British officer served as pilot with 1 Sqdn, Advanced Air Striking Force, RAF in France, 5/1940-6/1940; served with No 1 Sqdn, No 12 Group, Fighter Command in GB during Battle of Britain, 7/1940-10/1940
REEL 1 Recollections of operations as pilot with 1 Sqdn, Advanced Air Striking Force RAF in France, 5/1940-6/1940: background to posting to squadron in France; journey to France; reception on arrival; saving German air gunner from French peasants; first experience of flying Hawker Hurricane; attempt to intercept German Air Force bombers attacking SS Lancastria; organisational problems experienced by RAF; relations between French and British after 15/6/1940; reception on arrival in GB, 17/6/1940. Recollections of operations as pilot with 1 Sqdn, No 12 Group, Fighter Command, RAF in GB during Battle of Britain, 7/1940-10/1940: posting to RAF Northolt, 6/1940; training; interception using head on attack of German aircraft over Guildford, 7/1940; use of cloud to escape from Messerschmitt Me 109s; dogfight over Thames Estuary, 30/8/1940; strain of action on squadron members; opinion of German Air Force tactics.
REEL 2 Continues: limitations and changes in German Air Force tactics; move from RAF Northolt to RAF Wittering, 9/9/1940; opinion of 'big wing' tactics employed by No 12 Group; system of sector control during battle; realisation of importance of battle; question of shooting pilots parachuting from stricken aircraft and conduct of air war; squadron morale; civilian attitude towards RAF personnel; clothing worn; introduction of armoured plate behind seat; radio equipment; degree to which protective clothing worn; reasons why RAF won Battle of Britain. Aspects of period as schoolchild in Germany, 1935-1938: militaristic nature of German society.
REEL 3 Continues: influence of his experiences in Germany on his decision to join RAF, 1938; certainty of British involvement in war with Germany.
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.