Corrected entry: When Rafe goes to the hotel to tell Evelyn he's going to England it is night time and dark outside. When he tells her, there is a window behind him, it's light outside, and a modern bus-stop can be seen.
Corrected entry: Two men are seated on a stage painting the side of their ship when torpedos hit. There is no ship's maintenance work done prior to 0800 and certainly not on a Sunday unless it's of an essential nature.
Corrected entry: In the scene when Jimmy Dolittle is standing on the carrier talking to Rafe about the reason for the Raid there is no wind. This is impossible as the Hornet was steaming at over 30 Knots which means there would have been a wind of over 30 miles an hour going across the deck and it would have been heaving up and down as the seas were rough for the trip.Clarence Daugette
Corrected entry: When Rafe says, "Why the hell is the navy practicing this early on a Sunday morning?", his mouth isn't matching what he's saying.
Corrected entry: When the bombers crash land in China more than one crew member is killed. In real life only 1 man from the raid was killed. 71 escaped and 8 were captured, four of whom were executed as war criminals by the Japanese.
Corrected entry: The B25s the Doolittle Raiders used were heavily modified for the mission. One modification was removal of the radios, both to save weight and to eliminate the chance of an accidental transmission giving them away. Another was that the only guns on the planes were a single .30 cal machine gun in the nose and a .50 cal gun turret on top of the plane. Tail guns were never part of the plan, since a B25 could outrun most fighters. In the movie the planes seem to have more guns than they did, not to mention radios.
Corrected entry: In the scene where Danny and Evelyn find out Rafe has been shot down in Europe it's raining with lots of thunder and lightning. Lightning is VERY rare in Hawaii.
Corrected entry: In the scene when the attack starts there are many people doing their everyday activities. But the Japanese attack started at 7:55 on Sunday! At this time most people not on duty would be sleeping, or at least having breakfast, especially children. However, the children at the time of the attack are already playing baseball, posing as angels etc. In real life there would be much less people outside.
Corrected entry: When the attack force is spotted on radar, the officer who decides it is a flight of B-17s is addressed as "Lieutenant". However, he is wearing an Army uniform, thus the two silver bars on his epaulets would denote the rank of Captain (O-3).
Corrected entry: Crashing into the English Channel at full speed, like Rafe did when he was shot down by the Messerschmitt, and then surviving the crash, is physically impossible. In the movie the airplane "dives" into the water, while in real life, it would just disintegrate against the surface of the water and the pilot would, most probably, be catapulted out of his seatbelts and then through his canopy into the water (And needless to add: he would definitely not survive).
Corrected entry: When the bombing starts, someone asks Danny "What the hell is going on out there?" and Danny replies. "I think World War II just started." World War I was called The Great War until the 1950s, so there is no way Danny would know anything about the possibility of a sequel.
Corrected entry: While training for the Tokyo raid, Dolittle is the first to get his B-25 to take off in the allotted distance. In the shot that shows his plane lifting off as he crosses the line on the runway, the flag in the background shows he is taking off with the wind. Airplanes always take off INTO the wind whenever possible, especially when trying to keep the takeoff roll short.
Corrected entry: In the middle of the film during the attack on Pearl Harbor, some of the Japanese are attacking the smaller airfields. We see Danny, Rafe and a few other pilots speeding away in a car. Various shots in this scene we see that the road goes from grass and dirt to concrete between shots.
Corrected entry: When he is shot down, Rafe's Spitfire squadron initially engages a bomber formation. In the RAF, Spitfires were never sent after bombers. Because of their higher speed, they were always sent after the escorting fighters. It was the Hurricane squadrons that would be assigned to the bombers.
Corrected entry: Rafe is shown as being severely dyslexic, not suffering from a mild version of the condition as has been suggested elsewhere. He cannot even read an eye chart. The chances of such a person making it through even basic training, let alone flying school? NIL. Dyslexia wasn't even recognised as a condition in the Forties; he'd be regarded as an uneducated and illiterate rube and would be assigned the lowest standard of military duties.
