43574 1945 USAAF “ WEEKLY DIGEST NO. 72 ” DOUGLAS A-26 BOMBING OF SINGAPORE & CORREGIDOR

This film from March 5, 1945 is of the “Weekly Digest” newsreels released during WW2. It opens with the Douglas A-26; a twin-engine light bomber and ground attack air craft (:44). The A-20 it replaced is shown (:52). In England, a bomber group makes a changeover and prepares to return to its home base in France (:59). The craft’s all-purpose nose is pointed to (1:07). Within the cockpit, the pilot adjusts the controls (1:38) and the instruments are checked (1:43). The square like shape of the A-26 is pointed out as its defining keynote (1:55). The craft is seen in flight (2:05). It was powered by Pratt and Whitney engines (2:17). The A-26 lands at the base in France (2:32). Ground forces conduct servicing on the crafts (2:44). Eight removable .50 caliber package guns (2:52) could be mounted in place of guns. Interchangeable nose types include a lightly armed plexiglass model for bombing missions as well as an attack or strafing nose (3:13). The nose is changed (3:40) and bombs are loaded into the plane (3:44). A wide span of artillery follows (3:52). A few weeks prior, the A-26 struck at Nazi forces (4:14). Here (4:21), they are taking off for another strike against Germany to flatten the Belgian Bulge (4:21). A map points to Zulpich on December 24th, 1944 (4:39) as one craft was to hit the communications center. 250- and 1,000-pound bombs fall upon their target bridge (4:51). This attack directly affected the actions of General George Patton’s 3rd Army (5:07). Arlon, Belgium’s main road from Luxembourg to Bastogne, was another A-26 target (5:25). They were to aid the ground forces in clearing the road (5:34). Aerial footage follows of the attack (5:38). The next segment depicts a delivery of flour in January of 1944 to Castle di Sangrio (6:06). Flour bags are moved into Italian bombers (6:19). Pilots are briefed for the mission (6:27). The target area is zoomed in on near the Sangro river valley (7:05). The flour bags are dropped (7:35). Pacific Theater — Singapore bombings took place from 1944 to 1945 (8:05). B-29’s hit enemy repair facilities in the Singapore Naval Base (8:13). Aerial footage is provided of some of the 67 B-29’s as they dropped 234 tons of bombs on a dry dock (9:07). Reconnaissance mission photos show the dock sinking (9:10). Ships, construction blocks, power houses, workshops and boat houses were hit (9:19). The Nov. 1944 raids on Borneo follow (9:31). On the 24th, two Liberators conducted a routine shipping search over Borneo’s coastal waters (9:40). The 13th Air Force targeted enemy shipping (9:47) and bombs pop along the water (9:53). On December 16th, a 13th Air Force planes hit Labuan Island on Brunei Bay (10:18). Liberators hit a Japanese cargo vessel with 250-pound bombs (10:41). On January 26th, the 13th Air Force struck Japanese installations near Balikpapan (10:45). B-24’s flew low over the Dagang (sp?) river (10:53). Delayed action bombs were dropped at the pipeline bridge near the Balikpapan oil fields (11:00). Strafing along the bridge follows (11:04). B-25 strikes took place in January of 1945 (11:14). The invasion of Luzon had hit its 9th day (11:22) and medium bombers were to now hit Cotabato on Mindanao. The bombers hit their target (11:35). 50 caliber machine guns strafed Japanese installations (11:43). On January 24th, medium bombers hit Siasi Island (12:02). B-25’s strafed and bombed Japanese installations (12:18). On January 27th, a rescue mission was flown to the Sulu region to rescue a survivor of a B-25 which had crashed on the island during the raid (12:35). The flight surgeon is pointed out on the plane (12:55). The rendezvous was to be the Philippine guerrilla headquarters on Tawi-Tawi (13:06). The rescue plane prepared to land as two boats are seen with guerrillas and the surviving crew member (13:15). The burned man is moved onto the plane (13:45). Another pair returning for treatment was a blind Spanish American war veteran and his young son (13:55). B-25’s supplied air support for the mission (14:09). The wounded man is pulled from the aircraft at Morotai base (14:53). In February of 1945 (15:08) Corregidor (15:24) was hit. Bombers dropped payloads on the coastline (15:38), Japanese store houses and barracks (15:49). B-24’s dropped more the following day (16:18) on enemy supply dumps. Naval guns of the 7th Fleet assisted in bombing the island fortress (16:29). On the morning of the 16th, bombers struck and paratroops landed (16:36). Aerial footage of the attack follows (16:53). On November of 1944, 14th Air Force fighters flying over China hit a radar station (17:43). Strafing along the water way (17:49) and planes exploding on the ground (18:04) conclude the film.

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