Dogfight Over Guadalcanal

About the Show

On 7 August 1942, American Navy pilot James 'Pug' Sutherland and the Japanese Imperial Navy’s top ace, Saburo Sakai, clash in the skies above the tiny island of Guadalcanal in the South Pacific. It was a decisive moment in the evolution of fighter planes. After a prolonged battle, Pug’s US fighter was hit and he bailed out, to survive and fight another day. How did Sakai get the better of him? And why did Pug not fire when he had his enemy in sight? To find out the truth, the show launches a three-pronged investigation. Historical analysis combined with the study of the wreckage of Pug’s plane and a modern day re-creation of the dogfight uncover the true story of the greatest aerial duel of all time.