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Thread: RAF Air Sea Rescue launch activities in North Sea WW2

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    Default RAF Air Sea Rescue launch activities in North Sea WW2

    I am trying to piece together some idea of what my Dad got up to as crew on various RAF Air Sea Rescue boats around the British coast (English Channel and North Sea) in WW2. He is still alive at 94 and served on HSL boats 127, 149, 163, 178 and I think trained in Grimsby on HSL144. He has recently told me that while based at Grimsby they rescued all 8 American crew from apparently a B-17 Flying Fortress that ditched in the North Sea. This would have been in 1942 I think. Anyone throw any light on this? He is adamant that it was a B-17. I can only find details of the one that went down off Blakeney point and was discovered recently by divers. It was not a crew of 8 and my Dad says it was a good 50 miles out into the sea! He thinks that the B-17 was based in Lincolnshire. Hardly surprising as it was "bomber county" ! I would be really grateful for any information at all. Anyone had father or family member serve on these boat numbers? He remembers his radio operator was Roy Parsons, if that helps. Many, many thanks.
    Last edited by SteveASR; 12th March 2017 at 16:36.

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    Have you tried Shot down and in the drink : RAF and Commonwealth aircrews saved from the sea, 1939-1945 or The RAF Air Sea Rescue service 1918-1986?

    1941 does not seem right as this was before the US entered the war and American bombers arrived in England.

    Mikkel
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

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    Thank for your kind reply. I have read the second and am reading through the first now. Both useful. As you say, it could not have been as early as 1941. Thank you. Much appreciated.
    Last edited by SteveASR; 12th March 2017 at 16:41.

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    Hello Steve,
    There are quite a few records at The National Archives in Kew covering these craft. I believe all the Operations Record Books are in the series AIR29. If you go to their online catalogue 'Discovery' ...

    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ro=any&_st=adv

    ... in the 'advanced search' section and search 'marine craft' and then 'air sea rescue' you will find the files.

    Hope this helps
    Bruce
    http://www.filephotoservice.co.uk/
    RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES & OTHER UK INSTITUTIONS

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    A search does not reveal any for Grimsby, but it might be in one of the files with no description to it.

    Mikkel
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

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    AIR 29/443 '22 Air-Sea Rescue Marine Craft Unit (ASRMCU) Grimsby (UK)' is for a later date but still should be worth looking at.

    Bruce
    http://www.filephotoservice.co.uk/
    RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES & OTHER UK INSTITUTIONS

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    This thread has my post of Unit/Location and AIR 29 ref

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...-Asr&styleid=3

    Ross

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    FWIW, first USAAF bombing mission was 29 June 1942, 6 Bostons accompanying RAF 226 Sqn to France. The Americans had a very poor success rate with ditchings and ASR in the early months of operations. They hadn't prepared or equipped for such eventualities.

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    Thank you so much for that help.

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    My father ( Geoffrey Flint ) also served on Air Sea Rescue launch ( my records show it was 018 Long Range Rescue ). He also was based at Grimsby at times. It was at Grimsby in 1945 that he met my mother. I have some photos of my fathers with the crew on various Air Sea Rescue launches. I am trying to identify some of the other people on these launches. I am unable to help you regarding the B-17.

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