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Parachute Battalion (1941)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 12 September 1941 (USA)
In this pre-Pearl Harbor recruiting poster, colonel's estranged son Bill Burke, football hero Donald Morse, and hillbilly Jeff Hollis enlist in the paratroopers. Their training at Fort ... See full summary »



(original screenplay), (original screenplay) (as Major Hugh Fite Air Corps)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kit Richards
Bill Burke
Bill Richards
Jeff Hollis
Col. Burke
Edward Fielding ...
Chief of Infantry
Pa Hollis
Thomas Morse
Jack Briggs ...
Medical Officer
Kathryn Sheldon ...
Ma Hollis


In this pre-Pearl Harbor recruiting poster, colonel's estranged son Bill Burke, football hero Donald Morse, and hillbilly Jeff Hollis enlist in the paratroopers. Their training at Fort Benning, Georgia is followed in semi-documentary style, with time out for personal dramas and the romantic rivalry of Bill and Don over the sergeant's daughter. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Thrill TO THE DRAMA OF UNCLE SAM'S NEW JUMP FIGHTERS!... (original print media ad - all caps) See more »


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 September 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Batalhão de Paraquedas  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The world premiere in Atlanta, Georgia, was attended by the members of the 501st Parachute Battalion who worked on the production. See more »


When the two parachutists land in the river their parachutes are not deployed but still packed. These are the jumpers main chutes, activated by the static line when jumping on command. These two jumpers, however were using their emergency chutes. The sergeant even tells Burke to remember to pull his ripcord. Therefore, the main chutes would normally remain packed. See more »

Crazy Credits

After the title and names of the eight featured players, the following statement appears in capital letters while the title song plays and we view the marching infantry: We gratefully acknowledge the splendid cooperation given by the officers and men of the 501st Parachute Battalion at Fort Benning, Ga., who actually made all the parachute jumps for this picture. See more »


You're in the Army Now
Music by Isham Jones and lyrics by Tell Taylor and Ole Olsen
Played in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

Uncle Sam's New Jump Fighters
30 August 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

RKO gave the movie going public of the fall of 1941 Parachute Batallion about this new creation of the US Army the paratrooper. This film follows the training and rivalry of three paratrooper trainees Robert Preston, Edmond O'Brien and Buddy Ebsen.

Buddy Ebsen plays a hillbilly type around for comic relief. But O'Brien and Preston are in serious heat over Nancy Kelly, daughter of Harry Carey a legend in the ranks of those who were pioneering the art of jumping out an airplane. Preston is a former All American with notches on his belt over the various women he's conquered. O'Brien unbeknownst to all is the son of the base commander Robert Barrat and on a drunken dare enlists to see if he has the right stuff.

If you think you've seen this before you have. Strip away the musical numbers of the Andrews Sisters and the comedy of Abbott&Costello you've got Buck Privates. Parachute Batallion comes down to pretty much the same thing, the only question is who will get Nancy Kelly.

Richard Cromwell has an interesting part, something not in Buck Privates, a wise guy who looses his nerve. He and Edmond O'Brien have a great scene when he calms down Cromwell in an airplane.

Nicely done, but dated wartime flag waver.

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