Soar with the heroic "The Wings of Eagles" quiz!


By: Olivia Cantor

6 Min Quiz

Image: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

About This Quiz

Military exploits, when done right via cinema, produce a historical legacy worth watching. "The Wings of Eagles" is one such legacy. Think you can soar with the historical and fictional details of this 1957 flick? Then hop on in and take the quiz!

The legendary screen hero, John Wayne, who usually played cowboys in movies, played a military man in this film. In which branch of the military does he serve?

John Wayne played the navy man Frank Wead in this film. His character’s nickname is Spig.


John Wayne’s leading lady, Maureen O’Hara, plays his character’s love interest in this film. What is their relationship?

Maureen O’Hara played Spig Wead’s wife, Minnie. Spig called her Min for short.


The film features a kind of “friendly rivalry" between the navy and this other military division. Which was it?

The film portrays a rivalry between the army and the navy. Specifically, both branches of the armed forces are competing in flying.


It’s 1919, and the film’s story starts when this major war has already ended. Which war was this?

World War I had just ended when the story of Spig Wead began. He hadn't been assigned to a war-like situation during the early part of his career, so he focused on other things.


While he was an army man, Spig Wead also knew how to operate one of these military vehicles. What is it?

Spig knews how to fly a seaplane. In fact, he took an army man in one, to up the ante of their competition.


In the early part of his career, Spig’s family was composed of his wife, Min, and this other relative. Who was it?

Min and Spig had a baby boy they nicknamed Commodore. Unfortunately, he died.


The army and the navy soon entered a kind of formal friendly competition where they will race each other. Where did this race take place?

The friendly competition between the army and the navy was supposed to take place around the world. It was an aircraft flying race.


Since Spig Wead was a military man, his family often did this, depending on where he was stationed. What did they do?

Depending on where a military man will be stationed, his family moves around with him. Oftentimes, this takes a toll on the family, especially the partner and the children left behind.


Did Spig and Min Wead have other children?

After the death of their baby boy, Min and Spig did try to have children again. They had two daughters.


During the early part of his career, Spig was stationed at the Pensacola naval base in this state.

Spig and Min were happily married with their little baby boy in tow during the early part of his military career. They stayed in Florida, where there was a naval base located in Pensacola.


Since Spig was always absent in their household, the only chance his two daughters had of seeing him was through this media.

Whenever there were military newsreels played before a movie in a theater, Spig's family occasionally caught glimpses of him.


Spig came home one day to find empty bottles of liquor on the floor, and his wife, Min, was nowhere to be found. What did this scene imply?

Spig deduced that his absence and their moves were taking a toll on his wife. Min took to drinking, and playing cards, while their children fended for themselves without adult supervision.


Spig’s rising career was put to a halt when he had an accident. What happened to him?

Spig fell down the stairs one night, when he was awakened by one of their daughters who was having a bad dream. He broke his spine in several places.


What did Min call Spig, in reference to his dedication to serving his country by doing anything the military asked him to do?

Star Spangled Spig was Min's nickname for her husband. It's unclear if she meant it to mock him, or admire him.


As a result of his accident, Spig ended up with a serious medical condition. What was it?

Spig was paralyzed as a result of the accident. He couldn't move his body from the neck down.


What happened to Spig and Min after Spig's accident?

Spig separated from Min to preserve his dignity and help preserve Min's sanity.


Spig was later assigned an assistant named Carson to help him. What was Carson’s nickname?

A mechanic from the navy named Carson became Spig's dedicated assistant and friend. Spig called him Jughead.


One of Jughead Carson’s tricks to encourage Spig’s recovery was to chant this sentence over and over again — “I’m gonna move that __.”

Placed face down in a hospital bed, Spig couldn't see anything much but his foot. To help with his recovery, Jughead encouraged Spg to chant "I'm gonna move that toe."


Spig’s doctors sometimes secretly advised Jughead to give Spig a shot or two of this. What was it?

Jughead set up a clothes hanger behind a mirror to hide the liquor he sometimes gave Spig. On several occasions, medical professionals also advised Jughead to give Spig a few shots of various types of alcohol.


While confined to the hospital, Spig always received these from his Navy flight partner, John Price. But they were actually from Spig’s wife, Min. What were they?

A bouquet of flowers were seen in Spig's room daily, brought supposedly by his navy buddy, Price. But Spig later figured out that it was Min who was sending them.


Jughead Carson tried to encourage Spig to move his toe more. What musical instrument did he use to help do this?

Jughead played the ukulele and sang "I'm gonna move that toe."


Jughead Carson also suggested that Spig take up this hobby. What was it?

Spig took to writing and even tried to write stories about his navy life. He sometimes sent them to publications, but kept getting rejected.


When Spig was finally able to move more than his toe, what did he next use during his rehabilitation?

Spig's physical therapy included getting used to walking using crutches.


After rehabilitation using a wheelchair and walking with crutches, Spig was finally able to walk with the assistance of this. What was it?

Spig fully recovered from his paralysis. He later used simple walking canes to guide him in his steps.


Spig’s stories eventually got published in magazines. Hollywood soon came knocking and asked him to write one of these.

Spig later tried writing scripts for movies.


Spig began writing screenplays that featured this aspect of life with which he was most familiar with. What was it?

Spig didn't have to imagine much when he tried writing scripts based on his military life. In fact, the real Spig Wead became friends with film director, John Ford, after writing scripts for films that Ford directed.


Spig Wead was initially reluctant to write screenplays, but the navy officers convinced him to do so since the profits would be used for this. What was it?

Spig's dream was to really bring aviation to the navy. Having aircraft carriers would help his dream come true.


Spig eventually became a successful screenplay writer. He then tried this type of writing.

Spig also tried his hand at being a playwright. From Hollywood to Broadway, he also found some success in theater.


By the time Spig made it big on Broadway, he tried to reconcile with his estranged wife, Min, who lived in California. In what city did Min and their daughters live?

Spig found out that Min was single and living in San Francisco. He decided to drop in for a visit.


Just when Min and Spig were about to get together again as a family, this happened. What was it?

The attack on Pearl Harbor was a huge turning point in Spig Wead's life. He readily enlisted again, despite his previous injuries.


After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Spig rejoined the Navy to help fight what war?

World War II began with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Once again sacrificing his family for service to his country, Spig rejoined the Navy to help fight the war.


For his World War II post, Spig became the commander of a naval air carrier, seeing his lifelong dream come true. What nearly happened to Spig during his command?

Jughead jumped in to protect Spig aboard the carrier. A Japanese plane flew overhead and shot at them, hitting Jughead but sparing Spig.


What military vehicle did Spig think of using to replenish planes aboard the carrier?

Spig thought of using military jeeps to deliver planes to the carrier.


What happened to Spig while he was in service with the navy during World War II?

Spig suffered a heart attack while on board the carrier. This made him re-think his life and his priorities.


The film ended when Spig was given military honors right after he suffered a heart attack. Why was he given such honors?

After his heart attack, Spig decided to finally retire from the military, supposedly to spend more time with his family.


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