U.S.S. VD: Ship of Shame (1942)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Propaganda Film  |   Run Time - 46 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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The DE 733, a destroyer escort vessel, pulls into port with a gaping hole in her hull from a torpedo attack. At first, her men are curiously silent as to the cause of the disaster that those remaining are so lucky to have escaped. As a Navy commandant (Will Wright) has a casual sit down with the ship's Executive Officer (Myron McCormick), the details emerge; after a long tour, the men are anxiously awaiting a period of leave and are excitedly discussing the prospect of linking up with women in the port city. The ship's doctor (Archie Twitchell) is genuinely concerned by reports linking the ship's destination with rampant strains of venereal disease and by the naïveté of the crew - one sailor, Windy (unidentified actor), is passing out mysterious pills said to cure VD. Doc does everything in his power to try to inform the men, and even motivates the Executive Officer to give a lengthy speech on the perils of VD, the use of condoms and to encourage abstinence, which is heeded by few. During leave, several of the men go out in search of loose women; one of them, Chicken (Keefe Brasselle), gets cold feet but manages to find a "nice girl" instead, Margaret (unidentified actress). Back out on the open ocean, the piper is paid, as various men begin to turn up with cases of VD, the ravages of which are unflinchingly shown before the camera. Chicken is the one sailor courageous enough to name the source of his ailment, and back in the port city Margaret is informed, saving her life. On the ocean, however, the men of the DE 733 are forced to contend with their dangerous mission and to rise with whatever resources they have to fulfill their duty; with illness affecting so many crew members, it proves a daunting task indeed.

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Keywords

Navy, STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease)