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Thread: Air Sea Rescue launches

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    Default Air Sea Rescue launches

    Good evening,

    I'm interested in finding out more about the marine element of ASR in World War 2, which I must confess my knowledge of is woeful at the moment.

    Were all the 'boats' HSLs?
    Did they come under the control of Coastal Command?
    Does anyone have details of launches lost and casualties, I'm assuming they will be recorded at Runnymede?

    Any books you could point me at would be great.

    Thank you

    Jim

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    Hi Jim
    Take a look at www.raf-lincolnshire.info/marinebranch/marinebranch.htm which covers Marine Craft in Lincolnshire and may give leads to other sources. Google "RAF ASR" and it will give some other sites that at least partly cover the subject.The only books I have are concerned with the Air operations of ASR and are both by Norman Franks. "Another Kind of Courage" covers the UK,and "Beyond Courage" covers the Med,Aegean and Tyrrhanean Sea 1942-1945 both have brief references to Marine Craft.
    Losses of personnel will not necessarily be recorded at Runnymede as many of those who died were recovered and brought ashore for burial and some were injured or wounded and died later.Those recovered to the UK will have had their deaths registered close to the point of landing or ,if wounded, the place where they died
    Regards
    Dick
    Last edited by Dick; 11th February 2011 at 11:17.

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    I have the official Air Ministry Account of the Air Sea Rescue service, published in 1952 for the Air Historical Branch. Its a bit weighty but I'll go through it and should be able to answer most of your questions.

    As Dick has mentioned, most of those who were unfortunate to be killed serving with the ASR will have been returned to the UK, and their details of death should also include the Unit they were with. There may have been some who were 'lost at sea' but to a large extent I'd expect them to be recovered eventually and interred.

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    Thanks for that. I've got "Another kind of courage" but as you say it only covers the aerial side. I appreciate the point about Runnymede. I was just assuming that at some point it is likely that some vessels were lost, and therefore it is likely that some are remembered there. I'll have a look at the marine branch site.

    Cheers

    Jim

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    Hi
    Only instant loss I can recall from research is...
    One or two launches blew up whilst being refuelled at either newlyn or falmouth in 43 or 44,
    Sorry I am not precise but my notes are packed away.
    cheers
    Jerry

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    Hi
    Just found it thro' google

    21-09-1944
    1030hrs
    an Air Sea Rescue Launch of 42 ASR Unit took on board 2000 gallons of petrol at Falmouth, an explosion occurred and the craft blew up and sank. One man missing and another two were seriously injured.

    cheers
    jerry

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    Hello,

    I have one casualty buried in my research area, LAC Arnold Webster SUTTON, in Pihen-les-Guines. CWGC gives the unit at 961 Balloon Squadron, while in fact he was a member of the crew of HSL147, lost during "Jubilee" at Dieppe.

    Here is a list of casualties of Dieppe :
    ROYAL AIR FORCE, AIR-SEA RESCUE CREWS KILLED
    F/O HILL.J.R. H.S.L.122 Skipper 961 Sqn
    Sgt OSBOURNE.F. H.S.L.122 M.B.C. 961 Sqn
    Cpl APPLEBY.R.A. H.S.L.122 M.B.C. 961 Sqn
    L.A.C. DENNIS.D.B. H.S.L.122 M.B.C. 961 Sqn
    L.A.C. GOOD.H.K. H.S.L.122 M.B.C. 961 Sqn
    L.A.C. MOSS.R.J. H.S.L.122 M.B.C. 961 Sqn
    L.A.C. WILKINS.F.S. H.S.L.123 M.B.C. 961 Sqn
    L.A.C. KRAFT.C.W. H.S.L.123 W/Op. 961 Sqn
    F/O BROAD.R. H.S.L.147 Skipper 961 Sqn
    Sgt STEPHENS.J.S. H.S.L.147 M.B.C. 961 Sqn
    L.A.C. BAMBRIDGE.E.H. H.S.L.147 M.B.C. 961 Sqn
    L.A.C. CURTISS.F. H.S.L.147 M.B.C. 961 Sqn
    L.A.C. SUTTON.A.W. H.S.L.147 N/ORD 961 Sqn
    L.A.C. STEPHENSON.R.F. H.S.L.147 M.B.C. 961.Sqn.
    All RAF fatalities occurred on 19 Aug 1942

    taken from there : http://www.rhli.ca/dieppe/diepped_cas_list.html
    (you'll have to scroll down almost to the bottom)

    We also discussed the subject here, starting from balloon command :

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?647-Balloon-Command-Casualties

    Joss

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    Hi Joss

    Interesting list but have checked it against CWCG, the is no C W Kraft listed for 1942 and the nearest name is G W Craft but he was with 7 Sqn and killed 27 Apr 1942. So perhaps the list on http://www.rhli.ca/dieppe/diepped_cas_list.html as a mistake in it?

    Malcolm

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    Hello Malcolm,

    Indeed, the website I've quoted can contain a mistake.

    In the case of HSL147, apart from Sutton buried in Pihen, the other casualties were Broad, Stephens, Bambridge, Curtiss and Stephenson. PoWs were Samuel MacKenzie, Donald Philip Bradbury, Ronald Frederick Braddy, George Butterworth and W.G. Roy.

    I looked at their PoW questionnaire (WO 344 series) and for those I've found, they wrote they were captured in the Somme Bay (MacKenzie), or Dieppe (Bradbury and Braddy), or near [le] Tréport on the 20th (Butterworth). No luck for Roy.

    Joss

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    Hi Joss

    There were four others lost on this date: -

    HARDING, LESLIE JOHN (644368) RAF - age 20 Cpl
    PRIOR, LEONARD NORTON (653713) RAF - age 22 LAC
    McKINNON, HUGH (997459) RAFVR - age 32 LAC
    MACKINNON, WALTER RAMSEY (1052068) RAFVR - age 35 LAC

    They are all listed as being with No 12 Balloon Centre, do you know if these are linked the ASR launches?

    Malcolm

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