- Title: EXERCISE MAINBRACE [Allocated Title]
- Film Number: ADM 1396
- Other titles: POST-WAR NAVAL OPERATIONS - MISCELLANEOUS [Allocated Series Title]
- Summary: Scenes onboard HMS Vanguard and HMS Eagle during NATO Exercise Mainbrace in Norwegian waters, and the subsequent visit to Oslo.
- Description: Reel One. Cameraship HMS Eagle leads the NATO force out of the Firth of Forth - HMS Illustrious followed by USS Wright, HMS Vanguard, HMS Swiftsure and destroyers. CUs as armourers fix sonobuoys on a centreline rack on a Firefly. Another aircraft straightens its wings. USN Piasecki HUP-1 Retriever flies past. HA from the Flyco as Eagle launches 800 Squadron Attackers from her two bow catapults. Firefly AS.6 257 makes a free take-off. Firefly 259 (WJ 116) lands on and taxies forward over the lowered crash barrier to park. CU of Yeoman Saunders operating a signal searchlight - behind him flutters the numeral flag Zero, indicating a halt in flying operations. MS along the deck as Blackburn Firebrand 129 of 827 takes off, followed by 122. Attacker 108 taxies past left to right, its wing tips folded. Another Attacker is pushed aft by deck crew, its tail wheel in a hitch. A Firebrand is refuelled. CUs as Electricians Mate Purvis and Electrician's Mate (Artificer) Dyer top up a trolley full of batteries. Two Firebrands land on. A Firebrand folds wings. A Sea Hornet NF.21 flies overhead. Eagle closes on the port quarter of RFA Olna, which has two hose lines deployed on derrick rigs - a marine party hauls on hose line and the end of the hose comes aboard Eagle. Lieutenant Bevir takes readings with a sextant, which are recorded by Midshipman West. HA as Fireflies are manoeuvred about the flightdeck - manually and with the help of a tractor. CUs of men on the spotting bridge - the binoculars are protected from spray or bright sunlight by perspex hoods. A seaman reports by telephone. A Naval Airman Photographer records operations. CUs as a 6-barrelled RP 50 Mk VI Bofors mounting is trained and elevated - the gun crew are at ease and one barrel is still capped. MSs of a single Bofors Mk IX (?) mounting and CUs of the layer. Deck crew relax beside the island. LA of SW.RDF scanning. Sequence showing petty officers enjoying their rum issue. Men swab the deck - one sweeps water from a brass deck plate. LS-MS from camera on portside catwalk by arrester wires as Firefly 261 lands on. A second aircraft aborts its landing attempt and goes overhead, hook trailing. 260 lands on. LA.MS to Deck Landing Control Officer Lieutenant Drake, batting an aircraft down - he gives the cut signal. LS as HMS Swiftsure flashes a signal - in the background is Illustrious. View from cat walk as Attacker 112 lands on, followed by 114 and 117. Deck crew free an Attacker from arrester wire, actually lifting the rear of the aircraft off the deck to allow the wire to retract. Further sequence showing refuelling from RFA Olna - the Battle Class destroyer HMS Solebay is preparing to refuel from the tanker's starboard side. Piasecki Retriever alights on the flightdeck and is chocked up - the Air Engineer Officer, Commander Hawkes, talks with Lieutenant Eagen USN, the helicopter's pilot. Reel Two. Onboard HMS Vanguard. Inspection of Marines' equipment before the ship leaves her Scottish anchorage. At sea - a rating operates a signal searchlight, and Swiftsure, in line astern, answers the signal. Ahead of Vanguard, the three carriers commence a turn to port. Rating with signal flags - the International Code (Answering) pennant and flag 'V'. Various shots of ratings looking through binoculars and a CPO with a telescope. The sea is increasing as storm force winds begin to blow. The carriers execute a turn to starboard. XLS of USS Wright in stormy sea. Spray and broken water come in over Vanguard's bows - the True Wind Speed gauge is recording 49 knots. LA to black smoke issuing from the after funnel. The sea is moderating and Vanguard works up to full speed, producing a fine bow wave and a streaming wake. Brief sequence showing cameraship and the Canadian cruiser Quebec (31) refuelling from the RFA Wave Premier in a heavy sea, and longer section showing the Norwegian destroyer Bergen refuelling from Vanguard - there is some spillage, and wind-blown streaks of oil stain the Bergen's side. Sequence showing Vanguard weighing anchor - the cable is hosed down and scrubbed as it comes in - the carrier USS Midway (41) can be seen in the background. HA onto anchor as it comes clear of the water - it is covered in thick mud. Vanguard heads out to sea followed by Swiftsure and destroyers - conditions are calm but hazy. The carriers turn to starboard. XLS, USS Wright. LS of HMS Eagle - Vanguard and the carrier execute a turn to starboard and Eagle moves from the port quarter onto the battleship's starboard quarter. View from focsle to A and B turrets and bridge. A game of deck hockey