Corrected entry: You can't be dyslexic and become a pilot, no matter how good looking you are or how much you impress the nurse. Apart from the literature which you have to be able to read and understand to pass your ground exams you would be unable to read a map accurately.
Corrected entry: What are Navy nurses doing giving physicals to Army pilots? The Army has its own nurses.
Corrected entry: Evelyn is six months pregnant or so when the Doolittle Raid happens, but she hasn't gained an ounce.
Corrected entry: Betty tells Evelyn she "enlisted" in the Navy. Nurses are officers; they do not enlist, they are commissioned. (Yes, the distinction is an important one.)
Corrected entry: Danny's father is a crop duster in 1923. The problem with that being that cropdusting didn't come about until after World War II.
Corrected entry: Major Jackson brings Evelyn to the typing pool so she can be present when the raid goes down. He tells her the raid will happen in an hour or two. Yet in subsequent scenes we learn that Dolittle had to advance his launch by TWELVE hours. There is NO WAY Major Jackson could have known to have Evelyn there.
Corrected entry: When the scene goes to Japan with the Admiral talking, just before, you see the Japanese flag. This is an old flag, but after the attack on Tokyo, as the planes land in China, you can see that the flag on the ground is the modern Japanese flag.
Corrected entry: When Evelyn first enters Pearl Harbor, there is a tall building that clearly says, "Est. 1953." Obviously this is a little ahead of the times.
Corrected entry: The Ben Affleck character is apparently 'transferred' to fly with the British in the Battle of Britain. This was 1940 when the USA was neutral and not at war with anyone. Sending a USAAF (Army Air Force) pilot to fly with the RAF in 1940 would have been a serious breach of neutrality.
Corrected entry: The scenes of fighter planes chasing each other are fanciful. The planes would never be so low (they look like thay're only ten feet off the ground), much less weaving between hangar buildings and warehouses at 250 mph. That kind of flying is impossible. Other similar shots, showing Japanese fighters flying between the masts of battleships, are equally unrealistic.
Corrected entry: In the scene where there is a camera on the bomb falling on the ship, it is clearly visible that the bomb in falling down vertically. It is well known that when bombs are released from bombers, they have an horizontal speed, which is the same of the bomber. Thus the trajectory is, as every high school student should know, a parabola.
Corrected entry: Please note that Japanese aircraft carriers had their "island" superstructures on the port (left) side of the flight deck. In the movie, the "island" is on the starboard (right)side. Of course, the USS Lexington was used for both the Japanese and American carriers, and it's no doubt difficult to move the superstructure.
Corrected entry: When Rafe and team-mates are at the second airfield, the Japanese planes have not attacked yet. But as the Americans make a run for the hangars, two of the P-40 fighters are in flames already.
Corrected entry: When Ben Affleck tells Josh Hartnet he knows an airport 10 minutes away while the Japanese were bombing the one they were at, they were on Ford Island. At the time there was no bridge and the only way off was a half hour ferry ride, if the ferry was on the side you needed it on. The airport they went to was on the mainland of Oahu.
Corrected entry: In one of the airfield scenes during the Pearl Harbor attack you can see a plane in the background with the word NAVY on it but an Army Air Corps Star on it.
Corrected entry: The name of the Hawaiian town "Haleiwa" is mispronounced each time the town's name is mentioned in the movie. It should be prounounced like "hall-le-eve-uh" and not "hall-lee-eva."
Corrected entry: As the Japanese planes roar over the Hawaiian Islands into Pearl Harbor, they fly over boys playing baseball; hardly a reasonable occurance at 8am on a Sunday morning.
Corrected entry: When Evelyn is woken up to the attack she's wearing her hair hanging loose. At the hospital she's wearing it in two French braids, one on each side of her head. Now this takes at least 10 - 15 minutes to fix and she would most likely need someone to help her. So she just stopped and arranged her hair in a nice hairdo before she went to the hospital?
