Airborne (May 30, 1962)

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Fort Bragg entrance 1962
 

Released on May 30, 1962: The story of three boys who join the Army Airborne in 1962 and try to survive jump school at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Directed by James Landis

The Actors: Bobby Diamond (Private Eddie 'Country' Slocum), Robert Christian (Private 'Rocky' Laymon), Mikel Angel (Private 'Mouse' Talliaferro), Bill Hale (Sergeant Benner), Whitey Hughes (Sergeant White), James Maydock (Private Barnowski), George Marlowe (Private Erski), Barbara Markham (Bertha), Keith Babcock (Private Gordblitz), Jesse A. Black (SFC Jesse A. Black), Ulia Cole (Sergeant Ulia Cole), Jerry Coltrane (Sergeant Arthur Correy), Arthur Correy (Sergeant Arthur Correy), William Delany (Sergeant William Delany), Lawrence Espy (Sergeant Lawrence Espy), Robert Glover (Sergeant Robert Glover), Jeffie Greene (Sergeant Jeffie Green), Phillip Jarrel (Sergeant Phillip Jarrel), Clarence Kellberg (Sergeant Clarence Kellberg), Bobby Mankins (Sergeant Bobby Mankins), Robert May (Sergeant Robert May), Robert W. Todd (instructor PSG Robert W. Todd), Johnnie Smotherman (instructor PSG Johnnie Smotherman), Ralph Cotner (instructor SFC Ralph Cotner), Ernest Hunter (instructor SFC Ernest Hunter), Carl C. Allgood (instructor SFC Carl C. Alligood), Joseph Roach (instructor SFC Joseph Roach), Carolyn Byrd (Jenny May)

 

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82nd Airborne Jump School . . . Is Everybody Happy?

There are no prouder Americans than the fighting 82nd Airborne Troopers, with their gallant history of service to protect the country that they love. This motion picture about jump school at Fort Bragg in 1962 might be called a true documentary, but it is so damn fascinating and exciting that I hesitate to even think about it being non-fiction. The vast majority of the men that you watch in this movie were actual instructors and Airborne troopers from Fort Bragg. We follow a bunch of boys from farm towns and big cities and everything in between as they join the Airborne. You will meet a tough hood from Chicago, a street-wise slick guy from New York City, and a 'hayseed' farm boy from Indiana as they join the Army Airborne. In 1962 when this was filmed America was at peace . . . I was eleven years old and the big worry was about the U.S. and Russia blowing each other off of the face of the earth with Atomic Bombs. The Vietnam War was not even a whispered thought yet, and we were still remembering with pride our efforts in World War II. In one scene Robert 'Whitey' Hughes is telling the new recruits about dropping by parachute in the darkness of the night over Normandy during WWII ready to fight . . . ready to die. He finishes by telling the boys that it is just too bad that you guys are too late to be patriots like he is. In 1962 no one could imagine the horrors that lay ahead of these boys in Vietnam War. Indeed, I imagine that many of the instructors and other troopers in this movie went on to fight and die a few years later as Vietnam consumed our American treasure - I don't speak of the money that was spent on the war when I say 'treasure' - I mean the blood of our boys who fought and died. At the end of the movie there is an epilogue scroll dedicating the picture to the brave Airborne Troopers of World War II, but with vision that only hindsight can provide I would like to dedicate this motion picture to the boys in the movie, and all of the other men who would soon fight in the jungles of Southeast Asia in the Vietnam War . . . and the men who fought bravely and came home without the parades and gratitude that every soldier earns and should receive. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter on it and thank the Good Lord for the men and women who dedicate their lives to protecting ours.

Bobby Diamond as Private Eddie 'Country' Slocum, ready to jump
Bobby Diamond as Private Eddie 'Country' Slocum, ready to jump
Bill Hale and Robert 'Whitey' Hughes
Bill Hale and Robert 'Whitey' Hughes
Bill Hale as Sergeant Benner
Bill Hale as Sergeant Benner
Bobby Diamond, Robert Christian and Carolyn Byrd in Airborne
Bobby Diamond, Robert Christian and Carolyn Byrd in Airborne
Bobby Diamond with his guitar in the barracks
Bobby Diamond with his guitar in the barracks
Bobby Diamond visits Carolyn Byrd in her small town drug store
Bobby Diamond visits Carolyn Byrd in her small town drug store
Bobby Diamond, as Eddie Slocum, writes home to mother
Bobby Diamond, as Eddie Slocum, writes home to mother
Caroly Byrd and Bobby Diamond chat in the woods
Caroly Byrd and Bobby Diamond chat in the woods
Bobby Diamond kisses Caroly Byrd
Bobby Diamond kisses Caroly Byrd
Caroyly Byrd as Jenny May
Caroyly Byrd as Jenny May
First day of Jump School at Fort Bragg
First day of Jump School at Fort Bragg
Mikel Angel and Bobby Diamond in the Fort Bragg barracks
Mikel Angel and Bobby Diamond in the Fort Bragg barracks
Mikel Angel and Robert Christian argue and almost fight
Mikel Angel and Robert Christian argue and almost fight
Mikel Angel as 'Mouse' Talliaferro in Airborne
Mikel Angel as 'Mouse' Talliaferro in Airborne
Mikel Angel at chow
Mikel Angel at chow
Mikel Angel in the 1962 movie Airborne
Mikel Angel in the 1962 movie Airborne
Robert Christian as Private Rocky Laymon
Robert Christian as Private Rocky Laymon
Robert 'Whitey' Hughes as Sergeant White in Airborne
Robert 'Whitey' Hughes as Sergeant White in Airborne