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Summary: '"A story dedicated to the Few who trained the Many...." A documentary feature about a navigator who wanted to be a pilot.
Description: The film tells the story of Flying Training Command of the Royal Air Force. It centres on the careers of two recruits to Aircrew, David Wilton and John Aynesworth. David is a corporal on ground staff who gets his chance to become a member of Aircrew and whose ambition is to become a pilot. At Aircrew Reception Centre he meets John and they become great friends, despite their different backgrounds. The two boys are sent to an RAF Training School in the US (Mesa, Arizona), where John gets his Pilot Wings but David fails. David, bitterly disappointed, goes on to Canada (Falcon Field) where he qualifies as a navigator. He returns to England and is posted to the same Lancaster squadron as John. One night, John's navigator is wounded and David takes his place in a raid on Berlin. The Lancaster is shot up and the radio rendered useless. Flying on two engines the crew are entirely dependent on David to get them back. He brings them close to the English coast where John ditches the aircraft and the crew take to their dinghies. Soon an Air Sea Rescue plane is circling overhead. They are safe - and David really feels that he is one of the crew.
As well as scenes of RAF recruits in the classroom, on airfields and in the air, Reel 1 includes scenes at a former greyhound race track and scenes in Cambridge including the main gate and dining hall of St John's College; Reel 2 includes scenes in the College dining hall and an undergraduate's room, punting on the River Cam; Reel 3 includes scenes of recruits boarding a ship, the ship at sea, an American train in motion, David Wilton (Richard Attenborough) drinking from a fizzy drink bottle (Coca Cola?) on the train, American civilians and servicewomen welcoming the RAF recruits, Wilton and Aynesworth dining at the home of Dean and Mary McWilliams (Edward G Robinson and Bessie Love); Reel 4 includes further scenes of the dinner and Wilton and McWilliams smoking in the garden, Wilton's plane making a bumpy landing and colliding with the ground; Reel 5 includes scenes at the Canada Air Observers' School and servicemen and women relaxing in a service club; Reel 6 features scenes in the interior of an Avro Anson and a control centre; Reel 7 includes Wilton being photographed in a photographic studio, sign for 522 Squadron Bomber Command, men of the RAF drinking in a pub, newspaper headlines describing RAF bombing raids, Wilton flinging balls across a pool table; Reel 8 features detailed scenes of the RAF crew inside the plane on a mission and aerial shots of fires blazing in Germany; Reel 9 shows the plane under attack, an injured crew member (Georeg Cole), detailed shots of the work of the navigator; Reel 10 shows the crew ditching into the sea and boarding the dinghy, drifting in the dinghy, firing a Verey gun, a plane signalling a rescue message.