US GENERAL OLD PRESENTS RAF TRANSPORT PILOTS WITH THE AMERICAN DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS [Allocated Title]
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- Title: US GENERAL OLD PRESENTS RAF TRANSPORT PILOTS WITH THE AMERICAN DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS [Allocated Title]
- Film Number: ABY 17
- Other titles: ROYAL AIR FORCE OPERATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
- Summary: Brigadier General William Old, head of Troop Carrier Command, decorates five RAF Wing Commanders with the American Distinguished Flying Cross, for action during Operation Thursday, the airborne invasion of Burma.
- Description: Officers decorated were E B Fielden of Morecambe, Lancashire ; W H Burbury (commander RAF 31 Squadron) of Lahore Cantonment, India; W E Coles (commander RAF 117 Squadron) of Banbury, Oxfordshire; M E Wells (commander RAF 62 Squadron) of Totland Bay, Isle of Wight; and A C Pearson (commander RAF 194 Squadron) of Kenya.
- Access Conditions: IWM Attribution: © IWM
- Featured Period: 1939-1945
- Production Date: 1944-05-21
- Production Country: GB
- Production Details: Air Ministry, Directorate of Public Relations (Production sponsor) Royal Air Force Film Production Unit (Production company) Goozee, S (Production individual)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations: Old, William D (person) Royal Air Force, 31 Squadron (regiment/service) Royal Air Force, 62 Squadron (regiment/service) Royal Air Force, 117 Squadron (regiment/service) Royal Air Force, 194 Squadron (regiment/service) Air Command South East Asia, Eastern Air Command, Troop Carrier Command (regiment/service)
- Keywords: Chandina, Bengal Province, India (geography) Agartala, Bengal Province, India (geography) Sylhet, Bengal Province, India (geography) Operation Thursday, Chindits 1944, Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event) Air supply operations, Air operations over Burma, Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event) Royal Air Force 1939-1945 (theme) India 1939-1945 (theme) Burma 1942-1945 (theme) United States Air Forces 1939-1945 (theme)
- Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W Sound format: Silent
- Technical Details: Format: 35mm Number of items/reels/tapes: 1 Footage: 134 ft; Running time: 2 mins
- Notes: Fielden was responsible for coordinating the activities of US and British troop-carrier squadrons at their bases (and previously commander of RAF 62 Squadron, August 1943 to February 1944) , while the latter four officers commanded RAF transport squadrons and personally led their units into Burma. Citation reads: "On each mission, landings were made on secret and barely adequate landing strips, requiring ultimate skill in navigating and piloting. In face of these dangers, Wing Commanders Fielden, Burberry, Coles, Wells and Pearson performed their duties with distinction above and beyond the usual, thereby not only reflecting credit upon themselves individually but setting to both British and American pilots of Troop Carrier Command an outstanding example of leadership and soldiery, and encouraging with great force the solidarity of Allied airmen". Footage taken at Chandina (Wing Commanders Wells and Fielden), Agartala (Wing Commander Burberry) and Sylhet (Wing Commander Cole). Brigadier General Old seen addressing British airmen. Brigadier General Old had previously been awarded a British Distinguished Service Order (DSO) for his leadership. See related items. Sylhet and Chandina now in Bangladesh, Agartala in India. The awards to Wing Commanders Burbury and Fielden were covered by RAF photographers. See related items below. Burbury is mispelled 'Burberry' on the dopesheet. No slates, date from dopesheet.
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