The Zombies are coming


Zombies are roaming the planet, cities are falling and mankind faces extinction if we don’t fight back.  In Cornwall a hive of activity is centred on the small port of Falmouth where USS Madison makes ready for sea, her decks a fevered scene, on her flight deck a small Dauphin helicopter sits poised ready for action.



© Captain Paul Kehoe RFA


© Captain Paul Kehoe RFA

Sorry folks, this is all an elaborate plot for the movie ‘World war Z’, starring two famous figures, the Hollywood actor Brad Pitt and RFA Argus, Helicopter Training and Primary Casualty Receiving ship, which was enjoying a short break in her very busy programme in Falmouth and hosting a film crew and hundreds of extra’s to shoot what it is hoped will be the latest blockbuster.

The adventure began back in June when Captain Paul Kehoe, CO of Argus was contacted by Fleet to ask if he would be happy for RFA Argus to be used in a Feature Film while she was in Falmouth during August 2011.  The MOD had been approached by Paramount Pictures who had originally wanted to use HMS Ark Royal, but as this was not possible Argus was offered instead.  The film company were looking to use an aircraft carrier as the film script included a number of scenes that were to have been filmed on the USS Harry Truman.

On the 28 June, whilst Argus was in Gibraltar returning to the United Kingdom from Operation Hunt, a team from the production company boarded the ship to check her out.  When the ship returned to the UK the film’s director, Marc Forster visited the ship with his team to confirm that Argus was a suitable ship to film the relevant scenes on and the contract was signed by the MOD shortly afterwards.



© Captain Paul Kehoe RFA

Argus called at Portland on the 30 July and the Technicians moved in to fit extra lighting in No 3 hanger in preparation for the shoot, then on the 3 August, whilst the ship was on passage to Falmouth, a number of scenes were filmed of aviation evolutions with a Dauphin helicopter.  By now it was realised that the layout of the ship was ideal for the film’s purposes and the script was changed with RFA Argus now taking the role of USS Madison an LHD.



© Watson Young

When Argus arrived in Falmouth Captain Kehoe and his crew were kept extremely busy for ten days hosting the film crew and up to 250 extra’s who were playing refugees.  No 3 hanger was set up as an Ops room, and scenes for the film were shot at various locations throughout the ship.



© Captain Paul Kehoe RFA


© Captain Paul Kehoe RFA

When the film is eventually released make sure you go along to see it and spot the film star members of Argus who performed safety duties during filming.

RFA Argus joins a number of RFA Ships that have appeared in feature films over the years and like Argus, they were all playing the roles of other ships.  The RFA have proved yet again that they are truly  “Ready for Anything”.