WAU AIRFIELD, NEW GUINEA AND ACTIVITIES OF 503RD PARACHUTE REGIMENT, US ARMY, AT PORT MORESBY AND NADZAB AIRFIELD, MARKHAM VALLEY 1943 [Allocated Title]
Amateur colour film shot by British journalist ( Sunday Times, Sunday Chronicle, Daily Graphic), William Courtenay. The first 12 minutes show (in colour) a flight by Douglas C-47 Skytrain from Darwin in Australia to Wau airfield in New Guinea and the activities there. The remaining 12 minutes show (in black and white) the preparations of the 503rd Parachute Regiment, US Army, near Port Moresby, for its assault on the Markham Valley, 5 September 1943.
(In colour) March 1943. A C-47 lands on airfield (probably Port Darwin). Royal Australian Navy sailors around aircraft. CU on fuselage, 'Guinea Airways - Royal Mail'. With view from the aircraft cockpit, the C-47 takes off. Various air-to-ground shots of New Guinea, including the Owen Stanley mountain range. The aircraft lands on and takes off from a number of different airstrips. Shots of fuel dump beside runway. Air-to-air shots of C-47s in formation.
Activities at Wau airfield, New Guinea, June 1943, showing the loading and unloading of C-47 Skytrains. The airfield is extremely busy. CU of examples of 'nose art' on the fuselages of various C-47s. A group of Australian soldiers pose for the camera. More C-47s take off. CU sign which states, 'Welcome to Wau. Take Precautions Malarious Area.' CU large spider in its web. A group of Australian soldiers moving equipment, who then pose jokingly for the camera. Wounded Australians arrive (probably 3rd Australian Division, 15th or 17th Brigades), some walking, some on stretchers, pose unsmiling for the camera and board the aircraft. Local people help load equipment. General views of the airfield.
(In black and white) General Douglas MacArthur with Colonel Jones (commanding US 503rd Parachute Regiment. He later committed suicide) in the jungle around Port Moresby. Pan of group of Paratroops and MacArthur talking to them. MacArthur walks amongst group with Colonel Jones. Paratroops putting on their parachutes and equipment. Some pose smiling and laughing. MacArthur bids farewell to Colonel Jones, patting his shoulder and shaking his hand (note official cine and stills cameramen in background). The Paratroops pose again for the camera (William Courtenay wearing an American sidecap stands in the middle of the group, with shoulder flashes). Paratroops arrive at airfield in open trucks, make final adjustments to their gear and emplane. C-47s queue for take-off, with MacArthur watching. Camera aircraft takes off with view from the cockpit. Air-to-ground and air-to-air shots, showing other C-47s in formation. Paratroopers jump from aircraft (interior shot and exterior. Exterior shot faked). Brief shot of MacArthur in his B-17 looking out at the drop. From the ground, Paratroops - some 1200 took part in the action - are seen jumping and descending from C-47 aircraft on to Nadzab airfield in the Markham Valley, New Guinea, 5 September 1943. Paratroops in secondary-type jungle and on the march. Heavy guns firing amongst trees and troops wading through water (on exercise?). Explosion in the jungle and troops crouching by water's edge, dead Japanese, entrenched Paratroops firing a heavy machine gun, Bell Airacobra aircraft diving, interior shot (in B-24?) of side-gunner firing, from aircraft - tracers going down into trees, from ground - huts burning (all of these shots brief). Interior of C-47, Paratroops preparing to jump and shots of them going out the door. From aircraft - shots of parachutes descending and on the ground in the Markham Valley. Japanese prisoners file past the camera and behind wire.