Wing-commander Tim Mason leads a squadron of Lancaster bombers on almost nightly raids from England. Having flown eighty-seven missions he will shortly be retiring from flying, but the ... See full summary »
Wing-commander Tim Mason leads a squadron of Lancaster bombers on almost nightly raids from England. Having flown eighty-seven missions he will shortly be retiring from flying, but the strain is showing. He tries to make sure his men concentrate only on their job and so keeps women away from the base, but then he himself meets naval officer Eve Canyon. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
The movie was filmed at RAF Upwood. The Lancaster's used were NX673 NX679 NX782 These aircraft also took part in the filming of The Dam Busters two years later. See more »
In the scene depicting the take off starring Bill Kerr as the Australian pilot, he starts the aircraft up with the phrase "contact port outer". This is incorrect - the Lancaster would have started with the port inner engine as this drove the hydraulics which controlled the turrets etc. See more »
Tight script, great performances, amazing flying sequences
This is an unusual film. As others have commented it is well made, tautly scripted and has very good central performances. But that isn't what singles it out.
It's commonly thought that night time area bombing by the RAF was a hit or miss affair, quite different from daylight precision bombing done by the USAAF. Whilst no one can argue that targets were easier to see during daylight hours, both the RAF and the Luftwaffe developed highly accurate methods of hitting their targets at night. In the fateful Dresden raid in February 1945, almost 95% of the RAF bombload fell within one mile of the markers placed with 50 metre accuracy by the Mosquito target illuminator aircraft. The following day, a quarter of the American daylight force sent to follow up bombed Prague, having mistaken one bend in the River Elbe for another.
This film depicts, at length, the method of target marking the flight path using coloured airburst flares, eliminating 'creepback' by approaching the target along different vectors, air and ground marking the target and using a 'Master Bomber' to control the incoming streams and give bomb aimers feedback on accuracy.
No medal was struck for Bomber Command and many of the crew themselves felt their contribution was best forgotten, so this film is one of the few accurate testaments to their courage.
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