This film is held by the Imperial War Museum (ID: MGH 5204).


Amateur film shot by Flight Lieutenant McKenna (later Squadron Leader), while serving as liaison officer to German expedition investigating effects of high altitude for aviation research. The films record scenes during the climb in the Punjab Himalaya, Northern India, (present day Pakistan). Members of the German scientific team include aviation medicine specialist Dr Ulrich Luft and Dr Bruno Balke.

Scenes at Burawai camp. A coolie has his tooth taken out by Dr Luft and Dr Balke. Various shots of mules. On leaving Basal Dr Luft and Dr Balke put drops into each coolie's eyes to prevent irritation from snow glare. Nur-Shang, the head Sherpa, wearing a hat and goggles, organising the coolies before crossing a log bridge over a fast flowing stream. The expedition continues through a part-snowy landscape. The Union Jack flying over camp at Babusar. General scenes of the Babusar camp (the APA's ? summer residence). A young boy holds his father's hand. Another young boy rinses a bowl. A polo match at Babusar (in which McKenna plays). A band of musicians and dancers entertain the party. Mountain sheep graze. A man holds a young goat up to the camera. A man leads his horse to drink from a stream. Scenes outside stone huts. View of the Rakhiot bridge. Views back up the valley. Nanga Parbat seen from the Rakhiot ridge. Facing the mountain, the Sherpas perform a puja (act of showing reverence to a god), tying linen flags to a tree and scattering a small amount of food into the valley. A Sherpa? holds a small mammal up to the camera. At Fairy Meadow Dr Luft, Rebisch, Eberman and McKenna picnic with Major Galbraith (PA ? of the Gilgit Agency), and Major and Mrs Atkinson (a doctor and his wife). Three men (Luft, Rebisch and Eberman?) walk towards the camera. A Sherpa prepares some food near the stream. The party and coolies eat. Views of Nanga Parbat. The coolies set off. A cloud-covered Nanga Parbat behind the (temporary base) camp. Close-up of a Sherpa. Shots of supplies laid out at camp.


McKenna's Bell & Howell Double Run Eight Cine Camera (Serial No: 201409) used to film expedition acquired by Department of Exhibits and Firearms, with extra lens, two filters and lens cap, 17/6/2002.

Related photographs copied by Photograph Archive (Ac No: 2002-06-04), 17/6/2002.

McKenna's typescript Diary, with photographs, of expedition to be copied by Department of Documents.

Papers and other documents, including Dr Luft and Dr Balke's papers and 16mm B&W film of the expedition, are held at the Mandeville Special Collections Library, University of California, San Diego.

Dr Ulrich Luft later went to the United States (post-war) as part of what was to become known as The Paperclip Conspiracy.



  • NANGA PARBAT EXPEDITION 1938 (Allocated)

Technical Data

Running Time:
14 minutes
Film Gauge (Format):
Std 8mm
200 ft ca

Production Credits

Production Countries:
McKenna, A F