Saturday 27 February 2021

IJAAF Paratroopers - "Palembang" - video

The video from the NHK collection, dated February 17, 1942, features IJAAF paratroopers during a training drop, even though the narator is talking about the attack against Palembang (Battle of Palembang). The reason for this is that no films survived the Palembang operation. The only reporter that was on board one of the transports had his equipment badly damaged. There is actually one very short clip shot during take off but that's all there is.

So, anyway, this is one of the very rare videos of IJAAF paratroopers.

Lining up before boarding the transports. Note the Kawasaki Ki-56 "Thalia" transport in the background on the left. The paratroopers have one Type 1 parachute on their backs and one, spare, on their chest. The spare parachute was carried only during training, never on combat missions. It was very awkwardly placed and when the paratroopers landed and they had to roll to dissipate the energy of the impact with the ground, the spare parachute often hit them in the face causing injuries. One solution to the problem was to release the spare parachute once the main one opened. But that way many parachutes were damaged when thrown from a high altitude. The other way, most often used, was to open the spare parachute from a fairly low altitude and release it before landing with the main one.
A line up of Nakajima Ki-34 "Thora" transports assigned to the paratroop unit. They carried 2-3 crew members and 7-8 paratroopers. They were used only during training, never in combat missions.

Boarding the "Thora". Note the badly weathered belly.

The tail marking of the Teishin Shudan on a "Thora".

A "Thora" in flight. The tail marking is not clearly visible due to the low quality of the video but most probably it was in red. Note the white stripe(s) on the fuselage. These were applied to assist with in-flight formation.

A paratrooper with a "Mona Lisa" smile. Is he having fun, is he scared, bored or is he showing determination for the camera?

1 comment:

Honza78 said...

Superb!!! Thanks George.