This startling U.S. Navy color film, Advance Base, narrated by WWII journalist Quentin Reynolds, was filmed by Marine Combat Cameramen and Seabees (:33). Color WWII combat footage includes bombing, a dead Japanese soldier, burning out enemies then shown dead, dropping a hand grenade in and blasting enemy troops out (:43-1:16). Gruesome dead bodies are hard to look at (1:18-1:46). Japanese equipment is recovered (1:47-2:14). The Navy practiced setting up mobile and fixed bases in Davisville, Rhode Island. The Advance Base Proving Ground provided training opportunities (2:15-3:05), including Rhino barges (3:06), creating a portable pier (3:33), assembling drydocks (3:43), refueling at sea (4:01), and using bulldozers with a revolving saw attached (4:11). The Seabee Construction Battalion practice building to create advance bases (4:27-5:06). Overseas, the fleet begins to move (5:07-6:06). A destroyer destroys an enemy ship (6:07-6:22). More firefighting is shown as amphibious vehicles unload troops (6:23-7:04). A medic bandages the head of another, some are on stretchers, and the wounded are treated (7:05-7:46). Marines wait while bulldozers work (7:47-8:20). Communication lines are laid (8:22-8:26). A U.S. Tank Landing Ship (LST) is destroyed (8:27-8:46). More supplies and troops are delivered by the USS Winslow (DD-359) (8:47-9:09). Reserve materials are built up (9:10-9:30). An airstrip is created (9:31-10:17). The base serves to let Marines fresh from battle get rest (10:22-10:30). A soldier shaves in a foxhole while another reads (10:33-10:43). Gas and oil barrels are unloaded (10:45-10:59). The troops advance through the jungle where battle scenes and wounded are shown (11:00-11:58). A Japanese tank emerges, fires, and the fuel dump explodes the base into flames (12:00-12:27). The troops move artillery into place (12:29-13:00), including grenades, shells, mortars, Molotov cocktails, shrapnel, and bazookas (13:01-13:05). A plane drops fire bombs on the Japanese (13:06-13:21). The island is once again conquered (13:22-14:00). The base is improved on as more ships anchor there and more equipment is made (14:01-15:00). Marines learn about poison gas and wearing gas masks (15:01-15:27). Men relax by diving off a captured Japanese landing craft (15:30-15:40). Medical Corpsmen openly spray DDT to kill pests (15:41-15:55). An uncontaminated water supply is set up, working with the now freed island natives (15:58-16:32). A fun sign for a jungle sawmill listing both the 19th Marines and 25th Seabees is shown (16:34-16:58). The airfield is surfaced (17:04), pilots chat (17:12), and planes are repaired or used for salvage (17:22-17:38). Bombs are taken from bomb dumps and loaded (17:40-18:12). Pilots dash for planes and a dogfight begins (18:13-19:02). The constructed island base is shown from above (19:05-19:49). A sign for the First Tank Battalion is shown as equipment and ships are loaded for a new assault (20:17-21:12). Respect is paid at a cemetery (21:15-21:34). Troops board the USS Perry (DD-340), [which, tragically, will be sunk by Japanese mines on September 13, 1944] (21:36-22:44). Footage is shown of a Japanese kamikaze plane destroy a US ship (23:29-24:11) and additional attacks are shown (24:12-24:50).
Quentin James Reynolds (April 11, 1902 – March 17, 1965) was an American journalist and World War II war correspondent.As associate editor at Collier's Weekly from 1933 to 1945, Reynolds averaged 20 articles a year. He also published 25 books, including The Wounded Don't Cry, London Diary, Dress Rehearsal, and Courtroom, a biography of lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. His autobiography was titled "By Quentin Reynolds".
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