THE RAF AT WORK UNDER MONSOON CONDITIONS AT IMPHAL, INDIA [Allocated Title]
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- Title: THE RAF AT WORK UNDER MONSOON CONDITIONS AT IMPHAL, INDIA [Allocated Title]
- Film Number: ABY 28
- Other titles: ROYAL AIR FORCE OPERATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
- Summary: Demonstrating the difficulty of operating aircraft and airfield life under monsoon conditions at Imphal in Manipur, India.
- Description: Shot of a windsock in strengthening wind. In the distance an RAF Douglas Dakota transport aircraft comes in to land in murky conditions. Two RAF ground crew hurry to tie down and cover their aircraft, a Hawker Hurricane, before the weather deteriorates further. A road with trucks and jeeps in lashing monsoon wind and rain. A group of men on patrol in murky conditions. Men leave a tent in deep mud. A large group of men push a Supermarine Spitfire backwards through the mud. Another shot of a Spitfire Mk VIII of RAF 607 Squadron (County of Durham) being pushed through mud. Medical crates are removed from a flooded tent. Men queue for food, which is served from large open containers into mess tins or onto plates. A group of men look for a place to sit. A small band plays a trumpet, violin and guitar while in the foreground a man loads a flare pistol. Another man washes mud from his feet and legs in a basin of muddy water. A jeep drives through standing water. A Chevrolet lorry skids in mud, men climb aboard. Hurricane on the runway in very muddy conditions. A Vultee Vengeance divebomber is pushed backwards through mud. Close-up on the Vengeance. A Vengeance with its engine running taxis past camera. Several angles of Vengeance taxiing through deep water. Motor vehicles in deep mud. A jeep struggles to get out of a ditch. A lorry reversing. A lorry towed out of the mud. Airmen lift a Hurricane out of mud by putting their backs against the underside of the wings. One man digs out the undercarriage with a spade. Close-up of undercarriage wheel slowly rotating and getting out of rut. Men sit on a Hurricane's tailplane to keep it down while taxiing on muddy surfaces.
- Access Conditions: IWM Attribution: © IWM
- Featured Period: 1939-1945
- Production Date: 1944
- 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) Clot, Dennis Francis Emile1919-07-04 (Production individual) Lang, T W (Production individual) McKee, J L (Production individual) Layzell, R G (Production individual)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations: Royal Air Force, 607 Squadron (regiment/service)
- Keywords: Imphal, Manipur, India (geography) Imphal 1944, Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event) Aerial Warfare (theme) Royal Air Force 1939-1945 (theme) Far East 1939-1945 (theme) India 1939-1945 (theme)
- Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W Sound format: Silent
- Technical Details: Format: 35mm Number of items/reels/tapes: 1 Footage: 892 ft; Running time: 10 minutes
- Notes: Aircraft identifiable include Spitfire AF:C, Vultee Vengeances EZ-979 and AP-108, and Hawker Hurricane LD-160. Parts of this film appear, in edited form with sound, as part of an edition of the RAF's in-house newsreel 'The Gen' No. 16. See related items. Issues dating this piece. The dopesheet for this film is dated 21 September 1944, and a duplicate reel (MWY 248) is marked '14 September 1944'. However by this date RAF 607 Squadron had moved to Baigachi, near Calcutta, and had been there since 6 July. If this is indeed 607 at Imphal, then the film dates from between 27 April to 6 July 1944. Such a date range is plausible in the context of the preceding film, which verifiably dates from July 1944. No slates. One of the cameramen of this piece, Warrant Officer John Laing McKee, was killed on 21 January 1945. Flying in a Liberator heavy bomber of RAF 99 Squadron supporting the landings on Ramree Island, McKee's aircraft collided with another Liberator of the same squadron and both disintegrated. All aboard both aircraft were killed. McKee, and the nineteen other aircrew of the two bombers, are buried in the CWGC Maynamati War Cemetery, near Comilla in Bangladesh.
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