced more than 400 propaganda and training films, which were notable for being informative as well as entertaining. Films for which the unit is known include Resisting Enemy Interrogation, Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress and The Last Bomb—all of which were released in theatres. Veteran actors such as Clark Gable, William Holden, Clayton Moore, and future President Ronald Reagan and directors such as John Sturges served with the FMPU. The unit also produced training films and trained combat cameramen. FMPU personnel served with distinction during World War II.
First Motion Picture Unit is also the eponymous title of a 1943 self-produced documentary about the unit narrated by radio and television announcer Ken Carpenter...
When the United States entered World War II in December 1941, the USAAF was a part of the army, and motion picture production was the responsibility of the Army Signal Corps. USAAF Commanding General "Hap" Arnold believed that the formation of an independent film entity would help lead to the air service gaining its independence. At a meeting in March 1942, General Arnold commissioned Warner Bros. head Jack L. Warner, producer Hal Wallis and scriptwriter Owen Crump to create the unit. Warner was made lieutenant colonel and Crump a captain but Wallis, who was then in production with Casablanca, did not accept the offer. Of immediate concern was a critical shortage of pilots and recruits. Arnold told Warner he needed 100,000 pilots, and contracted with Warner Bros. to produce and release a recruitment film, which would come to be known as Winning Your Wings...
The success of Winning Your Wings created a demand for training and recruitment films which proved difficult for Warner Bros. to fulfill. Jack Warner began the process of developing the organizational structure for an independent motion picture unit. The dual mission of the unit was to produce training and morale films, and to train combat cameramen. The ranks were to be filled with film industry professionals, the first time in history such a unit would be raised.
On 1 July 1942, the FMPU became an active unit of the USAAF. Key personnel that formed the initial roster included Lt. Col. Warner as commanding officer, Capt. Crump, Capt. Knox Manning, 2nd Lt. Edwin Gilbert, 2nd Lt. Ronald Reagan and Cpl. Oren W. Haglund. At first the unit operated out of offices at Warner Bros. in Burbank, California, and then moved to Vitagraph Studios in Hollywood. Vitagraph, however, had not been maintained and proved to be inadequate for movie production on a scale required by the FMPU. By sheer happenstance Crump came upon the Hal Roach Studios in Culver City.
In October the unit moved into Hal Roach Studios, which the men nicknamed "Fort Roach." Warner returned to running his company, and Lt. Col. Paul Mantz took over as commanding officer...