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The opening title card reads: Gung Ho! The Story of Carlson's Makin Island Raiders. The film contains the following written foreword: "This is the factual record of the Second Marine Raider Battalion, from its inception seven weeks after Pearl Harbor, through its first brilliant victory." The attack on Makin Island by the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, under the leadership of Col. Evans Carlson, took place on August 17, 1942. This group of 210 Marines, later known as "Carlson's Raiders," killed 348 of the 350 Japanese soldiers stationed on the island, while suffering only thirty casualties. These raiders further distinguished themselves in various battles during World War II, particularly those at Guadalcanal. Hollywood Reporter news items state that portions of Gung Ho! were shot on location at Camp Elliott, CA; Camp Pendleton, near Oceanside, CA; and at a Marine base near San Diego, CA. According to Hollywood Reporter news items, actress Grace McDonald was voted "Sweetheart of Carlson's Marine Raiders" six months prior to her being cast in this film. Actor James Gleason was originally cast in the film, but was forced to relinquish his role due to scheduling conflicts with another film, M-G-M's A Guy Named Joe . According to Variety, international film financier Jacques Grinieft purchased a fifty-percent interest in Gung Ho! in 1952, along with three other Universal films produced by Walter Wanger.