This film is held by the Imperial War Museum (ID: ABY 100).


Reel 1: Close-up of hands sorting aerial reconnaissance photographs. A man descends a ladder from a tall airfield control tower with palm thatch. View from the tower with an RAF Douglas Dakota transport aircraft taxiing in the foreground. Shot from ground level of the tower with various types of aircraft (Hawker Hurricane, Supermarine Spitfire, Stinson Sentinel, Curtiss Commando) passing. Aerial footage, apparently taken from a Fairchild Argus light aircraft, over the River Irrawaddy. A Hurricane Mk IIC 'J' passes close to the camera. Repeat pass closer than the first. Air-to-ground footage over the Irrawaddy; below a pontoon ferry or barge, loaded with vehicles, is towed by a DUKW amphibious truck. More aerial footage of aircraft in flight over the Irrawaddy including a Spitfire Mk VIII. A fine aerial view of the enormous dome of the Kaunghmudaw Pagoda at Sagaing. Hurricanes being serviced; a Hurricane facing the camera has had its engine removed. Hurricane EG:P (RAF 34 Squadron) can be seen in the background. Close-ups on fitters working on the engine. Four men salvage a wrecked Republic Thunderbolt Mk I. Close-up of a man at work. Two men at work on the cowling. Two men, standing on the back of a lorry, tip petrol out of a drum. Close-up of the petrol. A tent pitched by a tree; an airman sits in a swing hanging from one the tree's branches. Suddenly there is a scramble; the man gets off the swing while other men hurry out of the tent and out of shot. A pilot, wearing a large kukri on his belt, quickly climbs into his Spitfire and a member of his ground crew helps him strap in. Close-up of the pilot being strapped in. A Spitfire's propeller spinning. Spitfire DG:P (RAF 155 Squadron) taxis past followed by Mk VIII DG:K (serial MT997) and DG:D. Spitfires taking off. Alternative shot, framed by a Spitfire's leading edge, of the ground crewman jumping up onto the wing to help the pilot into his cockpit. Second angle of pilot strapping in. A battery trolley is used to start the Spitfire's engine. Aerial footage over the Irrawaddy. A Spitfire makes several passes of the camera aircraft. View of the cantilever Ava Bridge across the Irrawaddy at Sagaing. Views over hilly terrain with many hilltop monasteries and pagodas. Air-to-air footage of a Spitfire manoeuvering. Pilots being briefed in the open. Close-up of a monkey sitting on the shoulder of one of the pilots. The briefing officer, distracted and amused by the monkey's antics, points out areas on a map. Spitfires passing overhead with palm trees in the foreground. Thunderbolts landing. Thunderbolts coming in to land. Thunderbolt II GQ:S (serial KJ231), GQ:K and GQ:L of RAF 134 Squadron. Spitfire taking off. A salvage lorry fitted with a crane drives past a pagoda. Close-up of the lorry passing. Two men stand on the back of the lorry and man a Bren light machine gun. Local Burmese civilians load an oxygen cylinder onto a Dakota. Two other Burmese roll cylinders along the ground with Dakota IV KN244 in the background. An officer behind a desk, apparently the commander of an RAF Repair and Salvage Unit, smokes a pipe and speaks on a telephone. He gets up, puts on his hat and leaves. A subordinate officer salutes him and hands him a paper. The two look at a map. A tent marked 'Ye Olde Bull and Bush'. A sign next to a pair of large insulated flasks reads 'Tea for Aircrew'. Airmen go inside. Interior shot showing men chatting, smoking and drinking tea. A Hurricane taxiing with three parked Dakotas in the background. Men washing dishes. Food being dished up at the cookhouse. One man receives a packet of cigarettes with his meal. Interior shot of men eating, drinking and smoking. Men leaving the cookhouse. Two cooks opening cans of corned beef. Close-up of a man in glasses opening cans. Indian men cooking in a large cylindrical pot. The British cook, seen previously, walks up to a large pot (which looks rather like a tin bath) and checks one of the pieces of meat cooking inside it. Two men plucking chickens. Close-ups on a chicken, and the man plucking it. Six Thunderbolt Mk IIs, with propellers spinning, kick up clouds of dust. Thunderbolt II ZT:X (serial KJ366) of RAF 258 Squadron taxis past. Two more Thunderbolts taxi past.

Reel 2: Aerial survey of a large airfield taken from a light aeroplane. Multiple aircraft types, tents, motor vehicles and men awaiting transport visible. A large white 'T' indicates the direction of the wind. Man on telephone. Two officers talking are joined by a third who shows them a paper. Closer shot of the men talking. Two men board a Sentinel; Sentinel Mk II A:A (serial KJ417) taxiing away. A second Sentinel follows. Sentinels taking off. A parked Sentinel in US Army Air Force markings. Local Burmese civilians receiving medical treatment from an Indian Medical Officer (rank insignia unclear; either a colonel or captain) wearing a XXXIII Indian Corps patch. Close-up of a local being treated. A Japanese prisoner of war on a stretcher (identifiable by his soft peaked cap) is lifted out of a Sentinel. A Burmese woman, with her medical notes on a card around her neck, is treated by the Indian doctor. A number of parked ambulances. A Sentinel landing. A Chevrolet CMP lorry parked by a tent. A man goes inside. A man operating photographic processing equipment. Three men in front of a briefing board and comparing photographs to a map. A Sentinel landing; the aircraft taxis to a halt and the pilot performs a violent skid with the rudder before parking. An officer named on the dopesheet as Brigadier Steedman (misnamed 'Steadman' on the dopesheet), Chief Engineer of XXXIII Indian Corps, gets into a Sentinel. A Hurricane Mk IIC is serviced. Ground crew fit an F.24 camera to the aircraft.

Scenes of RAF operations in Burma including fighter scrambles, aerial reconnaissance, aircraft salvage, transport and evacuation by light aircraft and general airfield life.


One of the cameraman of this piece, Flight Lieutenant Sidney Woodcock, was killed in action. He and his pilot, Flight Lieutenant J G Buchanan of RAF 110 Squadron, failed to return after a Mosquito sortie over Rangoon on 2 May 1945. They are buried in adjacent plots in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Rangoon War Cemetery.



Series Title:

Technical Data

Running Time:
18 minutes
Film Gauge (Format):
1618 ft

Production Credits

Production Countries:
Air Ministry Directorate of Public Relations
Layzell, R G (Sergeant)
Woodcock, S L (Pilot Officer)
Production company
Royal Air Force Film Production Unit



Production Organisations