Wing and a Prayer

Episode 1 of 1

A WING AND A PRAYER tells the remarkable, if little-known, story of an improbable group of World War II veterans who risked their lives and American citizenships to give the newborn state of Israel a chance to survive. In 1947, the United Nations voted to partition British-controlled Palestine between the Arabs and Jews. The Jews agreed to the two-state deal, but the Palestinian Arabs (two-thirds of Palestine's population) rejected the plan. In response, the five-nation Arab League vowed to conquer all of Palestine, and the United States also joined the worldwide embargo against Israel, barring its citizens from supplying military aid to the Jewish state. Moved by the plight of Holocaust survivors and Jews trapped in Palestine, former U.S. Air Transport Command flight engineer Adolph Schwimmer masterminded a plan to arm the besieged Palestinian Jews. Schwimmer and his crew of pilots smuggled 12 million dollars' worth of World War II surplus rifles, machine guns, bullets and planes into ill-equipped Israel just as the 1948 Arab-Israeli War broke out. Schwimmer's group - made up of Jews and non-Jews - eluded the FBI, outsmarted the U.S. State Department and created fictitious airlines to help the Israeli army ward off attacks from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Egypt. Produced to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, and narrated by William Baldwin, A WING AND A PRAYER features interviews with more than 20 of the operation's key aviators, their family members and historians. This includes first-hand accounts from the late Al Schwimmer; the late Eddie Styark, a Christian crew leader who escaped a British prison where he was interned for trying to bring Holocaust survivors to Palestine; and Ralph Lowenstein, the youngest foreign volunteer in Israel's 1948 war and the operation's archivist.

Previously Aired

Day
Time
Channel
4/17/2015
8 p.m.
4/18/2015
2 a.m.
4/19/2015
5 p.m.
4/20/2015
4 a.m.
4/24/2015
2 p.m.
5/17/2016
8 p.m.
5/18/2016
2 a.m.
5/22/2016
2 p.m.
5/23/2016
1 a.m.
5/24/2016
2 p.m.
4/23/2017
2 p.m.
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