- Title: ADVANCED AIRSTRIPS NEAR MANDALAY [Allocated Title]
- Film Number: ABY 64
- Other titles: ROYAL AIR FORCE OPERATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
- Summary: Scenes of operations from forward airstrips near Mandalay, Burma, and scenes of bomb damage to buildings and infrastructure around the city.
- Description: Rudimentary airfield control tower in the form of a simple raised platform. A wireless operator speaks on a radio. South African troops help move a Spitfire Mk VIII into a temporary parking space. At Onbauk forward airstrip, five miles from the River Irrawaddy, two RAF Regiment airmen, with slung rifles carry a can of water to a tarpaulin-covered slit trench. Two RAF Regiment men with a 20mm Hispano anti-aircraft gun on a rotating mount. Wing Commanders Whitfield, Mills and Lander talking with airmen. RAF Regiment airmen digging dug-outs and gun emplacements. RAF Hawker Hurricane with squadron code AW (RAF 42 Squadron) being serviced. Irrawaddy River with wrecked rivercraft (pleasure steamer, barges etc) presumably sabotaged by retreating Japanese. A dead body at the river's edge. A crossroad with buildings. A signpost shows the way to 'Mandalay Rd', 'Kin-U', 'Sadaung', '22 FAMO' [22 Forward Airfield Maintenance Organisation] and 'Onbauk'. At Onbauk airfield airmen gather for a briefing in the open. RAF Regiment gunner traverses his Hispano as a Hurricane taxis past in the background. Hurricane AW:D in background. Airman laying foliage as camouflage, and cutting more foliage for same purpose. Aerial footage taken from a light aeroplane (either a British Taylorcraft Auster or Stinson Sentinel) showing bomb damage. Aerial view of a railway line with bomb craters full of water. A wrecked girder bridge. Brief silhouette of pilot at controls. View of a large stately-looking building in Mandalay. Low altitude survey of Mandalay showing bomb damage. Shot of damaged water towers. Some buildings little more than bombed-out shells. Many pagodas scattered across the city. More low altitude footage of damage to railway lines with several bridges destroyed.
- Access Conditions: IWM Attribution: © IWM
- Featured Period: 1939-1945
- Production Date: 1945-01-19
- Production Country: GB
- Production Details: Air Ministry, Directorate of Public Relations (Production sponsor) Royal Air Force Film Production Unit (Production company) Woodcock, Sidney Leslie1945-05-02Flight Lieutenant Sidney Leslie Woodcock, service number 175562, cameraman with No.3 Royal Air Force Film Production Unit. Killed in action 2 May 1945 while filming from a Mosquito of 110 Squadron RAF over Rangoon, Burma. Buried in Rangoon War Cemetery alongside his pilot, Flight Lieutenant John George Buchanan (415744) see [http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=2261432 accessed 24 February 2011] (Production individual) Goozee, S (Production individual)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations: Royal Air Force, RAF Regiment (regiment/service) Royal Air Force, 42 Squadron (regiment/service)
- Keywords: Mandalay, Burma (geography) Onbauk, Burma (geography) Irrawaddy (River), Burma (geography) Mandalay 1945, Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event) Fighter operations, Air operations over Burma, Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event) Royal Air Force 1939-1945 (theme) Far East 1939-1945 (theme) India 1939-1945 (theme) Burma 1942-1945 (theme)
- Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W Sound format: Silent
- Technical Details: Format: 35mm Number of items/reels/tapes: 1 Footage: 549 ft; Running time: 7 minutes
- Notes: Onbauk airstrip was particularly vulnerable to enemy action and a number of RAF Regiment squadrons were deployed to defend it including (complete or elements of) 2968, 2960, 2941, 2946, 2943, and 2958 Squadrons. Wing Commanders Whitfield, Mills and Lander were all of the RAF Regiment. Whitfield was commander of 1324 Wing RAF Regiment, Lander commanded 1307 Wing, and Mills was Group Defence Officer. Lander was killed in action at Meiktila on 24 March 1945 and is buried in Taukkyan War Cemetery. The cameraman of this piece, Flight Lieutenant Sidney Woodcock, was killed in action. He and his pilot, Flight Lieutenant J G Buchanan of RAF 110 Squadron, failed to return after a Mosquito sortie over Rangoon on 2 May 1945. They are buried in adjacent plots in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Rangoon War Cemetery.
- Link to IWM Collections page:
Related IWM Collections Objects:
ABY 98 (HAWKER HURRICANE OPERATIONS BY RAF 42 SQUADRON AT ONBAUK [Allocated Title])