British apprentice served with Merchant Navy aboard Malakhand in Indian Ocean and Atlantic, 1939; served aboard Mandasore in Atlantic and Indian Ocean, 1940-1941 including sinking 23/1/1941; POW aboard Atlantis and Tannanfels in Indian Ocean and Atlantic and Stalag XB, Sandbostel and Milag Nord camps in Germany, 1941-1945
REEL 1 Aspects of period as apprentice officer with Merchant Navy aboard Malakhand in Indian Ocean and Atlantic, 1939: pre-war service with Merchant Navy; quality of Maldive Island lascars amongst crew; reaction to declaration of Second World War, 3/9/1939; painting of ship in war colours; fitting of 4 inch gun in Calcutta, India; escort in western approaches. Recollections of period as apprentice officer with Merchant Navy aboard Mandasore in North Sea, Atlantic and Indian Ocean, 1940-1941: degaussing of ship at Portland, GB, 4/1940; German Air Force bomber attack on ship off Flamborough Head during east coast convoy, 1940; conduct of convoy in Atlantic, 10/1940; U-boat attack on convoy; method of keeping position in convoy in fog; alarms during voyage to Calcutta, India; Christmas celebrations in Darjeeling, India. Recollections of sinking of Mandasore by Atlantis in Indian Ocean, 23/1/1941: sight of suspicious ship north of Madagascar.
REEL 2 Continues: attack on ship by German seaplane; shelling of ship by Atlantis; abandoning ship; radio operators sending off of distress message. Aspects of period as POW aboard Atlantis and Tannanfels in Indian Ocean and Atlantic, 1941: character of Atlantis; treatment of wounded crew of Mandasore; accommodation on board; successes of Atlantis against Allied shipping; transfer to Tannanfels; information requested by German captors; arrangements for securing of POWs; impossibility of staging mutiny aboard Tannanfels; disembarkation in Bordeaux, France. Aspects of period as POW in Germany, 1941-1945: transfer by train from France to Germany; transfer from Stalag XB, Sandbostel to naval control at Milag Nord; opinion of treatment by Germans; food received as POW.
REEL 3 Continues: liberation by Guards Armoured Div, spring 1945; attempts of Germans to recruit to British Free Corps and opinion of volunteers.
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.