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Oral history interview with Richard Leatherbarrow

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1285.27 | RG Number: RG-50.149.0027

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Richard Leatherbarrow describes applying to join the Army Film and Photographic Unit in 1943; his previous photographic experience; being with the Army Film and Photographic Unit from 1943 to 1944; his training course at Pinewood Studios; his preference for cinematography over still photography; his memories of other recruits; battle training; test films; becoming a sergeant; photographing flail tanks and filming training exercises with the American Rangers; preparations for the Normandy landings and volunteering to land with commandos on the first day; the voyage from Southampton aboard LSI (landing ship, infantry) and experiencing seasickness; his memory of tinned soup; disembarking onto the beach; the problem of keeping the camera dry; not having camera guns but seeing the results of them; filming on the beach during the landing; the atrocities he witnessed; his view on his purpose as a cameraman and believing it was important to record the events for posterity; moving off the beach at Saint Omer; sleeping in a slit trench; the problem of returning film; his opinion of Vinton and DeVry cameras; billets; transport; meeting General Gale; the problem of filming and checking for danger; intelligence briefings; French civilians; the story of the death of Norman Clegg; filming French female collaborators having their heads shaved; his opinion of the French and Belgian Resistance; coverage of the Ardennes offensive in December 1944; the problem of snow and bad weather; the co-operation with Americans; using a jeep and driver; the coverage of operations at Arnhem, Holland in 1944; casualties in the Army Film and Photographic Unit; his first impressions of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April 1945; the condition of the inmates; story of a visit by Ellen Wilkinson; the coverage of the German surrender in Luneburg Heath, Germany; relations between cameramen and Montgomery; and being in Berlin, Germany at the end of the war.

Interviewee
Richard Leatherbarrow
Date
1984 July  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
2 sound cassettes (90 min.).
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:47:22
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn510835