, 2022-11-24 01:02:41,
A movie about the first ever African-American pilot in the U.S. Navy hits theaters Wednesday. And while you may not see them, there are couple of Central Oregon pilots in the movie, along with their planes.
“Devotion” shares the story of Jesse Brown, who served during the Korean War and was eventually killed in combat in 1950.
When production for the movie began a couple of years ago, Hollywood called on Jim Martinelli and Mike Oliver from the Erickson Aircraft Collection in Madras.
The collection had something they wanted — one of the 30 remaining F4U Corsairs in the world: the kind of plane Brown flew during the war and at the time of his death.
“The project in itself was close to us in the sense that in 2016, we decided to paint the Corsair as Jesse Brown’s Corsair,” Martinelli told Central Oregon Daily News inside their hangar on Wednesday. “And we decided to do that just because it’s such an under-told story.”
The team had been inspired by the book about Brown written by Adam Makos and they had reached out to the author for photos to perfectly recreate the aircraft.
It was a no-brainer when they were asked to participate in the film.
“Mike Oliver, who did most of the flying in Jesse Brown’s airplane, is African-American,” Martinelli added. “And so not only with the airplane painted that way, but just with the connections, the story is real close to us and it was really cool.”
Filming began in January 2021 and…
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