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Title:WAR PICTORIAL NEWS NO 138 - AMERICAN VARIANT [Allocated Title]
Film Number:WPN 289
Summary: An edition of the British official newsreel "War Pictorial News", produced by the Ministry of Information, Middle East aimed at an American audience (most likely US Forces).
Description: I. 'FLYING FORTS BATTLE NAZIS OVER GERMANY.' United States Army Air Force (USAAF) Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress bomber aircraft run up their engines on a taxi way as they await their turn to take off. Aerial footage shows USAAF B-17F stacked in defensive box formations during a sortie at high altitude. Operational footage shows B-17 Flying Fortress aircraft during a sortie to Marienburg (October 1943). USAAF B-17F Flying Fortress bombers from the 364th Bomb Squadron of the 305th Bomb Group are attacked by Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Bf 109G fighter aircraft. Footage cuts to USAAF B-17 waist gunners firing air-cooled Browning .50-in machine guns at unseen targets. Air crew inspect a burst mainwheel tyre on B-17(F?) 23396. B-17F "Sack Time" is shown sporting extensive forward fuselage and port-inner engine battle damage. Smiling USAAF aircrew shake hands on their safe return from a mission.
II. 'LINER NORMANDIE SALVAGED ... MOVES TO US DRY DOCK.' The Normandie and Lafayette passenger liners are shown berthed in New York docks. Tugs tow the Normandie past Manhattan Island and the Statue of Liberty.
III. 'AUSTRALIANS IN DRAMATIC JUNGLE BATTLE WITH JAPS.' Australian infantry eat food from mess tins. Australian infantry walk past the camera position carrying Lee-Enfield Mk III .303-inch rifles during the opening stages of the battle for Salamaua. Australian infantry fire a water-cooled Vickers .303-inch machine gun at Japanese positions on a far ridgeline. Smoke rises from Japanese positions as Australian turn a captured Japanese mountain howitzer on its former owners. Japanese corpses lie in shallow slit trenches. Papuan stretcher bearers carry wounded Australian infantry through difficult jungle terrain.
IV. 'MID EAST- FIELD MARSHAL SMUTS VISITS CAIRO.' This item duplicates Item I of WPN 138.
V. 'ITALY- THE BATTLE FOR ROME.' This item duplicates Item IV of WPN 138.
Production Details: Ministry of Information, Middle East (Production sponsor)
War Pictorial News (Production company)
Martin, Charles (Production individual)
Keating, Rex1910-02-142005-01British newsreel commentator, WW2 period (Production cast)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: Australian Army (regiment/service)
Keywords: combat, United States - air strike (object name)
ships, French civilian - passenger: Normandie (object name)
ships, French civilian - passenger: Lafayette (object name)
combat, Australian (object name)
casualties, Japanese dead - battlefield (object name)
casualties, Australian wounded - battlefield (object name)
Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York, New York, United States of America (geography)
New Guinea (geography)
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Sound
Soundtrack language: English
Title language: English
Subtitle language: Arabic
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 882 ft; Running time: 10 mins
Notes: Summary: items I - III have an American commentary. This issue was presumably assembled by the WPN team for exhibition to US forces in the Middle East in the absence of a complete US newsreel.