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Desperate Journey

Desperate Journey(1942)

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A unit of the British Royal Air Force is assigned to bomb a German railway. Although they are ordered to fly at a high altitude, their bomber is spotted by the Germans, who attack them from both air and land. After the squadron leader is shot, Flight Lt. Terrence Forbes takes charge and rashly flies the plane beneath the cloud cover, causing the plane to be shot down. The plane crashes in the woods and the survivors--Forbes, an Australian; Flying Officer Johnny Hammond, an American; Flight Sergeant Kirk Edwards, a Scot; Flying Officer Jed Forrest, a Canadian; and Flight Sergeant Lloyd Hollis, the wounded son of a famous World War I flyer--hide hurriedly. The plane explodes in flames, and the Germans assume that everyone perished in the crash until a German soldier spots blood from one of the wounded flyers. After they are captured, the flyers are sent to a prison camp, where camp commander Major Otto Baumeister interviews them. Johnny pretends to cooperate, but at the first opportunity, knocks the major unconscious. Terry, who speaks German, then tricks the other soldiers inside. Once they have subdued the Germans, the men search the office and find papers relating to a hidden Messerschmidt factory. They then begin their dangerous trip across enemy territory. Believing that his wounds imperil the group, Lloyd decides to give himself up to the Germans, but the other men stop him before he gets very far. They then overpower enough German soldiers to provide them all with Nazi uniforms and board a train. When Baumeister learns of the attack, he flies to meet the train in Berlin, but as the men had earlier been discovered and ejected from the train, Baumeister fails to capture them. While searching for provisions, Terry learns that they are near an important chemical plant and suggests that the men sabotage it. Jed tries to stop them, but the men override his objections and successfully destroy the plant. Lloyd is wounded again and Terry searches for a doctor. With the help of Kaethe Brahms, a member of the underground, he finds one who is anti-Nazi, but Lloyd's agonized moans are overheard by one of the doctor's patients, and she summons the Gestapo. The men overpower the police, but despite the doctor's best efforts, Lloyd dies. Kaethe sends them to her parents' house near the Dutch border. When they arrive, they are warmly welcomed by the Brahmses, but Kaethe later reveals that they are impostors and that her real parents are in a concentration camp. Kirk is killed during their escape over the roof, and the others steal Baumeister's car and drive to the border, where Kaethe leaves the men to carry on in Germany. Across the border, the men run out of gas and follow a passing gasoline carrier, which leads them to a camouflaged airplane. It turns out to be a captured English bomber destined for a surprise attack on the Battersea waterworks in England. As the three remaining flyers board the plane, Jed is shot, leaving Terry and Johnny to fly the plane to England. There they learn that Jed will recover from his wounds.