Living History Group
For D-Day cameramen carried pocket-sized note pads (A5 format) known as ‘Dope Sheets’ requiring them to provide written information on subject, cameraman’s name, date, film stock, camera number, cine or still, footage exposed, exclusive or not, roll number and length, followed by a brief outline of the story; and finally the name of the formation or unit seen on film and it’s location. Later these became foolscap size with ‘Top Secret’ heavily printed across the top.
Cameraman were also issued with a slate-board and boxes of chalk, and were supposed to print their name and film roll number and shoot these as their first exposure.
Some cameramen obliged but others disposed of these in the heat of battle and adopted a more pragmatic approach of scrawling their name and roll number on walls, sides of tanks, the canvas tilt of Jeeps and anywhere convenient.
On D-Day cameraman from No.5 A.F.P.S. were allocated to units which formed the first wave of assault troops for the British and Canadian beaches code named ‘Gold’, ‘Sword’ and ‘Juno’.
By the end of D-Day the section had lost two cameraman wounded (Billy Greenhalgh and Des O’Neill) and one killed (Norman Clague).
As part of Operation ‘Market Garden’ three AFPU cameramen went in with the British 1st Airborne Division at Arnhem, Sergeants D.M. Smith and G. Walker landed with the gliders and Sergeant C.M. Lewis parachuted in with the 1st Parachute Brigade. Other AFPU cameramen where deployed with the advancing elements of 30 Corp.
All pictures copyright of Gary Hughes & Jeff Ball unless otherwise stated