Film: 8510

War + Military | 1940 | Sound | B/W


World War Two - Record of a WW2 RAF Bomber Command mission over Nazi Germany from the planning to completion of bombing mission at night 1940's

Good overhead footage of ground and city below lit up from the aerial bombardment from the RAF aircraft. Good night footage showing flak around aircraft.

Text : Today the Navigator has many aids to navigation; each aid has its limitation and is dependant for its success on weather conditions, technical efficiency, range and freedom from enemy interference. A good navigator uses a combination of all the aids using each where it can give its maximum help. One of these aids however is fundamental to all navigation - MAP READING.
Text : Prangmere.
View of the inside of an aircraft hangar. Someone writes OPS on a blackboard. RAF briefing room. An officer briefs the R.A.F. men on the plans for a mission that night. The pilot is told he is going to take the wing commanders crew. A RAF crew member leans against a wall and lights a cigarette. Other crew members light pipes. The officer names the sergeants who will be flying the mission. View of the stationary aircraft that they will be flying. Close up of a propeller. A man walks along the wing another checks the propeller. On the other wing another man checks another propeller. The RAF sergeants relax before their mission. They read newspapers. They discuss the route their flight will take and study the map. One RAF sergeant says it should be a clear night - good for pin pointing. A man walks past the window and taps on the pane to remind them to put the black out curtain down. The sergeants return to studying the map. They discuss what landmarks they will be able to see in the moonlight. Canals and waterways should be visible. An Australian RAF man reminds his colleague that one they are over the sea he must do his bomb checks. Another says he will 'nip up front' when they are over the French coast to see if he can see anything. They agree to use the Rhine and German rivers to navigate. They check that they've got their target maps. The C.O. asks if there are any questions. They leave the room ready for their mission. The crew are transported to their bomber aeroplane by a van. They climb on board the plane. Interior shots of the bomber. They put on their gloves and headwear. The propellers start turning. Bomber aircraft taxi along the runway. An aircraft takes off. View of a pilot using the throttle. View of the air speed dial. The aircraft speeds up as it goes along the runway. The pilot pulls but on the stick and the aircraft takes off. The wheels are retracted. Navigator takes out his log book and a pencil. The pilot banks slightly. Close up of a dial showing angle of the banking aircraft. The pilot straightens the plane up so that it is horizontal with the horizon. The pilot talks to the navigator telling him what course to set. View of altimeter, they are at 2000 feet. Airspeed dial shows 165 miles per hour. They fly over the aerodrome and check their watches. Navigator makes an entry in his log book. Clouds float across the moon. View of the ground below the plane. Roads can be seen. The navigator turns his map upside down so it is easier to identify the roads he can see. He asks the 'skipper' to keep the air speed more constant. Navigator tells the pilot what co-ordinates to fly on. The pilot adjusts his course and checks his compass. Another member of the crew pin points the town of Peterborough and informs the navigator. The pilot adjusts his course and the aircraft slightly banks. They follow the canals below them and trace their progress on the map. Navigator checks where they are and gives the pilot new co-ordinates. Pilot adjusts their direction. View of aircraft flying. View of estuary. They pin point the headland as they fly over it and out above the English Channel. They check the time. The pilot comments that it is beginning to cloud over. Check the altimeter. Pilot says he is going 'upstairs' and the crew put their oxygen masks on. View of the plane flying, view of the crew with their masks on. View of clouds, view of propellers. They check the watch to keep an eye on the time. The co-pilot indicates to the pilot who nods. The co-pilot leave his seat and takes up position at a gun post at a window of the aircraft. There is too much cloud to see the ground clearly. View of the plane, the pilot, the moon and the wrist watch. The navigator says there are 17 miles off. The aircraft is surrounded by searchlights. They fly on but there are shell bursts all around the aircraft. Below them is their target city. There are bomb explosions occurring throughout the city. The flashes from the exploding bombs light up the aircrafts windows. View looking down on the plane with the exploding bomb damaged city below. They hold their course and prepare to drop their bombs. They city below is suffering a heavy bombing raid, the flashes from exploding bombs continue all over the city. The aircraft is in the searchlights again. A shell explodes in mid air near the aircraft, the pilot and the crew are jolted. The pilot regains control of the plane and checks that the crew are alright. The shell has damaged the aircrafts wireless. Navigator gives the pilot a new course to follow. The aircraft is still in the searchlights. The Air Bomber crew member checks what targets he can see below. They fly through cloud. The crew don’t think they have crossed the Rhine yet. View of the ground below and the Rhine. They check their position on the map. One crew member says 'I hope its not the Danube!' they check the wireless, it is still not working. Cloud cover is getting thicker. View of the aircraft, pilot, navigator and the Rhine. They check their position on the map. The navigator makes some calculations and gives the 'skipper' a new course to follow. The wireless is still not working. The navigator estimates when they should be back at the English coast. The altimeter says 2500 feet. The crew take off their oxygen masks. The men are getting tired. View of the propellers. They check their watches and the map. View of the clouds below the aircraft. The navigator becomes fidgety. The pilot checks his watch. The crew look down at the coastline. They are back over English soil. They fly over a town. They check their watches, the map and the wireless. The wireless is working. View of the control block of the R.A.F base, they order the runway be cleared for landing. The bomber aircraft lands safely. Back at the RAF base they are in the Intelligence Room for de-briefing. The crew are congratulated and offered tea. They relax and light their pipes and cigarettes. They discuss the mission. After they had bombed Prangmere, they lost their position, they saw the Rhine below but could not determine which part of the river they were flying over. The navigator says that when the saw the mouth of the Rhine it gave them a precise location and they could navigate home. They decide to go to the mess for eggs and bacon but one crew member is already asleep.

Text : The End

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