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Wings Up (1943)

The Officers Candidate School of the Army Air Forces is the subject of this documentary short film depicting the rigors of training cadets go through.


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Complete credited cast:
Clark Gable ... Narrator
William Holden ... Himself
Brenda Marshall ... Herself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
E.R. Delano E.R. Delano ... Himself
William H. Jordan William H. Jordan ... Himself
Elmer E. Meadows Elmer E. Meadows ... Himself


Army Air Forces officer Clark Gable narrates and appears on-camera in this documentary short film depicting the procedure by which army personnel are chosen for Officer Candidate School, and how the chosen are trained. Some of the wide range of Americans, some of them prominent and accomplished men in civilian life, are shown in the process of their training. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Documentary | War | Short







Release Date:

27 May 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sustineo Alas See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Clark Gable appears on camera, in uniform, addressing the audience in the final scene of the picture. See more »

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Great roster of officer candidates in this film
30 April 2016 | by SimonJackSee all my reviews

"Wings Up" is a short wartime recruiting and information film about the Officer Candidate School of the U.S. Army Air Forces. Capt. Clark Gable made the film. He received his commission after attending and graduating from the school himself. The film has a well-written script and shows the typical things one would see in films about training in any of the Armed Forces.

But the script here emphasizes that this school for training leaders goes much further. Of every 1,000 men who are in the service, only 23 will qualify to enter OCS. The school then was located at Miami, FL. The U.S. Air Force Officer Training School today is located at Maxwell Air Force Base near Montgomery, AL.

Gable produced and narrates the film with some snappy and witty dialog in places. What sets this apart from any other military training film I've seen, is its presentation of the variety of officer candidates. The film does much to emphasize that men came from all walks of life, and with varied backgrounds, to serve and become leaders in the Army Air Forces.

It is worth itemizing the diversity as Gable narrates and the camera shows these individuals. Gable begins, "A lot of strange fellows here. No author could invent their past experiences. Let's look at some of them.

"The man on the left is the national intercollegiate high jump champion. On the right – he served with the American volunteer group in China under Gen. Chennault.

"This is Elmer E. Meadows, once world champion pole vaulter. He won the Olympic title in 1936 – in Berlin. The man on the left was taken off Corregidor. The other one is a symphony conductor.

"D.R. Doano, fifth cousin of Pres. Franklin Delano Roosevelt. On the left, a trapeze artist in Ringling Brothers Circus. On the right, the mayor of Glen Cove, Long Island.

"He's a former Austrian attorney. He spent quite a while in a German concentration camp. Never mind how he got out. He's an American citizen now.

"A gunner with the Royal Air Force. Next to him, a Broadway playwright. Gilbert Roland of the motion pictures. He used to have a mustache. I know how you feel, mister.

"Both these men won the order of the Purple Heart. One got his for Pearl Harbor. The other for the Battle of Verdun. This is Robert Present of the motion pictures. Left – came from Burma – member of the Flying Tigers. Right – catcher for the Detroit Tigers." "He was cited for bravery at Pearl Harbor – saved a tanker. Left – first bombardier ever to touch Midway, Wake and Guam. Right, the AAU light heavyweight champ.

"A lieutenant in the French Army, World War I. Survived the Battle of Dunkirk. Left – All American football player and member of the Green bay Packers. On the right is a baritone in the Philadelphia Opera Company.

"William H. Jordan, bombardier in the Battle of Midway. The fellow with glasses is an ecologist. He worked for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture the last 14 years. He's done research on the sugar beet leafhopper. He knows more about the sugar beet leafhopper than anyone else in the whole world.

After this roster and some other scenes, the film concludes with men at religious services. Gable says, "There are Protestant, Catholic and Jewish services. They're obligatory in the first six weeks. Yet the attendance the second six weeks is surprisingly high. It seems a man's moral values become clearer to him in the Armed Forces. It was Gen. MacArthur who said at Bataan, 'There are no atheists in foxholes.'" This is one the best military-produced films about training or wartime service that I have seen. Leave it to Hollywood and great stars like Clark Gable to devise a zinger of a plot to make it interesting and appealing. It's a good film for any wartime film library.

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