真珠湾攻撃から７週間後、米軍が初めて日本に勝った物語である。１９４３年に制作されたこの映画は１９４２年に起こったマキン奇襲を基に描いている。第二マリンレーダー大隊はマキン環礁のブタリタリに２つの潜水艦と共に送られた。彼らは日本軍の軍事施設を破壊し、多くの死傷者を出さずに撤退することに成功した。 主人公のColonel Thorwaldは中国で軍事監督していたという実在の人物である。彼は中国で戦術を初めて学び、日本軍の弱点を知った。彼のモットーは中国語の"gung ho"であり、"gung"は「働くこと」"ho"は「調和」を意味する。彼が意味する"gung ho,"「チームワーク」は瞬く間に海軍に広まった。
"This is a factual record of the Second Marine Raider Battalion, from its inception seven weeks after Pearl Harbor, through its first brilliant victory," reads the opening titles of Gung Ho!, the 1943 war drama based on the Makin Island Raid of August, 1942. A few dramatic liberties aside, it's a fairly accurate dramatization of the first major offensive action by the Americans after the attack upon Pearl Harbor. The Second Marine Raider Battalion (also known as "Carlson's Raiders"), an elite Marine battalion of 200 rigorously trained Marines, was covertly transported to the island of Butaritari (the largest of the islands of the Makin Atoll) in two submarines. They destroyed the Japanese installations and cleared the Japanese forces from the island and successfully retreated by submarine with remarkably few losses. With a public starved for an American success, it was perfect fodder for a Hollywood supporting the war effort with a slate of war movies heavy on rousing triumphs and patriotic themes.Randolph Scott is named Colonel Thorwald in the film, but for all intents and purposes he is Lieutenant Colonel Evans Carlson, the real-life commander of the Second Marine Raider Battalion. Carlson had been a military observer in China, where he learned first hand the tactics, the strengths, and the weaknesses of the Japanese military. His motto was "gung ho," a Chinese phrase explained in the film as: "gung, to work, and ho, harmony." His term for teamwork soon became the battalion's rallying cry and the phrase soon spread through the Marine Corps.