is played on the quarterdeck. LS off the port beam of Eagle - two aircraft take off. An Attacker passes overhead, hook down. Eagle recovers aircraft. Sequence showing a service conducted in the ship's chapel. Reel Three. Continuation of sequence inside ship's chapel. Sequence showing the mixing and issue of the rum ration. LSs of Eagle and a Firebrand in flight. CU as 15-inch guns of B turret are raised and lowered - inside the turret, the gunlayer operates the elevating controls - CU of the display lights on the Safety Firing Indicator. HMS Eagle and her planeguard destroyer turn hard a'starboard - they are obscured by their funnel smoke. XLS off port bow of HMS Illustrious. Sequence showing Vanguard refuelling from a Wave Class tanker - HMS Swiftsure refuels on the tanker's port side. Short sequences showing the working of the bridge operating room, where the task group's courses are plotted, helmsman at the wheel in the lower steering room, plotters at the main display in the air direction room, telegraph repeater and ERAs standing ready to adjust oil sprayer in one of the furnaces in the boiler room. MS of Weapon Class destroyer (either Battleaxe or Broadsword) steaming close alongside to starboard as she refuels from Vanguard. Further scenes in the ship's boiler room. Reel Four-Ten. LSs of TG.175 assembled at Greenock - LS off the port bow of Vanguard with the American heavy cruiser Des Moines (134) lying astern. Sequence showing flag raising ceremony on Vanguard. Camera in smallcraft closes on port bow of the battleship USS Wisconsin (64). Service on the quarterdeck of Vanguard. Cleaning ship - a rating cleans the lamps hanging about the ship's bell, while others wash down and polish metal parts. Mayor of Gresnock visits Vanguard. Admiral Brind comes aboard, and later receives an American Vice-Admiral. Vanguard is also visited by an Air Marshal and USN Rear-Admiral and Captain. The American Vice-Admiral departs. Vanguard weighs anchor - the cable is hosed down and scrubbed as it comes in, CU of joining shackle passing round cable holder, the mud-covered anchors are hove up clear of the water. LS from shore as Vanguard prepares to sail - the American destroyer USS Vogelgesang (862) steams right to left in the foreground, and in the background is USS Midway (41). The rest of the reel is mainly a compilation of scenes found elsewhere in the film record. Reel Seven. Onboard HMS Vanguard. Sequence on the flag deck - CU of the locker as flags are pulled out and bent on halyards. Man semaphores to a distant destroyer. Red flag is hoisted. LSs of HMS Illustrious and circling aircraft. Interior of a gun turret as the crew go through gun drill. Marines receive instruction in the use of the Bren gun. Piasecki Retriever from USS Wright hovers, lowering Mr G F Goodall from the Admiralty onto the quarterdeck. Men play deck hockey. LS of Eagle and an escorting Weapon Class destroyer - an aircraft lands on the carrier. More hockey. The battleship enters the still waters of a Norwegian fjord - saluting guns are fired and the crew fall in for entering port. Sequence showing VIPs visiting Eagle - see Reel Eleven. Reel Eleven. Sequence shot in harbour of Oslo - the cameraman embarks in a motor boat and moves among the naval vessels gathered there - the French frigate Bambara (F.719), the Dutch Van Zijill, the Belgian minesweeper A F Dufour (M.903). The boat circles the cruiser Swiftsure, where men are over the side for painting ship. The light carrier USS Wright is moored, Avengers parked aft. LSs of Eagle and the heavy cruiser USS Columbus (74). Boat passes below the stern of the amphibious force flagship USS Mount Olympus (GC.8). Alongside is a later Battle Class destroyer with, outboard of her, the minesweeper HMS Bramble and the submarine HMS Ambush. Liberty parties from Mount Olympus are brought ashore by the ship's boats. Sequence showing a press conference onboard USS Columbus - present are Admiral McCormick USN, Admiral Brind and the French Admiral Lemonnier. Sequence on the quayside as Admiral Lemonnier arrives - presumably to be taken out to Columbus for the press conference - watched by some local spectators, he stands chatting with an aide - visible nearby is the Van Zijill (F.811). Sequence showing the arrival of General Ridgway in a Lockheed Constellation at Oslo to be greeted by Admiral Lemonnier, and the General's reception by Admiral Brind onboard HMS Eagle. King Haakon VII is also received onboard. Reel Twelve. Onboard HMS Eagle. MS along the deck of Eagle to ensign staff. LA of man adjusting pitch-change mechanism on the propeller hub of a Firefly 6. Another man reaches through a small access panel to adjust Firefly's starting system. Two Fireflies are run up to test their engines - the first aircraft has not had the spinner replaced. Aircraft mechanics open the engine cowlings to change the sparkplugs on a Firebrand.
