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Title:THE SALVAGE AND REPAIR OF LANCASTER EE193 [Allocated Title]
Film Number:MGH 6522
Other titles:AMATEUR FILM BY FLIGHT LIEUTENANT MICHAEL CHRISTIE [Alternative Title]
Summary: Scenes showing the salvage and repair of Avro Lancaster EE193 of 57 Squadron, which suffered an undercarriage collapse on return to base following a raid on Hamburg on the night of 27/28 July 1943.
Description: REEL 1: Film opens with various views of Lancaster EE193 DX-S lying on the airfield at RAF Scampton following the collapse of her undercarriage. A fire crew is hosing down one of the Lancaster's engines, which evidently caught fire after the collapse. After the fire is put out, the aircraft is placed under armed guard. At the nearby Salvage Unit, early the next morning, notification of EE193's collapse arrives. The details of the incident are chalked up on a blackboard, and preparations begin. The salvage crew load up their vehicles with the necessary tools and equipment, including engine jigs, and depart to attend to the stricken bomber.
REEL 2: The salvage crew are seen on their way to attend to EE193. They pass through small villages and open countryside on their way to their destination. The crew arrive at the scene and start to raise the aircraft using giant inflatable airbags. Another 57 Squadron Lancaster can be seen in the background, wearing the code DX-Z, but its serial number is not visible. A number of low loaders arrive ready to be loaded up. As EE193 is raised in the air using the giant airbags, the salvage crew remove various pieces of equipment from the interior of the aircraft and transfer the items to a nearby truck. Once the aircraft is fully raised, the crew begin the task of dismantling the aircraft section by section, beginning with the blades and spinners from the engines.
REEL 3: The salvage crew pause for refreshments, then return to the tasking of dismantling EE193. An unidentified Lancaster taxis past as the crew remove EE193's engines, which are lowered into a jig and secured on a waiting low loader. An inflatable dinghy is removed from the interior aircraft, and there are assorted close up shots of the aircraft's cockpit section including nose artwork, and the squadron codes and serial number. Gradually the tail fins are dismantled, and the rudders carefully transferred to a nearby truck. Next EE193's wings are removed section by section, and lifted onto low loaders.
REEL 4: The centre fuselage of EE193 is lifted on to a low loader as an unidentified Lancaster flies overhead. As the camera pans over EE193's cockpit section, another Lancaster wearing the codes DX-E is seen being towed past in the background (again, serial number not visible). Now fully dismantled, the salvage crew prepare to return to the unit with EE193, passing Lancaster DX-H parked on the airfield (no visible serial number) as they leave. The fully laden low loaders are seen travelling through town and countryside, and finally arrive at their destination. The aircraft sections are unloaded and moved into a large camouflaged hangar. Work begins on inspecting the various sections of EE193. The centre fuselage is seen being moved from one hangar to another.
REEL 5: EE193's damaged nose section is inspected, and restorative work is carried out. Various pieces of metal are marked as scrap. A long row of Browning machine guns can be seen neatly laid out on the hangar floor as men roll large Lancaster tyres along the hangar. Fabric from the wing panels is removed, and the panels inspected and worked on. Various other aircraft sections are moved and inspected, including the cockpit and one of the tail fins. The centre fuselage section can be seen securely in a jig, and there are close ups of the interior of the fuselage, including the navigator's position. Work is carried out on the section.
REEL 6: Reel opens with general shots of women in large aprons inspecting machine gun parts. Camera pans past two piles of gun parts, one marked "passed inspection", the other "scrap". Men and women are seen servicing Browning machine guns. The mid upper turret is removed from a Lancaster, presumed to be EE193, and is dismantled. Work is carried out on the turrets, and once work is completed the turrets are polished and the working mechanisms tested. The guns are reinstalled and checked, and then the turret is packed into a wooden crate, and labelled as "repaired".
REEL 7: Work begins on repairing EE193's engines, damaged when the undercarriage collapsed. The Merlin engines are examined and worked on, and then reassembled. Once completed, the engines are refitted to the airframe. The propellers are examined, and work takes place on those deemed repairable. Attention is drawn to the bullet holes in some of the propellers. Pressure tests are carried out.
REEL 8: Work continues on the propellers, and once completed they are washed and checked. Once work is completed, the propellers are refitted to the aircraft. Gradually EE193 is reassembled and prepares to return to duty. Once EE193 is ready for flight, her crew prepare to return the aircraft to the skies. The Lancaster taxis out and takes off, and the film concludes with air-to-air shots of the aircraft in flight.
Technical Details: Format: 16mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 8
Footage: 3500 ft (ca); Running time: 160 mins (ca)
Notes: Summary: Once repaired Lancaster EE193 transferred first of all to 160 Squadron, then to 550 Squadron as BQ-C. The aircraft was lost off the sea off the coast of Denmark on the night of 29/30 August 1944 as a consequence of enemy fire. None of the crew survived.
Technical: Each reel consists of approximately 10 individual 50ft films in their original, unedited state. The reels have been compiled in what upon viewing each individual 50ft reel has been deemed an approximate chronological running order.