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Title:RAF OPERATIONS AT AND AROUND IMPHAL, INDIA [Allocated Title]
Film Number:ABY 11
Other titles:ROYAL AIR FORCE OPERATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
Summary: An RAF station at Imphal, India, including fighter and supply operations, airfield life including a visit by Noel Coward, the local Naga population, medical and meteorological officers at work.
Description: Reel 1: Supermarine Spitfire with control tower in background. Hawker Hurricanes with propellors spinning before taxiing away past camera. Douglas Dakota aircraft being unloaded, including baskets of live chickens. Local Naga women loading a lorry and children collecting firewood. Hurricanes on a beach. Unloading from inside Dakota. Casualties loaded aboard Dakota. Spitfires taxiing. Burmese Spitfire pilot of RAF 607 Squadron. Local Naga refugees. Crashed Spitfire. RAF Regiment men armed with Bren light machine gun and Lee Enfield No. 3 rifles manning a bunker and an anti-aircraft gun. RAF Regiment men mount a patrol. Officers, including Air Officer Commanding 221 Group RAF Air Commodore Vincent talking with actor and playwright Noel Coward during a visit to troops. Airmen being served food from a cookhouse in muddy conditions at Burri Bazaar, India.
Reel 2: Armed airmen bringing in a man suspected of being JIF (Japanese Indian Forces). Local women fishing. A truck fords a flooded road. Aerial footage of a motor transport column and a motor transport graveyard of abandoned vehicles. Airmen using Aldis signalling lamp. Dakotas and Spitfires taxiing. Metal pontoon bridge being taken up by bridge-laying Valentine tank. Spitfires and Dakotas seen taking off. Japanese officer's sword and Japanese rifle and bayonet presented by Lieutenant-Colonel Fortieth of 1st Battalion, 3rd Gurkhas (99th Brigade, 17th Indian Division) to the Commanding Officer of RAF 42 Squadron, Squadron Leader May, in recognition of the squadron's close air support operations. Mules carrying supplies of water being led through undergrowth. RAF Regiment men man a Bren gun in a slit trench. Airmen being served tea, and drawing water from a well. An airmen operating a radio set ('Hello, Pingpong leader, first two were OK, over') to communicate with Hurricanes overhead. Airmen catching butterflies. Medical officer administering injections.
Production Details: Air Ministry, Directorate of Public Relations (Production sponsor)
Royal Air Force Film Production Unit (Production company)
Goozee, S (Production individual)
Layzell, R G (Production individual)
Hughes, H R (Production individual)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: Coward, Noel Peirce (person)
Vincent, Stanley Flamank (person)
Fortieth (Lieutenant Colonel) (person)
May (Squadron Leader) (person)
Royal Air Force, Royal Air Force Regiment (regiment/service)
Indian National Army (regiment/service)
Royal Air Force, 607 Squadron (regiment/service)
Royal Air Force, 42 Squadron (regiment/service)
Keywords: Imphal, Manipur, India (geography)
Burri Bazaar, Assam, India (geography)
Air supply operations, Air operations over Burma, Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event)
Air evacuation of casualties, Air operations over Burma, Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event)
Fighter operations, Air operations over Burma, Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event)
Aerial Warfare (theme)
Royal Air Force 1939-1945 (theme)
Far East 1939-1945 (theme)
British Army 1939-1945 (theme)
India 1939-1945 (theme)
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 2
Footage: 2152 ft; Running time: 24 minutes
Notes: One aircraft identifiable, Spitfire Mk VIII AF:H of RAF 607 Squadron.
The Naga people are a distinct ethnic group of somewhat unclear ancestry but possibly mixed Mongol and Tibeto-Burmese. They live mostly on the Indo-Burma border in the Indian states of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland and on the border areas of Burma's Sagaing Division. Traditionally headhunters, the British paid the Nagas in salt for captured Japanese weapons or, rather gruesomely, for the decapitated heads of enemy officers. From the middle of the nineteenth century increasing numbers were converted to Christianity by the work of missionaries. During the war they proved helpful to the Allies, providing scouts and guides, and aiding Allied stragglers or crashed airmen. Film, also shot by the RAF, depicting the plight of Naga refugees can be found at the reference below. See related items.