SO THIS IS INDIA - AN RAF THUNDERBOLT SQUADRON MOVES FROM BENGAL TO IMPHAL VALLEY, INDIA [Allocated Title]
- Title: SO THIS IS INDIA - AN RAF THUNDERBOLT SQUADRON MOVES FROM BENGAL TO IMPHAL VALLEY, INDIA [Allocated Title]
- Film Number: ABY 90
- Other titles: ROYAL AIR FORCE OPERATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
- Summary: Further scenes for 'So This Is India' showing the move of RAF 30 Squadron and their Republic Thunderbolt fighters to a forward airfield.
- Description: Thunderbolt 'G', fitted with disposable drop tanks, is serviced. A clerk, Leading Aircraftman (LAC) Johnstone, uses a typewriter before pausing to mop his brow and neck. A motorcycle despatch rider arrives and hands the squadron commander a message. Thunderbolts taxi to dispersal. Squadron personnel gather around to hear the news. Commander reads the message. Cut-in shot showing a conveniently legible message which reads: 'Squadron Move Forward Soonest'. The men are dismissed. The airmen begin packing up to move. Ground crewmen pack tools and other equipment into cases. Another man paints a label onto a metal trunk using a stencil. The squadron advance party, some armed with Lee Enfield rifles and Sten submachine guns, board a Douglas Dakota transport aircraft. The Dakota taxis and takes off. A line of Thunderbolts of RAF 261 Squadron. Thunderbolts taxiing and taking off. Airmen boarding a lorry. The lorry drives away. Lorry crosses a bridge. Several shots of lorry driving along a road; in the foreground of one shot a local Indian beats clothing on a riverbank. The squadron advance party alight from the Dakota. The aircraft is unloaded. Series of Thunderbolts landing on forward airstrip. Local Indian labourers at work on the airfield. Airmen putting up tents. Airmen go into the tents and start unpacking their kit. Shot of tents and fuel bowsers. Airmen and Indians working on the airfield. A wooden hut under construction. An airman shaving. Other men washing their clothes. Scenes of the British other ranks' post office; a sign gives the airfield's Post Office Box number (A6204) and another sign (above a small postbox) states 'Post in here cleared 1700hrs'. LAC Johnstone arrives to collect mail. Lorries arrive and are unloaded. The airfield cookhouse. Officers and other ranks eating. Local Indian labourers and British airmen working on the airfield. Thunderbolts having their daily inspection. Fitters work on an aircraft's engine and armourers on its guns. A good view of a Thunderbolt's R-2800 Double Wasp engine.
- Access Conditions: IWM Attribution: © IWM
- Featured Period: 1939-1945
- Production Date: 1945-03-02
- Production Country: GB
- Production Details: Air Ministry, Directorate of Public Relations (Production sponsor) Royal Air Force Film Production Unit (Production company) Connochie, T D (Production individual)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations: Royal Air Force, 30 Squadron (regiment/service) Royal Air Force, 261 Squadron (regiment/service)
- Keywords: Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event) 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: 800 ft; Running time: 9 minutes
- Notes: Dating: no slates. Logbook of Ray Whitehouse of 261 Squadron indicates he was based at Kumbhirgram until 31 October 1944, then next flew from Wangying on 26 November 1944, suggesting most if not all of the film was shot between these two dates. (Information kindly supplied by his daughter, Sue Henrie, 14/8/2015). The dopesheet describes this as a genuine move of RAF 261 Squadron from Kumbhirgram, to Wangjing, near Imphal. However, the majority of the aircraft seen are actually from RAF 30 Squadron, based in this period at Jumchar in the Arakan region of Burma. Aircraft identifiable include FJ:N and FJ:A of RAF 261 Squadron, and RS:S HD-243, RS:U HD-298, RS:R, RS:J, and RS:C of RAF 30 Squadron. This film part of a series of instalments for a multi-part film entitled 'So This Is India'. See related items below. Dopesheet provides shotlist, but no cameraman specifically named. Identification of Squadron Leader Connochie therefore somewhat tentative.
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Related IWM Collections Objects:
ABY 73 (SO THIS IS INDIA [Allocated Title]) ABY 74 (SO THIS IS INDIA - ADDITIONAL FOOTAGE [Allocated Title]) ABY 79 (SO THIS IS INDIA: ROMAN CATHOLIC SERVICE IN PAGODA AT SADAUNG, BURMA [Allocated Title]) ABY 91 (SO THIS IS INDIA - AIRCRAFTMAN MURRAY GOES FORWARD [Allocated Title]) ABY 92 (SO THIS IS INDIA - AIRCRAFTMAN FLOWER ARRIVES AT RAF REDHILLS LAKE, MADRAS, INDIA [Allocated Title]) ABY 105 (SO THIS IS INDIA - AIRMEN ON LEAVE IN DARJEELING [Allocated Title]) ABY 109 (SO THIS IS INDIA - TRAIN SEQUENCE [Allocated Title]) APY 37 (LIFE IN AIR COMMAND SOUTH EAST ASIA [Main Title])