Dedicated to United States Naval Aviation Service, a younger brother of a Navy flyer is trained as a pilot and falls in love with his brother's fiancé.
Brothers Lt. Cass Harrington (George Brent) and Ensign Jerry Harrington (John Payne) attend the funeral honoring their father. Jerry tells Cass he wants to fly, but Cass is against it. Jerry suspects that Cass can't love Irene Dale (Olivia de Havilland). Scat (Frank McHugh), Dan (John Ridgely), and football star Ted (Edgar Edwards) take a train to flight school in Pensacola and meet Armando (Alberto Morin) from Brazil. Cass teaches Scat to say "Sir." Ted is excluded for a heart murmur. Jerry arrives air sick, and Cass promises to leave him alone. Cass goes up with Scat, who ends up in the water. Jerry does well but crashes landing. Cass finds Jerry packing. Lt. White (John Gallaudet) tells Cass to stay away from Jerry. Cass tells Irene he is going to Washington, and she spends time with Jerry at the beach.
They welcome Cass back. Cass says that Jerry is in love with Irene, but he denies it. Jerry flies blind and alone. Cass tells Irene that Jerry has puppy love. Irene tells Jerry that she can't marry Cass, because she loves Jerry. Cass tries to help a failing pilot, and they crash in the water. In the hospital Cass tells Jerry he is grounded. Cass wants Jerry to be a fighter pilot. Jerry tells Irene that Cass needs her. Scat, Armando, and Jerry graduate as Cass watches in a wheelchair. Irene says good-bye to Jerry.
In San Diego Lt. Parsons (Victor Jory) instructs Jerry and Scat on the flying boat. Cass arrives for tests of his plane by pilot Steve Connors (George Meeker). The plane won't pull out of the dive; pilot Connors passes out and crashes. Jerry offers to test Cass's plane, but Cass says how hard it is. Jerry is promoted and will fly to Honolulu. Jerry tells Irene, who says Cass is irritable because of his plane. Jerry gets prepared to test Cass's plane and won't let Scat replace him. Cass learns that Jerry quit the Navy to do the test and objects; but Scat holds Cass while Jerry gets in the plane. Jerry dives and is able to pull out but then faints. He comes to and pulls up again. Cass asks to have Jerry's resignation cancelled. Cass and Irene see Jerry and Scat off to Honolulu. Cass then tells Irene to sail for Hawaii.
This drama prepared the American people and promoted
the Naval aviation program that would be used in the war. The
enthusiasm of the young men for flying advanced aircraft seems
to be oblivious to their likely missions of killing many people.