Images of War, The RAF Air Sea Rescue Service in the Second World War, rare photographs from wartime archives

The Images of War series is always a visual delight, displaying 
some of the rarest images available, many seen for the first 
time by the public. This addition to the series maintains this 
very high visual standard and covers a subject that has received 
very little coverage in print before. Strongly Recommended.

 

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NAME: Images of War, The RAF Air Sea Rescue Service in the Second 
World War, rare photographs from wartime archives
FILE: R2424
AUTHOR:  Norman Franks
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back 
PAGES:  135
PRICE: £14.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War 2, World War II, Second World War, ASR, SAR, 
flying boats, amphibians, long range aircraft, fast rescue launches, 
downed airman
ISBN: 1-47386-130-6
IMAGE: B2424.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/jesnvmu
LINKS: Current Discount Offers http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/sale 
DESCRIPTION: The Images of War series is always a visual delight, 
displaying some of the rarest images available, many seen for the 
first time by the public. This addition to the series maintains this 
very high visual standard and covers a subject that has received very 
little coverage in print before. Strongly Recommended.

Air Sea Rescue was vital to the RAF because aircrew were more valuable 
and harder to replace than aircraft. The Battle of Britain produced 
relatively few pilots downed over the sea, because most of the 
fighting was over Kent and the Home Counties. However, every pilot 
saved from the sea was worth his weight in gold and more. As the 
Battle of Britain was won and the RAF began fighter sweeps over 
occupied Europe, the number of pilots ditching badly damaged aircraft 
or parachuting over the sea increased significantly. The growing 
number of bombers raiding enemy territory inevitably increased the 
number of aircrew ending up in the water and needing rapid rescue. 
That created a new RAF force to locate and recover airmen from the sea.

In addition to this new service, RAF Coastal Command and the Fleet Air 
Arm also carried out many rescues from the sea, including merchant 
seamen from convoy sinkings. This led to the use of Sunderland and 
Catalina flying boats to land at sea, and for converted bombers to be 
equipped with lifeboats that could be dropped to survivors far from 
shore who would then be picked up by ships directed to their 
locations. This work deals specifically with the coastal ASR service.

Both the FAA and the RAF used the Walrus biplane amphibians for ASR. 
The RAF added assets to their amphibians including Spitfires to 
quickly locate downed airman and direct Walrus or Rescue launches to 
them. Today only a few Walrus aircraft survive in museums and the 
fast launches have fared even worse. Only 102 (not to be confused 
with MTB 102 which was the Vosper private funded prototype for 
hundreds of MTB and MGB Coastal Forces Craft, and which has been 
preserved in operation) survives today and has been lovingly restored 
to full operational capability. 102 can be seen at events, mainly 
along the South Coast, and is typical of the RAF rescue launches, 
or 'fishermen', operated in WWII. The display close kinship with the 
MTB and MGB fast patrol craft of the RN.

This new book contains concise text to review the subject and to 
fully support the excellent selection of images chosen for the book.