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Thread: Dinghy swimming...

  1. #1
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    Default Dinghy swimming...

    I wonder if there are any cases of extremely long swimming in dinghy by airmen after ditching their aircraft...?
    Can, for example, one week of swimming in such a small life boat be called as a record?
    Are there any cases of spending so much time on the sea by airmen before being rescued either by British or German Sea Rescue ships?

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    Hello Grexx,

    I'm sure there might be occasions that crew members spent more days in their dinghy, but at least the crew of Wellington T2737, which ditched during the night of 14/15 July 1941, were eventually picked up 6 days later on 21st July by a Heinkel 59 from Schellingwoude (Amsterdam).

    Best regards,
    Hans Nauta

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    Default KB-784 428 Squadron

    Here is another for you.
    April 13/14,1945
    Lancaster X
    Serial No: KB-784
    Code: NA-K

    Target: Kiel
    Pilot: F/O D. Payne J-38377
    Flt/engineer: Sgt T. Sinclair R-210749
    Navigator: F/O G. Riley J-40826
    Bomb Aimer: F/O V. Banks J-42258
    Wireless Operator: W/O2 E. Miller R-183653
    Mid upper gunner: F/Sgt E. Casey R-270489
    Rear gunner: P/O A. Vardy J-95514

    Time off: 20:20 Time down: missing

    1 crew was killed and 6 POW’s after being hit by flak outbound damaging the engines and injuring the pilot. On return they were hit by flak again. With the engines quitting they ditched in the North Sea about 20 miles off Heligoland. The crew drifted in the sea for 12 days before coming ashore.

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    Thank you, Hans & Richard for your examples.
    Especially the achievement of that Lancaster crew is really impressive!
    12 days in a dinghy!
    Unbelieveable!!
    How come they did survive the shortage of water and food??

    I have found another crew who spent more then week before being rescued by Kriegsmarine and taken PoW:

    Wellington Mk.X HE768 BH-N from 300 (Polish) Bomber Squadron was ordered to lay mines off the Friesian Islands (Nectarines Region) on 15 Aug. 1943 from Ingham. Four minutes prior to reaching the target area, the starboard engine took fire. The operation was continued, but twenty minutes later the bomber was shot down by a night-fighter and crashed 23.50 in the sea off Borkum. The two survivors were adrift for eight days before being rescued by the Kriegsmarine.

    I wonder if those dinghies in which bomber aircrafts were equipped were specially prepared for long time drifting in waters? I mean if supplies of fresh water and food were bigger than normally?
    Last edited by Grexx; 3rd October 2009 at 10:15. Reason: Small corrections...

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    Hi All

    Group Captain R C Mead and the crew of a Holmsley South Haifax spent 11 days adrift until rescued by the Royal Navy after attacking the U221

    Malcolm

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