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Thread: Air Sea Rescue Thames Area

  1. #1
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    Default Air Sea Rescue Thames Area

    Dear All
    Could anyone tell me who mave have carried out an "extensive search" for a ditched aircraft in the outer reaches of the Thames Estuary on 8th December 1941.
    There is no mention of a search in the squadron's own ORB (83), and the RNLI inform me that the Margate lifeboat was not launched that day. Margate was the closest landfall.
    Does anyone know who else may have carried out a search by either air or water. Where else should I be looking?
    Best wishes
    James

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    Hello James,
    Coastal Forces would almost certainly have had a boat(s) on ASR picket if there were air ops, plus the RAFs own launches. I will have a look.

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

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    Default Air Sea Rescue Thames Area

    Hello James,

    I am aware about your earlier postings here about the loss of Hampden AE191 from 83 Sqn.

    A Spitfire from 452 Sqn, AB966 was lost on an Air-Sea Rescue mission same day. Sgt John Marsh Emery, 407116, RAAF, was shot down during combat with FW 190's. He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    Regards

    Finn Buch

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    Southend must also have had a lifeboat, but in WW2 there were specialist High Speed Launches that the RAF crewed for Air Sea Rescue, as mentioned by Bruce, as well as Walruses. The Thames Estuary was also pretty busy with Merchant and Royal Navy shipping to and from London, Chatham etc. No doubt a lot of fishing boats might have been commandeered to. Plus the anti aircraft forts like Red Sands, so theoretically there were a lot of opportunities for rescue. There were RAF stations at Manston, Rochford and Hornchurch!

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    Dear All
    Thank you for your replies. There are certainly several leads there already. If anyone has any further news it would be most appreciated.
    Re Spitfire AB966: It is potentially a big blow to the chest.... "greater love hath no man than to lay down his life..." I will certainly follow this up.
    As you have suggested there are so many RAF, Naval, Merchant lines to go down here. I know that I can rule out the RNLI as the info I got covered all lifeboats and came from the RNLI museum/records in Poole
    Best wishes
    James

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    At first glance I thought you were referring to the incident mentioned in this;

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/air-force-obituaries/7564396/Wing-Commander-Lucian-Ercolani.html

    ...but I read the date incorrectly.

    Phil

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    Dear Phil
    That was quite a story. Unfortunatly the current took the crew of AE191 over to the coast of Holland and into the hands of the Germans. How fate can take one man one way, and another on a different route.
    Best wishes
    James

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