- Access Conditions: IWM Attribution: © IWM
- Featured Period: 1945-1975
- Production Date: 1952-09
- Production Country: GB
- Production Details: SHAPE (Production sponsor) Faillace (Lieutenant) (Production individual) Mierzwa (Production individual)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations: Brind, Eric James Patrick (person) Willoughby, Guy (person) Litchfield, John Shirley Sandys (person) Hawkes, G F (person) Drake, C W G (person) Bevir, T O (person) West, A P (person) McCormick (Admiral) (person) Lemonnier, Andre (person) Ridgway, Matthew Bunker (person) Eagen (Lieutenant) (person) Goodall, G F (person) Gresnock, Mayor of (person) Haakon VII, King of Norway (person) Saunders (Yeoman) (person) Royal Navy, EAGLE (HMS), aircraft carrier (1946) (regiment/service) Royal Navy, Illustrious (regiment/service) Royal Navy, HMS VANGUARD, battleship (1944) (regiment/service) Royal Navy, Swiftsure (regiment/service) Royal Navy, Solebay (regiment/service) Royal Navy, BROADSWORD (HMS), destroyer (regiment/service) Royal Navy, Olna (regiment/service) Royal Navy, Wave Premier (regiment/service) Royal Navy, BRAMBLE (HMS) (regiment/service) Royal Navy, AMBUSH (HMS), submarine (regiment/service) Royal Canadian Navy & Quebec (regiment/service) United States Navy, USS MIDWAY, aircraft carrier (1945) (regiment/service) United States Navy & Wright (regiment/service) United States Navy, USS WISCONSIN, battleship (1943) (regiment/service) United States Navy, USS DES MOINES, heavy cruiser (1946) (regiment/service) United States Navy & Columbus (regiment/service) United States Navy & Vogelgesang (regiment/service) United States Navy & Mount Olympus (regiment/service) Royal Norwegian Navy & Bergen (regiment/service) Royal Netherlands Navy & Van Zijill (regiment/service) French Navy, Bambara (regiment/service) Belgian Navy, A F Dufour (regiment/service)
- Keywords: ships, British naval - aircraft carrier, fleet: Eagle (object name) ships, British naval - aircraft carrier, fleet: Illustrious (object name) ships, British naval - battleship: Vanguard (object name) ships, British naval - cruiser: Swiftsure (object name) ships, British naval - destroyer: Broadsword (object name) ships, British naval - destroyer: Solebay (object name) ships, British naval - minesweeper: Bramble & [-] (object name) ships, British naval - submarine: Ambush (object name) ships, British naval - destroyer: Weapon Class (object name) ships, British auxiliary - supply: Olna (object name) ships, British auxiliary - supply: Wave Premier (object name) ships, Canadian naval - cruiser: Quebec (object name) ships, United States naval - aircraft carrier, fleet: Midway (41) (object name) ships, United States naval - aircraft carrier, light: Wright (object name) ships, United States naval - battleship: Wisconsin (64) (object name) ships, United States naval - cruiser: Des Moines (134) & [-] (object name) ships, United States naval - cruiser: Columbus (74) & [-] (object name) ships, United States naval - destroyer: Vogelgesang (872) & [-] (object name) ships, United States naval - amphibious: Mount Olympus (GC.8) (object name) ships, Norwegian naval - destroyer: Bergen (D.304) (object name) ships, Dutch naval - frigate: Van Zijill (F.811) (object name) ships, French naval - frigate: Bambara (F.719) (object name) ships, Belgian naval - minesweeper: A F Dufour (M.903) (object name) aircraft, British naval - combat: Fairey Firefly (object name) aircraft, British naval - combat: Blackburn Firebrand (object name) aircraft, British naval - combat: Supermarine Attacker (object name) aircraft, United States naval - helicopter: Piasecki HUP Retriever (object name) communications, British naval - direct: semaphore (object name) communications, British naval - direct: signal searchlight (object name) operations, British naval - routine: replenishment at sea (object name) operations, British naval - maintenance: painting ship (object name) operations, British naval air - maintenance (object name) weapons, British naval - gun: 15-inch (object name) weapons, British naval - gun: 40mm Bofors (object name) Norway & Oslo (geography)
- Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W Sound format: Silent Soundtrack language: None Title language: None Subtitle language: None
- Technical Details: Format: 35mm Number of items/reels/tapes: 7 Footage: 6567 ft; Running time: 74 mins
- Notes: Summary: for this exercise, HMS Illustrious had three squadrons embarked: 824 Squadron flying Firefly AS.6s, and No 4 Squadron and No 860 Squadron of the Royal Netherlands Navy flying respectively Fireflies and Sea Furies. By this time Illustrious had been designated a trials and training carrier and had played some part in training up RNN squadrons for service in the Karel Doorman (ex-Venerable). HMS Eagle operated 812 and 814 Squadrons in Firefly AS.6s, 800 and 803 Squadrons in Attacker F.1s, and 827 Squadron in Firebrand TF 5s. 812 Squadron was embarked on Eagle only for the duration of the exercise. It is interesting to note, with reference to the replenishment sequences, that there was some press criticism in the United States of the length of time the carrier Eagle had to spend refuelling from a British tanker, compared to the time it took to replenish American carriers from tankers specially designed to transfer fuel at sea with high speed pumps. On the other hand there was favourable comment on Eagle's performance in the storm conditions encountered during the exercise, when the British carrier was able to maintain a speed of 25 knots, while the larger American carrier Midway was virtually hove-to because heavy seas had smashed the deck-edge lift curtains, allowing water into the aircraft hangar. The film also shows the fine sea-keeping qualities of the battleship Vanguard, dry and steady in the severe weather.
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