British marine served aboard HMS Exeter in West Indies and South Atlantic, 1936-1940; served aboard HMS Bonaventure in Atlantic and Mediterranean, 1940-1941 including sinking south of Crete, 31/ 3/1941; served aboard HMS Orion in Mediterranean, 1941
REEL 1 Aspects of period as marine aboard HMS Exeter in South Atlantic, 1936-1940: reasons for joining Royal Marines, 1935; character of ship; vermin on board ship; reaction to declaration of Second World War, 9/1939. Recollections of operations as marine aboard HMS Exeter during Battle of River Plate in South Atlantic, 12/1939: hunt for German raiders; role as gun layer in B Turret; start of engagement with Admiral Graf Spee; evacuation of B Turret; state of ship's medical facilities; casualties in B Turret; character of his wounds; conditions in B Turret after shell hits; burial of dead at sea; reception in Falkland Islands; U-boat scare during voyage back to GB and reception in Plymouth, 2/1940. prior recollections of dealing with riots in Trinidad, 6/1937.
REEL 2 Continues: prior recollections of relief work after earthquake in Concepcion, Chile, 1/1939; question of lack of protective clothing during Battle of River Plate. Story of sinking of HMS Bonaventure and rescue by HMS Hereward after period in sea in Mediterranean, 31/3/1941. Aspects of operations as marine aboard HMS Orion in Mediterranean, 1941: evacuation from Piraeus, Greece, 4/1940; German air attacks on ship during evacuation of Crete, Greec, 29/5/1941; hits on ship; reasons for shortage of ammunition; casualties to evacuated troops aboard. Story of capture of Germans from scuttled merchant ship SS Baden whilst serving aboard HMS Bonventure, Atlantic, 26/12/1940. Story of shadowing of German ship during Munich Crisis whlist serving aboard HMS Exeter off Brazil, South Atlantic, 1938
Over two million American servicemen passed through Britain during the Second World War. In 1944, at the height of activity, up to half a million were based there with the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). Their job was to man and maintain the vast fleets of aircraft needed to attack German cities and industry.