British private served with Headquarters Coy, 156 Bn Parachute Regt in North Africa, GB and at Arnhem, Netherlands, 1943-1944; driver served with 29th Armoured Bde and 7th Royal Tank Regt in North West Europe, 1944-1945; served with General Headquarters, 2nd Echelon in Germany, 1945-1946; driver attached to US Army Air Force Transport Command at Fassberg in Germany during Berlin Airlift, 1948-1949
REEL 1 Background in Totnes and Exeter, GB, 1923-1941: family; father's service in First World War; reaction to declaration of Second World War, 9/1939. Aspects of period on leave after German Air Force raids on Exeter, GB, 1942: return to home after German Baedecker raid, 4/1942; tunnels under town where population sheltered from raids; state of centre of Exeter after raid; state of pubic morale. Aspects of training as trooper with Royal Armoured Corps in GB, 1941-1943: background to joining Royal Armoured Corps after attempting to join RAF and Royal Navy; application to join Combined Operations. Aspects of operations as private with 156 Bn Parachute Regt in North Africa, 1943: attack on airfield on outskirts of Bone; opinion of German opposition. Recollections of operations as private with Headquarters Coy, 156 Bn Parachute Regt at Arnhem, Netherlands, 1944: cancellation of operations in GB prior to Arnhem drop; question of civilian's knowledge of operation; flight on second lift, 18/9/1944; German fire on landing, 18/9/1944; back injury on landing; attaching himself to King's Scottish Borderers in perimeter.
REEL 2 Continues: role as driver with field dressing station; organisation of escape across River Rhine; evacuation to hospital in Edinburgh; aid from Dutch civilians; pain from back injury; attitude to firing at Germans and quality of German opposition; problems of food and water supplies for troops and Dutch civilians; determination of troops in enclave. Aspects of operations as driver with 29 Armoured Bde during Ardennes, 12/1944: cold weather; duties; state of US personnel. Aspects of period as driver with 7th Royal Tank Regt in Germany, 1945: attachment to unit; crossing River Rhine, 3/1945; attitude in being attached to tank unit; devestation on banks on River Rhine; reaction to sight of inmates of Bergen-Belsen camp; incident of becoming separated from unit; treatment of German children by British troops; attitude towards German civilians and troops. Aspects of period as driver with General Headquarters, 2nd Echelon in Germany, 1945-1946: posting to unit; black marketing of relief supplies.
REEL 3 Continues: behaviour of Displaced Persons and lack of attacks on Germans; memories of VE Day celebrations; relief at not being sent to Far East. Aspects of period as driver attached to US Army Air Force Transport Command at Fassberg, Germany, 1947-1948: background to re-enlistment in army, 1947; posting to unit; sights of Russian fighters attempts to interfere with US aircraft during flights into Tempelhof; condition of aircraft on airlift; flying in coal supplies; method employed by US forces to clear coal jettisoned on airfield; anticipations of Russian attack; black market in service equipment; German fear of Russians and state of German officer POW he befriended in Lubeck.