Scope and Contents
- 1941 - 1946
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Biographical / Historical
In order to help boost American sympathies for the British war effort, the government sent him on a six-months' coast-to-coast lecture tour of the United States in mid-1941, to tell American audiences about the Battle of Britain; while there (with no relevant experience) he bought a 16mm cine camera with a large stock of colour film. He was addressing the Boeing factory workers in Seattle in December 1941 when Pearl Harbor occurred. By this date Courtenay was working for the Sunday Times and Kemsley press; so when, in February 1942, the first large-scale American reinforcements sailed from San Francisco to the Pacific, he accompanied them as a war correspondent for his newspapers.
In this capacity Courtenay was accredited to General MacArthur's headquarters, which he accompanied from Australia, through New Guinea, the Pacific islands and the Philippines, landing in Japan on the first day of the occupation; he was present at the Japanese surrender aboard USS Missouri and visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki about three weeks after their destruction. Throughout this period he was writing for the Sunday Times (officially) and taking large quantities of colour film (unofficially).
After the war, Courtenay put his films to good use by showing them to a wide variety of audiences as the basis of lectures on the Pacific war, while resuming his pre-war role as air correspondent for the Sunday Times and Kemsley press. On his way home from Japan in March 1946, he was present at Churchill's Iron Curtain speech at Fulton, Missouri.
Courtenay received an OBE and the Military Medal. He died in 1960.
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- 2014-06-03 11:08:19.530000+00:00
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