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The working title of this film was Prisoner of War. The film begins with a written foreword that reads: "In the making of this picture, the cooperation of the Department of Defense and the United States Air Force is gratefully acknowledged." In the closing cast credits, Mark Stevens' character is mistakenly listed as "Jerome" instead of "James." According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Hayden Rorke was originally cast as "Col. Von Broeck."
A February 1951 Los Angeles Times article reported that after producer Aubrey Schenck saw a 1945 United States Army Air Corps training film called Resisting Enemy Interrogation (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50), which instructed airmen how to avoid giving information to the enemies, he hired the writer, Harold Medford, to help remake it as a feature. The Daily Variety review points out that the picture portrayed "actual methods employed by Germans." According to the New York Times review, the picture contains footage from an actual 1944 bombing raid over France. The world premiere took place in Baltimore, MD on February 8, 1951, and was attended by Air Force pilot Robert J. Locke, the only POW to escape after being shot down and imprisoned behind North Korean enemy lines. Broadway actor Richard Carlyle made his motion picture debut in Target Unknown.