Dawn Patrol finds well-bred English gentlemen running up against the grim realities of war and always remaining true to the best Oxford traditions.
At the start, the air exploits are more talked about than revealed, but as the woman-less chronicle unfolds the fighting becomes more visual and less commented upon. Richard Barthelmess and Douglas Fairbanks Jr in one sequence raid the home ground of the Germans and spend 10 minutes dropping bombs and ploughing the helpless German air squadron with machine-gun fire.
This little mission of death and destruction is in the nature of a boyish lark because the Germans had taunted them on the quality of their aviatorship. Neil Hamilton, the commanding officer, awaits their return in fury.
Howard Hawks has handled his material intelligently. Camerawork is excellent throughout and the effects are vivid.