This early 1940s black and white film about the mindset of a fighter pilot during WWII is presented by The Ministry of Information, produced by British Movietone News, and written and narrated by Air-Marshal Sir Philip Joubert, a senior commander in the Royal Air Force during the 1930s and in WWII. It opens with dressed pilots waiting on the ground, laughing and talking with each other. A line of RAF fighter planes is shown, with uniformed pilots dashing out a door. The camera scans a control room where military officers on multiple floor levels contemplate a giant mat on the table. Pilots stand and talk with officers. A group of pilots lounge in a room, fully dressed and waiting to be called into action. They read, smoke cigarettes, and nap (:32-1:36). An RAF Spitfire that has FOSH (the O is a bulls-eye) on the side arrives and the pilot climbs out. The cockpit instrument panel is shown. The pilot is scanned from the ground-up, beginning with his boots, pants with front pockets at the knees, parachute, Mae West life jacket, and helmet with the face mask hanging. He climbs back in wearing all this bulky gear. He is belted in and secures his combined face oxygen mask and radio telephone. His hand is shown on the throttle and stick and the plane takes off. He shifts the Chassis switch and the wheels come up (1:37-3:30). The patrol group flies three across and climbs above the clouds. The Height and Feet dial is shown as the planes climb to 20,000 feet. The rear aircraft of the formation shift to check the back for enemy attacks (3:31-4:43). The lead group scans the front. One sees five Jerry’s (German Heinkel He 112). The dogfight is shown as he presses the gun button and shoots down two. A third is hit and the German pilot bails out, his parachute floating down. The battle continues, showing bullet hit damage to the planes and sky maneuvers, until the final two are downed. The RAF plane lands, a large hole is shown in his wing (4:44-7:03). The camera returns to the lounging yet ready-to-go pilots and the narrator asks for the viewer to consider the drama just shown that these pilots experience as part of the war to defeat Germany (7:04-7:16).
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com