Raf Marine Craft

raf1387
26th January 2007, 08:48
Hi, as the UKs historian for RAF Marine Craft, Air Sea Rescue Launches etc., etc., I am always looking for pics/stories etc. If anyone can help please contact me.

Thamesphil
26th January 2007, 09:03
Here's a photo I took in Great Yarmouth c.1986. I don't know much about this vessel but understand that she is an RAF craft.

billyboy
26th January 2007, 09:30
Hello raf1387. sorry i dont have pictures for you. did have some experiences with RAF marine craft as a cadet many moons ago at Newhaven MCU. had many trips out on various types. the old hussles, pinaces, rsl's. Nothing to beat the mighty roar of the napier sea lions at full throttle. was not so keen on the 3 perkins P6's in the pinaces though.
Hope someone here will come up with the pictures you require soon.

Steve
26th January 2007, 10:45
Welcome to SN

ddraigmor
26th January 2007, 10:54
Hi,

Was Civvy crew on HMAFV's 1374 and 1382 at Holyhead eons back. They were the GS Pinnace types, solid old hookers, and were used for marine ops with 22 Sqn, SARTU out of RAF Valley and also Chinooks and Pumas. We also did dinghy drills, cross decks, PLB tracing etc.

They were managed by AV Seawork, part of Vospers back then. Now I believe they are both gone - no idea where!

Jonty

BlythSpirit
26th January 2007, 11:25
My brother in law spent his whole working life in the RAF as a marine fitter on the so called air sea rescue launches. When I saw what they had been photographing coming through the Gibralter Straits it gave a whole new meaning to ship photography!! None of those photos would make it into this website!! I seem to remember there was a book about the RAF small boats history.

Gulpers
26th January 2007, 12:13
Hi,

Was Civvy crew on HMAFV's 1374 and 1382 at Holyhead eons back. They were the GS Pinnace types, solid old hookers, and were used for marine ops with 22 Sqn, SARTU out of RAF Valley and also Chinooks and Pumas. We also did dinghy drills, cross decks, PLB tracing etc.

They were managed by AV Seawork, part of Vospers back then. Now I believe they are both gone - no idea where!

Jonty

Jonty,

They were managed by Fishers at one point too. One of the ex-Skippers, Phil Neal, was medically retired and still lives in Valley village.

All the operational aspects you mentioned with 22 Sqn RAF and SARTU (Search And Rescue Training Unit) are still conducted at Holyhead. Smit have the contract nowadays and the present vessel is Smit Cymyran (or Smit Charlie as the RAF guys prefer to call her). I believe some of the Smit crew served on HMAFV's 1374 and 1382. (Thumb)

Landour
26th January 2007, 12:59
1392 in plymouth

Landour
26th January 2007, 13:10
1374 is now at RAF museum Hendon. Picture show it being rebuilt on site.

Ron Stringer
26th January 2007, 17:35
Whilst on Summer Camp in the mid-1950s with the school CCF at RAF Llantwit Major, we had a day trip out to Porthcawl that included a run out on the Air Sea Rescue Launch. Went out into the Bristol Channel like a bat out of Hell on two engines, came back rather slower on one. Fantastic sense of speed from being so close to the water and with so much spray being thrown up. Sorry but I have no photos nor any recollection of the vessel number.

That week also included a trip to the BP refinery at Landarcy for fire-fighting training and a visit to RAF St Athan, which is currently in the news having been awarded a major repair/maintenance contract for the RAF's remaining aircraft.

ddraigmor
26th January 2007, 17:54
Gulpers,

I sailed with Phil Neal, a good guy - he definitely knew his stuff!

I know Smit took them over and I still know some of the crews: Mike Jones and his sister, Angela, Sammy Hanna to name two.

Was a good laugh working on them, despite the low pay and to be fair they treated me alright when I left on medical grounds.

Jonty

Gulpers
26th January 2007, 19:13
Gulpers,

I sailed with Phil Neal, a good guy - he definitely knew his stuff!

I know Smit took them over and I still know some of the crews: Mike Jones and his sister, Angela, Sammy Hanna to name two.

Was a good laugh working on them, despite the low pay and to be fair they treated me alright when I left on medical grounds.

Jonty

Jonty,

I bump into Phil occasionally - I'll pass on your regards. (Thumb)

ARTHURHARVEY
28th January 2007, 20:47
Suggest you get a copy of 'Shot down and in the Drink' by Graham Pitchfork;have just read this book and it is very moving.Full history on a world wide basis

Endymion
1st January 2011, 19:52
Hi, as the UKs historian for RAF Marine Craft, Air Sea Rescue Launches etc., etc., I am always looking for pics/stories etc. If anyone can help please contact me.

