How to Survive in the Jungle | US Army Air Forces Training Film | 1944



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This World War 2-era military training film – originally titled as “Land and Live in the Jungle” – was produced by the US Army Air Forces in 1944. It dramatizes the survival of the crew of a downed military aircraft in the jungle. The film was intended to educate flight crews about the basic principles of survival in jungle terrain, but also to boost the morale of airmen who might have to make a forced landing in the Pacific campaign.

Plot:
Five crewmen from a stricken B-25 bomber parachute into a dense tropical jungle, many miles from their nearest base. Four of the crew land together and get just about everything right. Rather than fighting the jungle, they learn to make use of its many resources. On the other hand, the pilot, Captain Harrison, is separated from the others, panics and does just about everything wrong – and pays a heavy price for his ignorance.

From their examples, here’s just some of what you’ll learn: how to use your parachute for everything from making a hammock to catching fish, how to avoid large predators and snakes, how to treat scrapes and wounds to avoid jungle rot, plants and fruits to use and avoid for food and water, what fish and animals are safe to eat. The film also shows how to use Halazone & Atabrine tablets to purify water and fight malaria, how to set traps and snares to catch small animals and birds, how to deal with and prevent insect bites, how to get rid of leeches. There is also information about how to prepare food in the jungle, how to build temporary shelters and long term camps, how to build and use a river raft, how to deal with crocodiles, how to use signal mirrors and fires to aid search planes, how to deal with the local natives and a whole lot more.

Full Cast:
– actor Mel Ford as Sergeant Mel Ford, the gunner,
– actor Patrick McVey as Lieutenant Pat McVey, the navigator (and also the narrator of the film),
– professional golfer Buell Patrick Abbott as Lieutenant Pat Abbot, the Co-pilot,
– actor and screenwriter Charles Tannen as Charley Tannen, the radio operator and gunner,
– Academy Award winning actor Van Heflin as Captain Lynn Harrison, the pilot.

BACKGROUND / CONTEXT

About Jungle:
A jungle is land covered with dense vegetation dominated by trees. Application of the term has varied greatly during the last several centuries. Prior to the 1970s, tropical rainforests were generally referred to as jungles but this terminology has fallen out of usage.

About survival skills:
Survival skills are techniques that a person may use in order to sustain life in any type of natural environment. These techniques are meant to provide basic necessities for human life which include water, food, and shelter. The skills also support proper knowledge and interactions with animals and plants to promote the sustaining of life over a period of time. Survival skills are often associated with the need to survive in a disaster situation. Survival skills are often basic ideas and abilities that ancients invented and used themselves for thousands of years. Bushcraft and primitive living are most often self-implemented, but require many of the same skills.

Bushcraft is a popular term for wilderness survival skills. The phrase bushcraft’s origin is from skills used in the bush country of Australia. Often the phrase ‘wilderness skills’ is used as it describes skills used all over the world. Bushcraft is about thriving in the natural environment, and the acquisition of the skills and knowledge to do so. Bushcraft skills include firecraft, tracking, hunting, fishing, shelter-building, navigation by natural means, the use of tools such as knives and axes, foraging, water sourcing, hand-carving wood, container construction from natural materials, and rope and twine-making, among others.

How to Survive in the Jungle | US Army Air Forces Training Film | 1944

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NOTE: THE VIDEO REPRESENTS HISTORY. SINCE IT WAS PRODUCED DECADES AGO, IT HAS HISTORICAL VALUES AND CAN BE CONSIDERED AS A VALUABLE HISTORICAL DOCUMENT. THE VIDEO HAS BEEN UPLOADED WITH EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. ITS TOPIC IS REPRESENTED WITHIN HISTORICAL CONTEXT. THE VIDEO DOES NOT CONTAIN SENSITIVE SCENES AT ALL!

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