In one of the greatest feats of airmanship ever, Navy Cmdr. David McCampbell and his wingman, Lt. Roy Rushing, engage 80 Japanese aircraft during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Rushing shoots down six aircraft while McCampbell bags nine, the most victories ever recorded by an American pilot in a single engagement. Normally based on the USS Essex, McCampbell, instead, recovers on the USS Langley with barely enough fuel remaining to taxi up the deck. He is later awarded the Medal of Honor.