Corrected entry: When Danny and Rafe meet Dolittle after Pearl Harbor, they're both promoted to Captains, yet for the remainder of the film they both continue to wear their Lt. bars
Corrected entry: Military pilots are trained to fly a particular type of aircraft: fighter, bomber, transport, etc. In other words, a fighter pilot could not just get into a multi-engine bomber and take it on a combat mission. Doolittle's crews were all volunteers, but they were also all bomber men, selected from the 17th Bombardment Group.
Corrected entry: In the scene where the Navy hospital is shown, outside the hospital, a bomb is dropped on a vehicle, but the bomb seems to disappear behind the truck instead of detonating on initial impact.
Corrected entry: American Eagle Squadron pilots were volunteers, not USAAF pilots 'on exchange' with the RAF.
Corrected entry: In one or two scenes before Rafe got his injection from the nurse (Evelyn) at the hospital (just after the eye-test) he exchanged his medical status with another guy. That's why he gets the wrong injection is what they want us to believe, but Evelyn never even looked at his medical report. That report is still lying in front of Rafe on a movable desk and hasn't been touched.
Corrected entry: You'll notice Rafe couldn't get his hatch open when shot down in Britain but later when he explains how he survived, while under water the hatch seemed to open right up for him.
Corrected entry: When Rafe, Danny and the rest of the guys get to the smaller airfield and they are taking cover as some Japanese planes fly past. It can be seen that a few have torpedoes hanging underneath the plane, but someone comments that the planes don't have any ordnance on them, and that they must be heading back.
Corrected entry: In the scene where Captain Doolittle is congratulating Danny and Rafe on getting into the air and shooting down planes during the attack, he says that they shot down 7 planes. During the scene, they shoot down at least 8, 2 each through fire, and then 4 when they 'play chicken'.
Corrected entry: In the scene where the two 'heroes' are flying through Pearl Harbor chased by the Japanese planes, they are flying P40 Warhawks, a plane much inferior to the Japanese Zero plane. And somehow they easily out-manouevre the Japanese planes and shoot them down. The P40 was taken out of service because it was so easily out-manouvered by the Zero.
Corrected entry: Since there was more than one pilot who died at the position of the crash-landing of Danny and Rafe's bombers, why did they take only Danny's coffin back?
Corrected entry: In the scene with Danny and Evelyn on the beach, Evelyn is wearing a two-piece bikini swimsuit. The "bikini" had not been invented yet. It was officially invented by engineer Louis Reard in 1946, named after the Pacific Atolls where A-Bombs were tested.
Corrected entry: In the scene where Ben Affleck and other U.S. pilots are running around Pearl Harbor during the attack, trying to dodge bombs and shoot at planes, he is carrying a civilian Thompson submachine gun. His tommy gun has a round "drum" clip, but the military specification M1A1 Thompson was not built to fit a drum clip.
Corrected entry: When Betty is talking to Evelyn about her engagement to Red, she says they are going to wait two years to get married, until she is 19, which means she is currently 17. She must be a very brilliant young woman, because to become a Navy nurse, you must first have a four-year college degree in nursing. (All officers must have a bachelor's degree or higher in an appropriate field.)
Corrected entry: After the Japanese attack, a ship has turned upside down and you see them on the upturned hull trying to cut holes in it to rescue the trapped sailors. In this scene you see hands poking through small holes in the hull and the compartment filling with water. This section of the upturned hull is above the natural water level. So how can it fill with water and drown the men. The water would have to rise above its own natural level.
Corrected entry: As Cuba Gooding, Jr. fires the anti-aircraft cannon at the passing Japanese planes, you can clearly see the ammunition feed tray at the bottom right of the picture, full of crimp-ended (ie. blank) ammunition. No wonder he's not hitting anything.