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Summary: An edition of the British official newsreel "War Pictorial News", produced by the Ministry of Information, Middle East.
Description: I. 'RAIDS OVER NAZI EUROPE.' Royal Air Force (RAF) Douglas Bostons bombers fly at low-level over the English Channel during a bombing raid on armaments works near Valenciennes in North Eastern France (Nord). The Bostons (no Squadron codes visible) are escorted to their target by clipped-wing Supermarine Spitfire fighters (Mk V ?). Operational footage shows the outline of a Boston's shadow cast on the French countryside as the aircraft fly at very low level. Stock shots show bombs dropping as the commentary states that six aircraft failed to return from the mission. Two Bostons return to base flying low over the Channel to avoid enemy fighter attack.
II. 'RAF LIFE SAVERS.' The commentary introduces an item on the work of the RAF air-sea rescue service in the location and rescue of downed Allied aircrews in the Channel and North Sea. Pilots of 276 Squadron RAF "scramble" to parked Supermarine Spitfire Mk IIC fighters that have been equipped for dropping inflatable dinghies to downed aircrew at sea. A pair of Spitfire Mk IICs take off on an air-sea rescue patrol. Rescue simulation stock shot shows a downed RAF pilot at sea wearing a "Mae West" lifejacket waving to an approaching Spitfire Mk IIC which drops a self-inflating dinghy. The downed pilot gratefully climbs into the dinghy and fires a distress flare, he is later picked up by an RAF air-sea rescue Supermarine Walrus amphibian flying-boat. Members of a United States Army Air Force (USAAF) bomber crew wave from a crew liferaft at an approaching RAF 63 ft Type 2 "Whaleback" High Speed Launch (pennant number 184) from 30 ASR MCU based at Weymouth, Dorset. Once on shore the United States crew, wearing A2 leather flying jackets, shake hands with their RAF rescuers.
III. 'RICE-LANDS OF AUSTRALIA.' Australian land workers use horse teams to level ground prior during initial agricultural preparations for rice production (New South Wales). The commentary states that rice production is bringing a new-found prosperity to New South Wales and that production is overseen by the Rice Marketing Board. Water-wheels are used for irrigation of the prepared rice fields. A caterpillar tractor pulls a combine harvester through the rice paddy. Male and female field workers use needles and thread to sew up filled rice sacks, stacking them on the back of waiting carts. The commentary stresses that the rice is not destined for Australian domestic consumption but will be used to feed the liberated peoples of the South West Pacific area. Grains of rice are soaked and then sifted by mechanical sieve. A map of Australia and the South West Pacific area is superimposed over footage of sifted rice falling from a mechanical sieve to a waiting rice sack.
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:
Keywords: combat, British - air strike (object name)
operations, British air - rescue (object name)
ships, British naval - assistance: RAF rescue launch (object name)
agriculture, Australian - tropical (object name)
Australia & NSW (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: 734 ft; Running time: 8 mins