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Thread: Marylandís of the Sea Rescue Flight, ME, 1942

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    Default Marylandís of the Sea Rescue Flight, ME, 1942

    Hello, Forumites.
    During 1942, the Sea Rescue Flight (SRF) was equipped with, besides Wellingtons and a couple of Walrusís, two Marylandís.
    I believe the identity of those Marylandís was possibly HK836, and HK865. Ď836 was at 107 MU (Kasfareet) during the Spring of that year, whence the trail goes cold; nothing appears forthcoming on Ď865.
    Does anybody have any information which confirms the identity of the SRF Marylandís??
    Tia
    Andy Wis

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    Default Re: Marylandís of the Sea Rescue Flight, ME, 1942

    Can't answer your question, Andy, but do you mean AIR Sea Rescue Flight (https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/C7162225) ?

    Edit. Did it become 294 Squadron (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._294_Squadron_RAF)

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 15th November 2021 at 21:01.

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    Default Re: Marylandís of the Sea Rescue Flight, ME, 1942


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    Default Re: Marylandís of the Sea Rescue Flight, ME, 1942

    Thanks Dave

    Other than your references, the second of which is based on the first, I could only find the two references below to a Sea Rescue Flight (SRF):

    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ls/r/C17478924
    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...43._CM2940.jpg

    Other than these a search for Sea Rescue Flight in NA files only hits on Air Sea Rescue Units. It's difficult to sea why the SRF should be labelled any differently which made me wonder if 'SRF' was an unofficial, or careless, abbreviation, especially as the unit's work was based on air operations.

    Brian

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    Default Re: Marylandís of the Sea Rescue Flight, ME, 1942

    Brian,

    Here are a few more references for you, courtesy of IWM.

    https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/i...ject/205208933

    Vickers Wellington Mark IC, Z9027 ‘Z’, of the Sea Rescue Flight, running up its engines at Bir el Beheira, Libya, prior to taxying for take off.
    https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/i...ject/205212855

    Vickers Wellington Mark IC, 'X', of the Sea Rescue Flight based at LG 'Y'/Qassassin, Egypt, flying over the Mediterranean Sea during a search.
    https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/i...ject/205209097

    Aircraft of the Sea Rescue Flight in low level flight across Mediterranean waters. On the left, Fairchild 91, HK832 'M', leads, followed by Vickers Wellington Mark IC, 'X'.
    https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/i...ject/205212129

    Crew members of a Vickers Wellington Mark III of the Sea Rescue Flight, based at LG 'X' (also known as LG 206/Abu Sueir North), Egypt, at their stations by the beam gun positions of the aircraft during a search. The crewman on the left is using an Aldis signalling lamp to communicate with a ship.
    https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/i...ject/205212857

    The crew of a Vickers Wellington of the Sea Rescue Flight discuss a forthcoming mission outside their Operations Room at LG 'Y'/Qassassin, Egypt.
    https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/i...ject/205208907

    Fairchild 91, HK832, of the Sea Rescue Flight on an airfield in Egypt.
    https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/i...ject/205127597

    Fairchild 91, HK832 'M' of the Sea Rescue Flight, on an airfield in Egypt. This single-engined amphibian, formerly NC16690 on the US civil register, was purchased second-hand by the British Air Ambulance Corps, a New York-based charity, and delivered to the Middle East where it served with the SRF until sunk in a take-off accident near Benghazi on 17 May 1943.
    https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/i...ject/205212856

    The contents of the survival pack dropped by the Sea Rescue Flight to aircrews forced down in the Mediterranean. It contains iron rations, a torch, first aid kit, cigarettes, barley sugar, distress signals, condensed milk, tomato juice, batteries, a clasp knife, a whistle and a bottle of water.
    Regards,

    Dave

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    Default Re: Marylandís of the Sea Rescue Flight, ME, 1942

    Dave, you sum it up well. Whilst researching the Units which operated the early, Brooklands- built Wellingtons, I came across reference to the SRF, but found no ORB ‘s for that Unit. I then looked at TNA Appendix for 294 Sqn and lo and behold, that Appendix was entitled “Air Sea Rescue Flight, later 294 Sqn July 1941 - Sept 1943”.
    Throughout that Appendix, the Unit was referred to as “Sea Rescue Flight”. The monthly/daily Reports are in the manner of the F540, ie as Summary so unfortunately, generally, only refer to aircraft by individual aircraft letter. An exception to that “rule” are that the first few ops actually stated the serial numbers of the Wellingtons involved.
    After September 1943, things were better recorded in that the ORB also included the F541.
    The SRF also had some Walrus aircraft assigned - some RAF, and some FAA on detachment, as well as a Fairchild 91 (HK832) and
    a Grumman Goose (HK822) Oh, and a couple of Maryland’s!!
    Andy
    Last edited by andy wis; 16th November 2021 at 00:39.

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    Default Re: Marylandís of the Sea Rescue Flight, ME, 1942

    Sea Rescue Flight.
    Formed 13/08/41 at Kabrit with 3 Wellington Ic,(T2551, T2829,T2839).
    6 HSL's and a Carrier Pigeon Service.
    On the 17th November 41 T2839 crash landed on return from a training flight.
    Later on T2551 crash landed, the only survivor Sgt, Swift the second Pilot who was thrown clear.
    On the 23/05/42 the Fairchild picked up German survivors.[details from MAW vol 1].

