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Summary: Dramatic reconstruction demonstrating the importance of RAF personnel's role in airfield defence alongside the RAF Regiment.
Description: Reel 1: Opening shot of map of UK showing all RAF stations ranging from big bomber operational staions to small radio location sites. Two RAF officers (one RAF Regiment, the other the Station Commander) discuss airfield defence. Model of aerodrome and surrounding countryside. Regimental Officer shows Station Commander to his “Battle HQ” bunker located on edge of aerodrome where he meets army colonel, the local defence advisor. The Colonel shows the Station Commander view from Battle HQ Observation post over the airfield. Discussion of vulnerability of buildings to attack from enemy airborne troops. Inspection parade of RAF Regt. by Station Commander. Armoured cars, Jeeps, Field Guns, trucks, Cyclist Troops. Station personnel (other ground trades) practicing live firing, bayonet practice, grenade throwing, machine gun firing. Inner defender locality explained – station personnel are static at points around airfield while Regt. are a mobile force. Station Commander asks how his personnel are coming along with their training. “Well, they're Air Force, you expect a quick grasp of the essentials from intelligent people, they're doing very well indeed sir”.
Reel 2: Scene in Station Commander's office discussing manpower for aerodrome defence. Decision to implement after work training periods for defence roles. Two Flight Sergeants discuss new SRO (Station Routine Order) regarding training station personnel for ground defence. Scene of several airmen in their billet. One is lazy and reluctant to attend training, preferring to play tennis. Some discuss range practice then play cards, talking about enemy attacking airfield. Sound of firing and explosions in distance. The lazy airman, named Sparrow, wakes up in bomb damaged room with his comrades lying around dead from enemy attack. A German soldier appears and captures Sparrow, marching him out at gunpoint.
Reel 3: Scene of machine gun emplacement with wounded airman and Sparrow asking what had happened. Scenes of German paratroopers “mistreating” NAAFI staff. German officers take over the Station Commander's office and send message “We hold Lipton Aerodrome” back to their HQ. Aircraftman Sparrow is marched in and asked mockingly why he isn't wounded like his comrades. German officer recounts when Luftwaffe was beaten by the RAF. Sparrow is taken to a billet to await his fate. Sparrows reluctance to train to fight is thrown in his face by his captors. He is mocked that the RAF Regiment fought hard but the station personnel were like “little dicky birds”. Gunfire outside the room gives Sparrow and a second airman a chance to escape but their attempt fails when Sparrow cannot operate a Sten Gun he had stolen from a German. Further help arrives and they escape. Aircraftman Sparrow wakes up, back in the billet and realises he had been dreaming. He observes he “Couldn't fire a rifle, I couldn't use a Tommy Gun, I didn't know how to throw a grenade, I didn't know how to fight, I didn't know how to help my friends, I didn't even know how to fight for my own life!” - he looks at camera and asks “Do you?”
Production Country: GB
Production Details: Air Ministry (Production sponsor)
Gee Films (Production company)
Ginever, Aveling (Production individual)