- Title: THE RAF REGIMENT IN PENANG [Allocated Title]
- Film Number: ABY 178
- Other titles: ROYAL AIR FORCE OPERATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
- Summary: Men of the RAF Regiment arrive on the island of Penang, Malaya (Malaysia) following the Japanese surrender and are seen on patrol, operating a customs check point, and testing out Japanese 'Special Attack' boats.
- Description: Reel 1: Views from the Penang Hill Railway. The carriage passes a signboard with a (long) list of rules for a local swimming pool in English and Japanese. The carriage enters a tunnel. Scenic views. An airman with a slung Enfield No.4 rifle on the crest of the hill. A large, modern-looking house on the hilltop; the airman goes inside. A sentry stands outside a sentry box; he brings his rifle up to the slope, makes a left turn and marches about a dozen paces before halting near the front gate of a large white house. Two airmen on patrol at a racetrack, probably the Penang Turf Club. They walk through the grandstand and down to ground level. A warehouse or hangar; a sign in Japanese reads 'Japanese Navy Penang Shipyard'. A sentry stands guard over a number of small motor boats. They appear to be Shinyo 'Sea Quake' suicide boats. Two men at work on a number of these boats. Beached Chinese junks; a sentry walks past them along a jetty. Reel 2: RAF Regiment on parade in Victoria Park, Hong Kong. The RAF Regiment unit marches through the streets. Footage from a Royal Navy vessel at sea approaching Penang. View of the coastline. Escort vessels in convoy. Distant view of Penang. Men formed up on deck waiting to go ashore. More views of the Penang Hill Railway with close-ups of the cables and pulley system. A post marked '4' at Penang Turf Club. A number of airmen with a (presumably disarmed) Japanese suicide attack boat in Penang harbour. They cast off and head out into the harbour. Film from the boat as it passes close by a junk and then returns to the jetty. A large river steamer, crowded with civilians, ties up. RAF Regiment men man a customs check point and search passengers' luggage for contraband. RAF Regiment men pull a cart laden with supplies up Penang Hill. Sentry on guard outside hilltop residence. A (possibly Buddhist) religious procession in George Town. A small of group of airmen, apparently passing on patrol and not part of any security detail, watch the procession.
- Access Conditions: IWM Attribution: © IWM
- Featured Period: 1939-1945
- Production Date: 1945-09-17
- Production Country: GB
- Production Details: Air Ministry, Directorate of Public Relations (Production sponsor) Royal Air Force Film Production Unit (Production company) Hughes, H R (Production individual)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations: Royal Air Force, Royal Air Force Regiment (regiment/service)
- Keywords: Penang, Malaya (geography) Hong Kong (geography) Liberation of Penang 1945, Malaya, Second World War (event) Surrender of Japanese Forces 1945, Malaya, Second World War (event)
- Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W Sound format: Silent
- Technical Details: Format: 35mm Number of items/reels/tapes: 2 Footage: 1123 ft; Running time: 13 minutes
- Notes: The Penang Hill Railway was opened in 1923 after a protracted 17-year period of construction. A funicular railway, it climbs 686 metres (2286 feet) from Air Itam near George Town to the top of Penang Hill, and is still in operation. The Penang Turf Club was established in 1864, moving to a larger site in Batu Gantong in 1939. Racing was suspended with the Japanese occupation, but resumed almost immediately upon British reoccupation with a Grand Victory Meeting on 29 September 1945. The Shinyo suicide boat was a small, one-man motor boat capable of carrying two depth charges or a bow-mounted warhead and could reach a speed of 30 knots. These boats formed part of a broader Japanese strategy of utilising suicidal 'Special Attack' ('tokko') units against encroaching Allied forces. First used on a large scale at Luzon in early January 1945, some 700 such boats were later deployed to Okinawa to be used against US invasion forces. As with the better known attacks by 'kamikaze' airmen, these attacks failed to produce a significant material difference to the outcome, but resulted in a profound, if short-lived, psychological effect. Thousands of these Shinyo were produced, and thousands more of the similar Maru-ni for the Japanese Army, in the expectation of deploying them en masse during the final battle for Japan. Other films relating to the British reoccupation of Penang can be seen in the films referenced below. See related items. The RAF Regiment's activities in Penang were covered by RAF photographers. See related items. No slates. Date above the date the RAF Regiment landed in Penang. Dopesheet date 17/10/1945.
- Link to IWM Collections page:
Related IWM Collections Objects:
ABY 163 (JAPANESE SIGN THE SURRENDER OF PENANG ABOARD HMS NELSON [Allocated Title]) ABY 179 (SURRENDER, REOCCUPATION AND FLAG RAISING AT PENANG [Allocated Title]) JFU 510 (JAPANESE RICE ON PENANG HILL DISTRIBUTED TO MALAYAN CIVILIANS [Allocated Title])