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Title:MONSOON CONDITIONS ON FRONTLINE RAF AIRFIELDS IN BURMA [Allocated Title]
Film Number:ABY 7
Other titles:ROYAL AIR FORCE OPERATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
Summary: Muddy frontline conditions are emphasised through shots of airmen wading through waterlogged airfield perimeter trenches, and later pushing a Spitfire through the mud.
Description: Men washing their feet. Tents sinking into mud. RAF medical staff retrieving items from a flooded tent. RAF Regiment personnel manning Bren light machine guns, trenches and lookout posts. Pet bears eating at a table and towing a bomb trolley.
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 422 ft; Running time: 5 minutes
Notes: Dopesheet adds that the bears were bought a year previously by an airman on leave in Shillong (Assam, India) and that while they are tame they were rapidly growing too big to stay with the squadron.
The cameraman of this piece, Warrant Officer John Laing McKee, was killed on 21 January 1945. Flying in a Liberator heavy bomber of RAF 99 Squadron supporting the landings on Ramree Island, McKee's aircraft collided with another Liberator of the same squadron and both disintegrated. All aboard both aircraft were killed. McKee, and the nineteen other aircrew of the two bombers, are buried in the CWGC Maynamati War Cemetery, near Comilla in Bangladesh.