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.
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.