Related Reading at Amazon.com:
Had No Choice :
Racing Pigeons at War by Gary McCafferty (Paperback - June 2002)
Not yet published
Pigeons That Went to War by Gordon Hayes
(Hardcover - June 1981) Avg. Customer Rating:
Out of Print--Limited Availability
Aloft: A Meditation of Pigeons and Pigeon Flying
Sergeant Keeley (Neville Brand) has lost faith in humanity
and invests all his devotion to his carrier pigeons, which he has trained for military
use. Under attack by the Germans, Saunders learns that Keeley would gladly sacrifice the
lives of men, rather than see one of his pigeons die.
Once again, Saunders' squad escorts a
Sergeant with unique technical expertise (and an attitude) on a special mission. This time
it's pigeon duty. Neville Brand, a big, burly man with a weathered face, is a delight to
watch tenderly working his pigeons. Unlike the Sergeants usually foisted on Saunders in
this plot-type, Brand really isn't obnoxious. He is even polite C
especially when he politely discourages Saunders' interest in the birds.
NOTES, ODDITIES, AND BLOOPERS:
· Magnificent music sequence under the bird's escape from
· Happy squad-at-rest, doing
chores in opening and closing
· Neville Brand spend ten years
in the army. Publicity stated that he was the fourth most decorated U.S. soldier of the
war, though records don't seem to substantiate this press agent claim. He was certainly
well-decorated, just not the fourth highest.
ABOUT FILMING THE EPISODE:
In his column in
the Mountain Democrat, Dick Peabody said, "The late Neville Brand was as interesting
as any guest we had. He liked to drink, but wisely held off until the last scene was shot.
We invited him to the bar in Vic's dressing room, and a couple of hours later everyone had
left except Neville and myself." Dick Peabody had to drive Brand to his Malibu home,
where his wife invited him in for a drink. Peabody was impressed with the floor-to-ceiling
bookshelves in every room of the house. "There were literally thousands of
volumes," says Peabody. "His tastes were eclectic, since almost everything
interested him. Neville's wife pointed to the books and said, 'He's read every one of
them.'" A high-school drop-out, Neville Brand was self-educated.
Rick Jason as Lt.
Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders
Jack Hogan as Kirby
Pierre Jalbert as Caje
Dick Peabody as Littlejohn
Stephen Joyce as Polaski
Rudy Dolan as German Sgt. #1
Robert Champion as German Pvt.
Ed Deemer as German Sgt. #2
Ron Stokes as Maxwell