    Redesignated 294 Sqn 24/09/43.
    A/c Fairchild 91 (HK832 "M"), Goose (HK822"N"), Wellington Ic (T2951),
    Walrus (X9584 "C"), Blenheim (EH330).
    The Squadron ended up with Warwick's.

    In the MAW series there is very little on either the SRF or 294 Sqn.
    The odd mention in -
    vol 1 pages 290,292,511,517.
    vol 2 pages 214,215,216.
    vo 5 pages 37,106,145,248,256,445,
    Last edited by Alex Smart; 16th November 2021 at 00:31.

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    Default Re: Marylandís of the Sea Rescue Flight, ME, 1942

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Smart View Post
    Sea Rescue Flight.
    Formed 13/08/41 at Kabrit with 3 Wellington Ic,(T2551, T2829,T2839).
    6 HSL's and a Carrier Pigeon Service.
    On the 17th November 41 T2839 crash landed on return from a training flight.
    Later on T2551 crash landed, the only survivor Sgt, Swift the second Pilot who was thrown clear.
    On the 23/05/42 the Fairchild picked up German survivors.[details from MAW vol 1].

    Redesignated 294 Sqn 24/09/43.
    A/c Fairchild 91 (HK832 "M"), Goose (HK822"N"), Wellington Ic (T2951),
    Walrus (X9584 "C"), Blenheim (EH330).
    The Squadron ended up with Warwick's.

    In the MAW series there is very little on either the SRF or 294 Sqn.
    The odd mention in -
    vol 1 pages 290,292,511,517.
    vol 2 pages 214,215,216.
    vo 5 pages 37,106,145,248,256,445,
    Hello,

    The authors of MAW2, have omitted from the index, reference to the loss of Air Sea Rescue Flight Wellington Ic Z8778, on 3 August, 1942 (see: p.577).

    Storr records this loss, as follows:

    03/08/1942
    Sea Rescue Flight RAF
    Wellington Ic Z8778 'F'

    Took off at 1000 hours on 3 August 1942 from Landing Ground 'X' in answer to a request from Flying Control AHQ, Egypt, to search for a missing Wellington aircraft of 104 Sqn which had signalled at about 0500 hours that it was force landing in position 30.51N,29.52E.

    The Captain was instructed to carry out a search of the reported position to a depth of 30 miles. It was pointed out that the area traversed the main Cairo-Alexandria road and also contained a large number of aerodromes. At 1245 hours a snap D/F bearing by Gianaclis was 135 deg. At 1300 hours a W/T signal from Z8778 read "search had up to that time been unsuccessful, but continuing." At 1642 hours a further attempt was made to contact Z8778 but was unsuccessful.

    The aircraft had a safe endurance of 8 hours - perhaps over ten hours. Extensive searches were made for Z8778 over the next two days but were unsuccessful.

    Crew:

    84991 F/O Captain (Pilot) John Thomson DICK DFC RAFVR
    J7902 P/O (2nd Pilot) Harry Gordon LOCKE RCAF
    J9399 P/O (3rd Pilot & Fire Control) Roy Campbell PRINCE RCAF
    918857 F/Sgt (Navigator) Henry Stephen IMPETT RAFVR
    AUS400667 F/Sgt (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) Ian Aubrey BAINES RAAF
    AUS404014 F/Sgt (1st Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) John Campbell DALEY RAAF
    1127136 Sgt (Air Gunner) Robert Selwyn HUGHES RAFVR

    Following post war enquiries and searches when no trace of the missing aircraft or crew were found, it was recorded in 1948 that the missing crew had no known grave.

    All are commemorated on the Alamein Memorial.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 16th November 2021 at 06:49.

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to COL BRUGGY For This Useful Post:

    Alex Smart (17th November 2021)

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    Default Re: Marylandís of the Sea Rescue Flight, ME, 1942

    Thank you Alex and Col.
    All this information I have from the ORB’s. What has confused me re the loss of Flt Lt Dick’s loss is that
    sources quote Z8778 as being the aircraft. On the day after (4/8/42), another Wellington, T2570 was SOC, but nothing
    was mentioned in the Appendix re that particular occurrence. Also, the AB “Z” file states Z8778 was on 70 Sqn
    at the time of its loss…
    During visits to the PRO ( ie pre TNA days), I seem to remember
    that some Units had an ARB - Administration Record Book. Those books contained non-operational information
    which included the “ins and outs” of aircraft assigned.
    Does anybody recall such documents?
    Andy
    Last edited by andy wis; 16th November 2021 at 07:36.

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    Default Re: Marylandís of the Sea Rescue Flight, ME, 1942

    Hi Andy,

    Used AIR24 for the monthly Administration Record Books eg

    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/C4094669

    Only had patchy luck with similar AIR24 documents for overseas units but at that time I was not intensively searching the series - just getting a feel for the scope.

    Ross
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