- Title: JUMPS AHEAD (long version) [Main Title]
- Film Number: APY 9A
- Other titles:
- Summary: Film by the Royal Air Force Film Production Unit, describing joint Army-RAF parachute training, in the UK and the Middle East, and narrated by a parachute trainee.
- Description: Title: "Jumps Ahead" with a silhouette of an Armstrong-Whitworth Whitley. In an office (probably at No 1 Parachute Training School, RAF Ringway, Cheshire) looking out onto an airfield, an RAF wing commander (wearing Volunteer Reserve lapel badges) addresses the camera; purpose of film is to introduce initial parachute training methods and Army-RAF cooperation. Wipe to lecture room with RAF officer lecturing a multinational audience; one man has "Norge" (Norway) shoulder patch. "It's all very simple if you do what you're told." The officer shares some anecdote and the audience laugh. Back to office; the RAF officer looks out window supposedly to men "doing special exercises" during physical training. Ground training; men learn to control parachutes in the air by practising on swings. Men practise their parachute landing falls (PLFs) from gym benches and slides; "most of this training is falling and landing". Use of a fan descender to practise landing; "after a few goes we've soon got the hang of it" with a dramatically shaky point-of-view shot as the cameraman jumps from the descender. Back to office; officer states that training lasts several days and is also conducted in the Middle East "with great ingenuity under difficult conditions". Between two girder towers a ring with lines attached simulates an open canopy and below a trainee in a harness swings back and forth. Practising door exits from a raised platform. Jumping off a trolley on rails for backwards landings. Jumping off the backs of moving lorries with kitbags for equipment containers; men jump, stand up and collect a kitbag. Back in England in a mess or NAAFI canteen trainees are ready for their first jump. Three trainees at the canteen counter banter about the impending jump; "Oh, you'll come down all right!". Three instructors chat; one sergeant instructor decides on an early night because his trainees ("pretty hot stuff - the best on the course") are jumping the next day. Another instructor replies with "you haven't seen mine yet". Parachutes are issued. Preparing for first jump; men queue for parachutes from a (presumably Women's Auxiliary Air Force) corporal who issues them. Tethered balloon for first jump; "we call her Bessie the Beautiful". Four trainees board the balloon's cage; as the cage rises the camera tilts from a trainee (looking decidedly nervous and his helmet appears to be marked "Cumberland") to the open hole cut in the floor. The narrator describes being ordered to jump, the ground rushing up and the realisation that "it's not so bad after all". More descents. More practice jumps then first jump from an aircraft; interior aircraft with view through the open floor hatch. Camera follows a descending parachutist; deployment of sticks of ten jumpers by multiple aircraft. Climax; mass descent with line of parked Whitleys. The trainees pack equipment containers which are loaded into the the Whitley's bomb bay. Pilots confer; one has "Canada" shoulder patch. The trainees emplane. Aircraft taxi; aircraft include QA:K, QA:D, QA:G (serial BD495), and QA:X ("QA" denotes RAF 297 Squadron). Whitley takes off. Five Whitleys overhead. Interior footage; view through hatch. Green light comes on; "this is where we get out". Interior, ground and aerial shots of parachutists dropping, deployment bags and static lines trail beneath a Whitley with its undercarriage down. "And now our training here is over and we all feel pretty good. The real job is about to commence; as far as we're concerned, the sooner the better. Watch out Mister Nazi, 'cause we'll be seeing you!" THE END.
- Access Conditions: IWM Attribution: © IWM
- Featured Period: 1939-1945
- Production Date: 1943-02-15
- Production Country: GB
- Production Details: Air Ministry (Production sponsor) Royal Air Force Film Production Unit (Production company) Clayton, Jack (Production individual) Pollard, William B (Production individual) Jones (Sergeant) (Production individual) Reeves (Aircraftman) (Production individual) Shears (Aircraftman) (Production individual) Almond (Aircraftman) (Production individual) Fitch, R (Production individual) Mason (Leading Aircraftman) (Production individual) Churm (Leading Aircraftman) (Production individual)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations: British Army, Parachute Regiment (regiment/service) Royal Air Force, 297 Squadron (regiment/service) Royal Air Force, Parachute Training School No 1 (regiment/service)
- Keywords: Ringway, Cheshire, England, UK (geography) Aerial Warfare (theme) Airborne Forces (theme) Royal Air Force 1939-1945 (theme)
- Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W Sound format: Sound Soundtrack language: English Title language: English
- Technical Details: Format: 35mm Number of items/reels/tapes: 1 Footage: 823 ft; Running time: 10 mins
- Notes: Summary: the balloon jump sequence was shot in early morning, and the low sun gives an attractive quality to many of these shots. Remarks: two versions of this film are held, APY 9 and APY 9A. The former is shorter by 360 feet (4 minutes) and excludes the mess dialogue, some aerial footage and the scenes shot in the Middle East. This version is more coherent and generally superior. Remarks: production documentation also held, including commentary drafts and dopesheets.
- Link to IWM Collections page:
Related IWM Collections Objects:
APY 9 (JUMPS AHEAD [Main Title])