This film is held by the Imperial War Museum (ID: ABY 169).


Spitfires of RAF 132 Squadron operate at Kai Tak airstrip, Kowloon, Hong Kong, and adopt two local Chinese boys.

View of Kai Tak airstrip; the field is overgrown and the buildings appear to be in disrepair. A variety of aircraft are parked on the strip and two Short Sunderland flying boats of RAF 205 Squadron are moored in the harbour. Spitfire Mk XIVs of RAF 132 Squadron take off and pass over the Sunderlands. Spitfires parked in long grass. A Spitfire taxis through long grass towards the camera and comes to a halt. Close-up of the spinning propeller slowing down and stopping. Aircraft in flight over a range of hills close to Kai Tak. Spitfire landing. Spitfire FF:O RM991 taxiing with FF:Z behind. A Spitfire named 'Anita' with FF:S taxiing in the background. A pilot climbs out of a Spitfire named 'Betty'. Groups of Indian ex-prisoners of war crowd around a couple of Spitfires. A Sunderland makes a fairly spectacular pass directly over the camera. An RAF seaplane tender (No. 1634) ties up at a jetty and Air Commodore W A D Brook (Air Officer Commanding, Hong Kong) steps ashore. Brook, and an unnamed Group Captain, talking with other officers. Japanese prisoners of war move petrol drums. Airmen and officers watch two young Chinese brothers, known as 'Big Wings' (11 years old) and 'Little Wings' (8 years old) play at boxing. The brothers, with dummy rifles, are taught drill by Corporal J Dawber of Wigan; 'Big Wings' goes smartly from 'order arms' to 'slope arms' and then to the 'present arms' position. The brothers seen polishing airmen's boots. The brothers sparring with each riding piggy-back on an airman. The boys watch a Spitfire revving up. The brothers sit in the cockpit of Spitfire FF:T RN188. The boys wear flying helmets and describe with hand gestures some imaginary dogfight. The boys walk away from two Spitfires with the pilots, Warrant Officers W S Morrison and K Young; 'Big Wings' carries Morrison's parachute. A brief glimpse can be had of a Sergeant Breeze, an RAF official photographer, who took the stills referenced below. The boys receive an English lesson by reading a magazine with Corporal Dawber. Local Chinese people washing clothes. Local women, wearing distinctively Asian conical straw hats, cut the overgrown grass on the airfield with sickles. The brothers, with curiously elaborate formality, sit down on a long packing crate (possibly an ammunition box) and an airman brings them both some food.


No slates and dopesheet undated. Date above taken from contemporary photographs. The squadron arrived at Kai Tak on 15 September 1945, the day before the formal Japanese surrender of Hong Kong.

Though a modern viewer might look askance at footage of boys being encouraged to box, or be concerned by the apparent familiarity of the airmen with these children, the propaganda value of this film is nonetheless readily apparent. This is particularly the case in the light of the brutality of the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong and elsewhere in China.

Captions to corresponding photographs reveal that the older brother was named Chang Kwai-Tong and, being able to speak English, presented himself at the squadron orderly room and told of how the Japanese had murdered his father and that his mother was seriously ill. Representatives of the squadron apparently visited their ailing mother and it was agreed that the boys would be adopted by the unit while she recovered.

RAF 132 Squadron's voyage to Hong Kong aboard the escort carrier HMS Smiter can be seen in the IWM film referenced below.

Footage of RAF 155 Squadron's adopted mascot, a Gurkha boy named Jimmy Nathu, can be seen in ABY 69.



  • SPITFIRE SQUADRON AT KAI TAK AIRSTRIP (18/10/1945) (Allocated)
Series Title:

Technical Data

Running Time:
8 minutes
Film Gauge (Format):
659 ft

Production Credits

Production Countries:
Air Ministry Directorate of Public Relations
Layzell, R G (Sergeant)
Production company
Royal Air Force Film Production Unit



Production Organisations