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Thread: Dingy Drop by Tom Docherty

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    Default Dingy Drop by Tom Docherty

    Does anyone have a copy of Tom Docherty's Dingy Drop (279 Squadron RAF 1941-1946), please? I'm wondering if there is a reference to F/279 (F/O Sherwood); it was sent to Vaagar in the Faroes to assist in the rescues of the crews of a Fortress and Catalina between 14 and 17 June 1943. Any photos of F/279 would be a bonus.

    Brian

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    Hello,

    The detachment at Davidstow Moor moved to Harrowbeer on 9 June (1943), and carried out its first search from there on the 14th, unfortunately without result. On 12 June Hudson F/279 left Harrowbeer for the long journey to Vaagar in the Faeroe Islands, routeing via Stornaway and arriving there on the 14th. F/O Sherwood in F/279 had been detached to this northerly location to search for the crew of a US Catalina which had been wrecked in a crash whilst attempting to pick up the crew of a ditched 206 Sqn Fortress* 150 miles north west of Vaagar. On the 16th at 2013 hours F/279, carrying an airborne lifeboat, was over the two dinghies, which were 2 miles apart. Sherwood circled the positions, dropping smoke floats, and made a run up to one of them dropping the lifeboat from 750 feet. Unfortunately the parachute failed to open and the boat crashed into the sea . Its forward rocket operated and after the crash one of the buoyancy tubes remained floating. While this drama was being played out two Fortresses, a Catalina and a Hudson (from Iceland) arrived and began circling. The Hudson dropped a Lindholme dinghy and then departed. F/279 returned to Vaagar and after landing F/O Sherwood examined the Hudson and found that the static line for the lifeboat parachutes had not been attached, causing the failure. He returned to Bircham Newton on 20 June.

    See:
    Dinghy Drop 279 Squadron at War 1941-46.
    Docherty,Tom.
    Barnsley:Pen & Sword Aviation,2007.
    pp.53-4

    Can't find any photos of F/279 in the book.

    * For more on this incident, see: http://uboat.net/boats/u417.htm

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 4th July 2017 at 12:16.

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    Brian

    Try this link, the page 53 reference.

    Regards

    Simon

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    My thanks for the link, Simon.

    As an aside, although the author would not have known, when F/279 touched down it was the first landplane to make an operational landing on Vaagar's newly completed runway (AIR 28/873). The airfield was abandoned by the RAF the following year.

    Brian

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    Thanks, Col. When I came back to the thread to read the replies, the only part of your #2 which came up was the first sentence as far as '9 June'. I was rather left scratching my head! Thanks for the amplification.

    Brian

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