81520 COASTAL COMMAND – RAF , WWII , Ralph Vaughan Williams

Coastal Command is a 1942 British film made by the Crown Film Unit for the Ministry of Information. The movie, distributed by RKO, dramatised the work of RAF Coastal Command. It was made under the supervision of Ian Dalrymple, with the full cooperation of the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy. The participants of the movie were active RAF officers, NCOs and aircrew, and RN officers, and included pilot Roger Hunter and Flight Sergeant Charles Norman Lewis; the latter of whom was killed in World War II. The performances were generally well received.[citation needed] Coastal Command is notable for its score by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Coastal Command is a documentary-style account of the Shorts Sunderland and PBY Catalina flying boats during the Battle of the Atlantic. The film includes real footage of attacks on a major enemy ship by Hudson and Halifax bombers based in Iceland. Later, the film depicts a routine sea patrol, in which a Sunderland flying boat flies over a convoy and bombs a German U-boat. Two versions of the film were made, one featuring an explanatory voice-over. In this version, the film ends with a combined air attack on an enemy cruiser caught away from its base. The Sunderland’s crew returns to England, mission accomplished, and with a wounded crew member in stable condition. In the second, slightly longer version of the film, the Sunderland crew returns home after the successful attack on the cruiser, and the wounded crew member is hospitalized. After a visit to the hospital, the film ends as the Sunderland crew is informed they will be re-deployed to West Africa, to begin a new mission.

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