Film: 761

War + Military | 1940 | Sound | B/W

Synopsis:

Royal Air Force at war - the making of Mosquito aircraft.

1. 'Ply in the Sky - Splinters for Hitler'
Pilot in the cockpit in hangar. View from the aircraft as it flies over land. Narrator says that aircraft must be made cheaply, quickly and light in weight, so they are made of ply wood.
Factory girls with large sheets of plywood going through a mangle or pressing machine. The plywood in stuck together in sheets to make it strong. Balsa wood is used in between sheets of ply to give it added strength without adding to the weight. The sheets of wood are cut into shape by a man using a jigsaw type bench saw. The cut pieces of wood and moulded into shape using pressure. The wings and the fusilage are made seperately. Where the wood is needed to be curved, it is bound with steel bands to hold its shape. The wood is treated when the fusilage is finished and girls then stretch cotton over it and it is painted to give it a smooth and weatherproof surface. Narrator says that a rough surface can create drag on the aircraft and lessen its speed by up to 20 miles an hour.
The wings are attached to the fusilage. Only four bolts are needed to secure the aircraft as the pieces are so precisely made they slot together. The finished aircraft. The propeller is started and the Mosquito aircraft takes off.

2. 'Coastal Command wreck Nazi Shippers'
Squadron of Mosquito aircraft attack Nazi ships harboured in a Norwegian Fjord. Mosquito aircraft dive at 45 degree angle to attack the ships. Good shots of the ships in the fjord surrounded by snowy mountains. Tracer from the aircraft guns can be seen and flack from the ships. The aircraft shoot at the ships, some shots miss and go into the water, others hit their mark. The ships billow smoke, the ships are hit but still return fire to the RAF aircraft. The ships are all about 3000 tons (probably cruisers) and have escorts ships, all are left on fire as the RAF depart.

3. 'R.A.F. Gaolbreakers'
An RAF and Australian air force RAAF joint operation to attack a Nazi prison camp that is going to execute over 100 French patriots for assisting the Allies.
Squadron of Mosquito aircraft led by Group Captain Charles Pickard in Operation Jericho.
Mosquito aircraft escorted by Typhoons fly very low and in close formation over the English Channel in snowy conditions. Map showing location of target prison camp. Model of prison camp showing the 20 foot high wall, the location of the German guards and the location of the French prisoners. View from aircraft of snowy flat countryside and farmland, flying towards the prison. The aircraft flies over the prison and one side of it is on fire, lots of smoke - the RAF Mosquitos hit their target. Still photographs show the damaged prison wall and buildings. Group Captain Pickard was killed in the raid. View of the wreath on his grave. (he was 28)


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