One of Our Aircraft Is Missing

Synopsis: During the Allied Bombing offensive of World War II the public was often informed that "A raid took place last night over ..., One (or often more) of Our Aircraft Is Missing". Behind these sombre words hid tales of death, destruction and derring-do. This is the story of one such bomber crew who were shot down and the brave Dutch patriots who helped them home.
Production: United Artists
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins.
82 min

(Shouting in German)

(Machine-gun fire)

Fairpath. Calling Operations Room.

M for Mother landed 04:26.

No sign of any other aircraft about.

Still no sign of B for Bertie. Over.

Hello, Group.

Yes, they're all back now,

except B for Bertie.

From this and other operations,

one of our aircraft is missing.

Pilot speaking, pilot speaking.

Testing intercoms.

Tom Earnshaw, second pilot.

Frank Shelley, observer.

Bob Ashley, wireless op.

Geoff Hickman, front gunner, all correct.

George Corbett, rear gunner.

- That's all, Corbett.

- Thank you, sir.

Group, sir, about tonight's operations.

Reynolds speaking. Yes. Right.

The target is Stuttgart,

the Mercedes-Benz works.

Will all operational crews

report to briefing at 1 4:30. 1 4:30.

- Mail. One for you, Skipper.

- Thank you.

- One for you, Tom. Nice Halifax postmark.

- Some letter.

Halifax again.

- Oh, it's from my fiance.

- Both of them? Have you got two?

The other's from Dad.

- Surely not the future Mrs Earnshaw?

- Whittaker & Whittaker, her dad's firm.

- Second best in Yorkshire.

- We know whose the best are.

- My dad's.

- Earnshaw & Son.

Mm. l'm dying to see those two

noble animals in the same meadow.

You won't have to wait long.

Here comes Corbett,

singing and dancing as usual.

(Airman) Billiards after lunch?

- You coming on this party tonight?

- l'm on ops.

Hazel says don't forget tomorrow night.

(Both) Hazel Mason,

home and forces programme.

40. George, what are you

doing tomorrow night?

- Tomorrow? Packing.

- No, you're listening to my wife.

Home and Forces Programme.

Pack tonight.

l'm flying tonight.

- We didn't know you were on ops.

- l saw the group captain.

As it's my last night, he agreed to let me go.

Sorry to have gone over your head.

That's all right. Glad to have you with us.

Eh, fellas?

We're honoured, Sir George.

l suppose Hopkins has been

told about this switch.

- l suppose so.

- l'd like to see Hopkins' face, Frank.

Poor old Hopkins.

(American accent) Well, the son of a gun.

- Hopkins.

- Yes, sir.

Sorry, but you won't be wanted tonight.

- l see, sir.

- Bad luck, old man.

The son of a gun.

l don't believe it. Hey, he's pulling my leg.

lf you're not going,

can l have your silk stockings?

Oh, l suppose so.

What's this, camouflage net?

That's quality if it's a pair.

They keep you warm as toast.

lf my girl ever finds out l lent...

Tell her Bob Ashley wore them.

She'll be pleased as punch.

Boy, l wish you could have

seen that run of Welsh's,

a run worthy of

the great Bob Ashley himself.

lt had all the earmarks of an Ashley special.

So it's a free kick against the Allied Forces.

Free kick. Now, look out for Welsh.

Not Welsh.

Not Welsh? Hear that, Len?

l'd like to see anybody else take it.

Course it'll be Welsh.

Compton will take the kick.

This is a tense moment. The ball is

on the spot. Welsh is going to kick.

What did l say?

Welsh is going to take the kick.

Come on, Welsh!

Welsh has kicked. No, he hasn't.

He's jumped over the ball.

Compton's taking the kick.

Compton's the man.

Goal! Well shot, Compton!

Well, that was a surprise.

Not to me.

Cope with this indicator. lt's stuck again.

- l'll fix it.

- How's Bertie?

Perfect, sir. New coat, full stomach, a gent.

Fine. Bring the car back about four.

Did they fix that oil pressure, Jimmy?

Yes, it's OK now.

- Who's this bloke?

- Fan of yours, wants your autograph.

- Saw you in some play.

- That's right.

l saw you in the School For Scandal.

You played Joseph Surface.

Got a pencil?

- Afraid not.

- l'll do it for you tomorrow.

- Thanks.

- lt was Charles Surface.

Fairpath calling T for Tommy, T for Tommy.

lt's now 21 :
35, 21 :35. You may take off.

Checking intercoms. Bob, are you there?

Sergeant Ashley, sir, receiving you all right.

Blasted beehive gets smaller every trip.

What are you grumbling about, Sir George?

You've got a carriage to yourself.

Fairpath calling.

Q for Queenie, Q for Queenie.

21 :
37, 21 :37. You may take off now.

Check your watches, chaps.

ln 50 seconds, it'll be 21 :40.

ln...45 seconds.

ln...40 seconds.

Fairpath calling B for Bertie, B for Bertie.

lt is now 21 :
40, 21 :40.

Off you go.

Geoff, OK to go forward.

OK, Skipper.

Stuttgart, here we come.

You know, l played in Stuttgart

with my club in er...1938.

1938...l was playing in New York.

- What's Stuttgart like?

- Oh, like all those continental towns.

Played Saturday, Sunday,

Monday on the train.

That was Stuttgart. Well, well.

- Nice girls in Stuttgart, Skipper.

- Well, one anyway.

What do you know about

the girls in Stuttgart?

l know a nurse from Stuttgart.

That's funny. Mine was a nurse.

Was her name Liesel?

No, Else. What was your nurse like?

Oh, she was a big blonde job.

Couldn't half cook too.

She worked for a doctor in Gerrards Cross.

Used to sing that song,

er...l Kiss Your Little Hand Madame.

That's right and, of course,

she used to sing it in German, you know?

She was always singing it, l suppose, cos

she wasn't allowed to sing it in Germany.

The composer was a Jew, l believe.

What was your nurse like, Skipper?

Else? She was blonde too.

- Was she a good cook?

- She was good at everything.

My next nurse wasn't so good.

You seem to specialise in nurses, Skipper.

Well, l did then. l was only two, you see.

- Had you there.

- l'd seen snaps of her in my father's album.

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Emeric Pressburger

Emeric Pressburger (5 December 1902 – 5 February 1988) was a Hungarian British screenwriter, film director, and producer. He is best known for his series of film collaborations with Michael Powell, in an award-winning collaboration partnership known as the Archers and produced a series of films, notably 49th Parallel (1941), The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), A Matter of Life and Death (1946, also called Stairway to Heaven), Black Narcissus (1947), The Red Shoes (1948), and The Tales of Hoffmann (1951). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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