British NCO trained as pilot in GB and South Africa, 1941-1943; pilot served with 274 and 229 Sqdns, RAF in Mediterranean, Middle East and GB, 1943- 1944; served with 603 Sqdn, RAF in GB, 1944-1945
REEL 1 Aspects of enlistment and training as pilot with RAF in GB and South Africa, 1941-1943: background to volunteering; pattern of flying training in GB and South Africa; relations with civilians in South Africa; posting to Middle East. Aspects of operations as pilot with 274 and 229 Sqdns, RAF in Middle East, Mediterranean and Middle East, 1943-1944: daily routine; leave in Cairo; fuel system on Hawker Hurricane Mk II; first operation over Mediterranean; anti-tank armament on Hawker Hurricane Mk II; personal morale; flying with alcoholic hangover in Cyprus; off duty activities; contact with Free French aircrew. Aspects of operations as pilot with 603 Sqdn, RAF in GB, 1944-1945: chasing V1 rockets; prior recollection of crash landing in desert.
REEL 2 Continues: hit on squadron pilot's aircraft by anti-aircraft fire over Netherlands; contrast between Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire; question of role of former fighter pilots after demobilisation; comradeship in armed forces.
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.