- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Derek Browne
- Location of story:
- USAF base Brougham Suffolk
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 14 May 2005
In early 1943 I was a 15 yearold "clapper boy" working for the National Film Unit based at Denham Studios in Bucks. The main object of the NFU was to go round the country filming war time Britten and to show the general public what ws happening on the home front and to give a positive outlook to the war effort This was of course for propaganda purposs and to help boost morale
One very cold Jnary day one of our leading cinephotographers of the day, an operater plus me acting as /filmloader/grip /runner and general dogsbody set out on an assighnment to film American B17s taking off and returning from bombing raids over Germany at a place called Brougham in Suffolk.
We st off in a camera car plus the driver and only hoped that he knew the way as Navigating in Brittan during the war years was difficult because all road sighs and place ames had been removed.
After a somewhat evental journey we arrived at our destination and commenced filming some of the airman and even managed to get into some of their planes and shot some footage of the interiors before they took off on a daylight raid
We watched and filmed them taking off and it was an awesome sight seeing over a hundred of these giants of the air taking off and in the silance that followed left us wondering how many would return to base.
Whilst we were awaiting their return we busied ourselves arround the airbase filming some of the routine activities that were usual for an active wartime airbase.
Later in the day the planes started to return and we filmed their arrival home.
Some of the planes were badly shot up and there had been many casualties amongst the aircrews, and of course there were some who did not make it back to base at all
Were privaledge to attend the debriefing afterwards and were told that the target had been a place called Peenamunda This was where the Doodlebugs or flying bombs took off and were to land on London and the South of England. The arieal photograghs showed that most of the bombs landed on target
I was a very young man at that time but what has stayed with me over the years is the fact that those young Americans who flew out on that bombing mission
were not much older then I was at that time
One of the aircraft that i filmed on that day long ago had a name that i was to remember and see again
It was "Stud Duck " It was painted on the side of one of the original B17s that was used and I filmed again when I was the cameraman on the "Memphis Belle"
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