DuFau (OSSIE DAVIS) is a hero. As a World War II sailor, he helped
save the world in 1944. As a black man, he had to fight to get in
the fight -- yet his country ignores him ...
His son dismisses
him as a failure ...
hardly knows him ...
one night when he finally tells his grandson Larry (ALBERT
JONES), and Larry's two
college friends Kevin (ERIK LARAY HARVEY) and Marcus
(JEFFREY NASH), about his ship, the USS Mason.
In the segregated
Navy, with the vast majority of black men relegated to duty as stewards
or laborers, DuFau and his shipmates were the only crew to take a
warship into combat.
they hear the story, Larry, Marcus and Kevin become the
1940s Mason shipmates: James Graham, Gordon Buchanan, and
Now the adventure
begins as the men of the Mason escort convoys across the treacherous
North Atlantic, battle German submarines, and survive the "storm
of the century. "
Lind (Aidan Quinn) recommends them for commendations, and black journalist
Thomas Young (Darnell Williams) writes about their exploits for the
folks back home.
The Mason crew
does all this while fighting racism from individual sailors and from
within the Navy itself -- nothing stops them.
But there are
light moments and even romance along the way ...
Ireland, they're welcomed as true "Yanks," and Barney Garvey
(STEPHEN REA) introduces them to Irish dancing until they almost
miss they boat, literally.
glamorous war-time Harlem, shipmate Hank Fields (RASHAAD HOUGHTON)
plays sax at the nightclub where Graham falls in love with Buchanan’s
sister (KIDADA JONES) and charms her mother (DENISE NICHOLAS). DuFau
visits wife Collette (KIESHA WHITAKER).
back to today, it takes the new generation to right the wrongs of
the past. History has forgotten the USS Mason and the young men are
determined to change this.
to his father (VERNEL BAGNERIS). He's determined with the help of
his friends to reunite the veterans and force Washington to award
the men their long overdue honors.
The young men's
struggles form the exciting conclusion of the film.