British officer trained as pilot with Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in GB, 1937-1939; officer served as pilot with 72 and 603 Sqdns during Battle of Britain, 1940
REEL 1 Recollections of period with Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in GB, 1937-1939: initial interest in aviation; training with Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve; first flight with Alan Cobham Flying Circus, 1932; reasons for interest in flying; story of meeting with Sir Alan Cobham on train; attitude to participation in Second World War; aircraft types flown with Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve; flying Hawker Henley; flying training with De Havilland Tiger Moth; character of Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Recollections of operations as pilot with 72 and 603 Sqdns, RAF during Battle of Britain, 1940: joining first squadron, 9/1940; technique of deflection shooting in Supermarine Spitfire; lack of gunnery training; shooting down of Messerschmitt Me 109.
REEL 2 Continues: personal morale during battle; motivation of RAF fighter pilots; degree of knowledge about the battle in 1940; opinion of fighter formations flown; recreational activities whilst flying operations with 603 Sqdn, RAF, 10/1940; memories of Adolphe 'Sailor' Malan; attitude towards Lack of Moral Fibre; behaviour of RAF fighter pilots; question of survival during fighter operations; attitude to shooting other pilots down.
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.