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Title:PRISONERS OF WAR AT SAIGON [Allocated Title]
Film Number:ABY 157
Other titles:MOUNTBATTEN AT MINGALADON [Allocated Title]
ROYAL AIR FORCE OPERATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
Summary: Liberated Allied prisoners of war (POWs) are flown out of Saigon, capital of Japanese-occupied French Indo-China (Vietnam), and Lord Louis Mountbatten seen at Mingaladon airfield, near Rangoon, Burma, before departing for Singapore.
Description: Three senior air officers talking in front of a parked North American Harvard aircraft; one is an Air Marshal (possibly Air Marshal Coryton), another an Air Vice Marshal and the third a Group Captain. The group walk to a jeep and drive off, having been joined by a fourth officer. They enter a camouflaged tent. At an airfield interned Japanese POWs stand by an RAF Beechcraft Expediter transport. The POWs are put on to a lorry. Another Japanese man smokes in the back of an open-topped lorry. The POWs are put on board the Expediter; they wear paper tags presumably for identification. Somewhat unsteady aerial footage with Buddhist pagodas and railway lines with derailed rolling stock. A cantilever bridge (possibly the Ava Bridge over the River Irrawaddy) with two of its spans knocked out. Liberated Allied POWs pose for photographs. POWs chat with aircrews. Aerial footage of an airfield at Saigon. The camera aircraft lands. POWs celebrate with aircrews; one pilot is held aloft and a POW attempts to open a bottle of beer with his teeth. Panning shot over a large crowd of POWs; somewhat incongruously a European woman stands amongst them. POWs queue for food; a POW wearing nothing but a loincloth or thong has his mess tin filled with something from a bucket. Three POWs chopping firewood. Three POWs wash their clothes in a trough.
Supreme Allied Commander Lord Louis Mountbatten steps down from a Douglas Dakota transport (possibly 'Hapgift', his personal aircraft) followed by Lieutenant-General Slim, commander of Allied Land Forces South East Asia. Greetings are exchanged with other senior officers including Air Chief Marshal Sir Keith Park, Air Commander-in-Chief, Air Marshal Sanders and Air Vice Marshal Bouchier, commander of RAF 221 Group. Mountbatten gets into a staff car. Mountbatten boards a Dakota.
Production Details: Air Ministry, Directorate of Public Relations (Production sponsor)
Royal Air Force Film Production Unit (Production company)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: Coryton, Alec (person)
Mountbatten, Louis (Earl) (person)
Slim, William Joseph (person)
Park, Dorothy (person)
Bouchier, Cecil Arthur (person)
Sanders, Arthur Penrose Martyn (person)
Keywords: Saigon, French Indo-China (geography)
Rangoon, Burma (geography)
Recovery of Allied Prisoners of War and Internees 1945, Allied Prisoners of War Far East 1939-1945, Internment (event)
Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event)
Surrender of Japanese Forces 1945, Second World War (event)
Royal Air Force 1939-1945 (theme)
Burma 1942-1945 (theme)