This film is held by the Imperial War Museum (ID: ABY 185).


Reel 1: A parked RAF Short Stirling transport aircraft with a white-painted Consolidated Liberator behind it. General view of the airfield at Mauripur. A Liberator lands. Liberator XQ:Y of RAF 86 Squadron taxis past camera. A lorry passes Liberator PQ:X of RAF 206 Squadron. A group of British soldiers with kitbags waiting to board a Liberator. Men stand by the aircraft, a Liberator C Mk VI PQ:R KK260 of RAF 206 Squadron, putting on lifejackets. An RAF Squadron Leader, presumably part of the flight crew, checks a grinning soldier's lifejacket. Kitbags are loaded aboard through the waist hatch. An airman briefs a group of soldiers. They board the aircraft through its tail hatch. An engine starts up. A Stirling and a Douglas Dakota pass camera. A Stirling lands in the distance. Soldiers board a Stirling marked 'V'; most of the group appear to be officers and at least two of them are wearing the 'crossed keys' patch of the 2nd Division. Another appears to be wearing the cap badge of the South Wales Borderers (therefore probably a member of 6th Battalion), another possibly the regimental patch of the East Surrey Regiment. The group also includes a number of naval officers. Stirling taking off. Stirling taxiing. Engine start-up. Men standing around Liberator PQ:A with PQ:X behind. The men move to Dakota MP:A KP237 of RAF 76 Squadron. Men boarding. PQ:X with Liberator taxiing behind. A silver Liberator, XQ:N of RAF 86 Squadron takes off, followed by another Liberator whose squadron code is not visible but is serial number KN705. An aircraft recedes into the distance. A sign reads 'West Bound Troops'; a group of men board a lorry marked 'Traffic Trooping'. A Nissen hut marked 'Air Trooping Transit Camp Mauripur'. A Chevrolet lorry parks next to a Dakota; men dismount and board the aircraft.

Reel 2: Men gather around a large blackboard marked 'Departures Indicator' with columns of names of men for repatriation. One column is marked 'Lib[erator] 377 Delayed Indefinitely'. Aerial view of a mountain range. Panning views over Mauripur transit camp with countless square tents in neat rows. Aerial views over coastal terrain and a river delta. The camera aircraft lands and a batman guides the aircraft with flags. A Liberator of RAF 220 Squadron (squadron code 'ZZ') being refuelled from a bowser. A Liberator being refuelled with an Avro Lancaster parked in the background. A bowser reverses up to a Liberator. A mechanic on the wing positions the fuel hose. Shot of the open rear compartment of the bowser; the hose is stowed and various hose reels and a pressure gauge can be seen. Bowsers drive away. Men dismount from a Chevrolet CMP lorry and board Liberator XQ:V. Men queue to board. A fitter winds over an engine. A Flight Lieutenant gives a thumbs-up from the cockpit window; an RAF Transport Command crest and the aircraft's US designation (B24-J) and serial (44418, corresponding RAF serial KK337) can be seen. A Liberator taxiing with EV997 (C Mk VI, marked 'AE' but the unit to which this marking corresponds is not clear) parked in the foreground. View from a Liberator; another parked alongside with its propellers spinning while a third taxis past. Aerial view of barren and hilly terrain. Aerial view of a large and apparently well-established airfield. Tracking shot along a line of Liberators and Stirlings. Men alighting from Liberator 'X'. Men board a lorry and arrive at their billets; they appear to be temporary structures comprising breeze-block walls with tent canopies as rooves.

Reel 3: A sign reads 'NAAFI-EFI [Navy Army Air Force Institute - Expeditionary Forces Institute] Restaurant'. Servicemen enjoy fruit, tea and sandwiches seated under parasols. Close-ups of an officer wearing of the Royal Artillery, and a soldier also of the Royal Artillery. Men in a small gift shop; a man examines and decides to buy a metal cup. A servicewoman sits behind a desk with a cash tray; she takes a note and gives change. The shop window with various decorative items on display. A sign reads 'NAAFI-EFI Gift Shop'. Men go inside. Liberator XQ:M taxiing before taking off. A control tower. Sign reads 'Allied Air Terminal Lydda'. Liberator AE:Q takes off. Men get off a lorry and their kitbags are loaded onto a Liberator through its belly hatch. Aerial footage of a beach and coastline. Airmen in greatcoats step out of Liberator KH333 and get into a van. A man positions a chock against one of Liberator KL670's undercarriage wheels. Men disemplane; the first off the aircraft is a mustachioed Army officer followed by others. The men, wearing their greatcoats presumably against cold weather, are served refreshments by women of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force ('the WAAFs'). They board lorries and wave as they drive away. Liberators overhead, landing and taxiing. Second angle of men disemplaning.

British servicemen board aircraft of RAF Transport Command for repatriation by air to the UK from RAF Mauripur, near Karachi, India (Pakistan) via RAF Lydda, Palestine (Israel).


RAF Mauripur, No. 48 Staging Post, was located 6 miles north of Karachi. An airfield was established there in 1940-41, becoming a full-blown RAF station in 1943. It served as an important air transport node for men and material moving between western and eastern theatres and for casualty evacuation. The base was transferred to the Pakistan Air Force upon independence in 1947 though the RAF continued to use its facilities until late 1956, this being the last active British military presence in the Indian subcontinent.The Pakistan Air Force continues to operate at Mauripur, the base having since been renamed PAF Masroor. This station served as a base for operational flying during the 1965 and 1971 wars with India.

Still photographs of operations at RAF Mauripur can be seen in the IWM still photographs referenced below.

Location in latter part of Reel 2 and most of Reel 3 is RAF Lydda (No. 14 Staging Post). Originally built in 1936 as Lydda Airport during the British Mandate of Palestine, like Mauripur it provided an important air transport node for movements between operational theatres. Following the proclamation of the state of Israel in May 1948, it was captured by the Israeli Defence Force in July. Renamed Lod Airport, it was again renamed in 1973 to Ben Gurion International, and is today Israel's largest international airport.

The unit seen disemplaning in Reel 3 is somewhat ambiguous although some clues are seen. One man is seen wearing a Royal Army Medical Corps cap badge, another wears the patch of 36th Division.

Film of Indian troops, having made the reverse journey and arriving back in India at Mauripur, can be seen in the film referenced below.

No dopesheets survive for this film, but copies of the Air Ministry's shotsheets are available. Pilot Officer Orchard is identified as cameraman on slates. Date above based on ABY 170, also shot by P/O Orchard.



Series Title:

Technical Data

Running Time:
30 minutes
Film Gauge (Format):
2699 ft

Production Credits

Production Countries:
Air Ministry Directorate of Public Relations
Orchard, H J (Pilot Officer)
Production company
Royal Air Force Film Production Unit



Production Organisations