Learn How an American Pilot Helped Israel Start its Air Force at Film Screening in Manahawkin

For Immediate Release

Contact:         Maryjane Briant
                        News and Media Relations Director
Galloway Township, NJ 08205
(609) 652-4593

Galloway, N.J. - The little-known story of how American pilot Al Schwimmer led a secret, illegal operation to give the newborn Jewish state a chance to survive is told in “A Wing and a Prayer,” a film to be screened at Stockton University’s Manahawkin Instructional Site on Tuesday, July 12.

The 2015 PBS documentary by Boaz Dvir shows how Schwimmer helped establish the Israel Air Force by covertly bringing aircrafts and guns to the nascent nation. Schwimmer worked for TWA and assisted the Air Transport Command in World War II. He used his many military and airplane industry contacts to help him transport the planes. He also created false companies to get around the United States’ prohibition against sending military aid to Israel to avoid antagonizing Arab countries during the Cold War.

Schwimmer, who later founded Israel Aircraft Industries, died in 2011. He was pardoned by outgoing President Bill Clinton in 2001 in relation to his 1950 conviction for violating the Neutrality Act during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. He had not asked for the pardon, because he believed his actions were moral.

The public is invited to this free screening and to discuss the documentary, which features firsthand accounts of daring escapes and heart-pounding action. The event will be held at 11 a.m. on the 12th at the Manahawkin Instructional Site, 712 E. Bay Ave. Please call 609-626-3883 to RSVP.

Schwimmer and his men helped reshape history. Yet history books have ignored them. “A Wing and a Prayer” fills in that missing chapter.