Hello,
I was a member of 1102 MCU Falmouth as an 18 yr old National Serviceman 1952 -1954. I was a wireless operator as one of the crew of six on the 60 ft torpedo recovery pinnaces based there. As far as I can remember they were 71, 78, 1225, 1226, 1367 and (?).
1225 was reputed to be the oldest and 1367 the newest. There was also a seaplane tender and two rowing dinghies. There were full maintenance facilities on shore. We all lived in a requisitioned hotel "Pendower", about 30 of us, which is now an old peoples home.
We mostly sailed to the Scilly Isles, to an aerial torpedo range there. Torpedoes were dropped from Shackletons and recovered by the pinnaces. The crews lived on board for two weeks at a time.
Although this was all secret at the time, (It was the cold war), I have since seen it all explained in detail in the museum in Castle Cornet on Guernsey. I have also seen references to the trials in articles in the FASTA magazine, from the RAE point of view.
I have never come a cross any of the individuals I knew in those days, but could write you an account with some photos if you wish. Please contact me.
Best wishes, Endymion.

mike33
26th January 2011, 15:47
Hello ,
My son owns pinnace 1391, and is currently restoring her.
Mike

E.Martin
27th January 2011, 14:29
The local beach had just been opened towards the end of WW2,one afternoon we were on the beach and and we saw a Liberator come down into the sea next thing we heard the engines of a Air Sea Rescue Craft and as she cleared the harbour mouth on the way to the Liberator,what amazed me as a 14 year old was to see the ASR craft nearly take off as she hit a swell.
Good film to watch and see what the ASR did. "The Sea Shall Not Have Them"

mike33
28th January 2011, 17:17
Hello Landour,
Is 1374 still at Hendon? There is no mention of her on their website that I can find.
Mike

Markham
8th December 2013, 18:55
I served at RAF MountBatten.for my MBC Course 414 March 1968……1102 MCU RAF Falmouth june 1968----dec 1969
RAF Muharraq Marine Craft Unit Manama…Bahrain…detachments RAF Sharja…and Dubai Dec 69 ---dec1970
1102 Mcu Falmouth jan 1971----dec 1972

One of my Pinnaces was 1374….also 1379 on which we accompanied robin Knox Johnston into harbour in 1969 after his round the world navigation …I have us on video compliments of the BBC 38687

I am also extremely interested in all Marine craft Memories of any type.but photos really float my Boat

Markham
9th December 2013, 11:58
Hi,

Was Civvy crew on HMAFV's 1374 and 1382 at Holyhead eons back. They were the GS Pinnace types, solid old hookers, and were used for marine ops with 22 Sqn, SARTU out of RAF Valley and also Chinooks and Pumas. We also did dinghy drills, cross decks, PLB tracing etc.

They were managed by AV Seawork, part of Vospers back then. Now I believe they are both gone - no idea where!

Jonty

You may remember a friend of mine he was in the RAF then carried on with the civvies on our launches his name Malcolm Gibbson…….

Markham
9th December 2013, 12:01
Hello Landour,
Is 1374 still at Hendon? There is no mention of her on their website that I can find.
Mike

Yes she is still at Hendon…as you can see there is a photo of ME in front of her in one of my other posts….she was my favourite launch of all that I worked on

Porthole Billy
30th December 2013, 14:33
My uncle, then Fl/Lt Colin Bewley was CO of RAF Air-sea Rescue Unit No 42, based at Newlyn during WWII (1943 -1944). He has recounted a number of episodes involving F/O Bill Garret on HSL 2507 and Fl/Lt Hornell, LRRC 004, HSL 196 and leading aircraftman Fred Bulley along with Sgt Sweet. He also gave an account of a trip down the Thames when the Docks were bombed in1941.

Markham
30th December 2013, 19:39
My uncle, then Fl/Lt Colin Bewley was CO of RAF Air-sea Rescue Unit No 42, based at Newlyn during WWII (1943 -1944). He has recounted a number of episodes involving F/O Bill Garret on HSL 2507 and Fl/Lt Hornell, LRRC 004, HSL 196 and leading aircraftman Fred Bulley along with Sgt Sweet. He also gave an account of a trip down the Thames when the Docks were bombed in1941.

Are the tales written down …??….if they are would love to read them ….and if they haven't be related before on our ASR/MCS website ,I can even put them on there

Porthole Billy
30th December 2013, 22:25
Hello Markham,
I have two or three tales you might be interested in, each about 290 words long. See how you like the first one and we will take it from there.

A Midnight Call Out.
I was duty officer at RAF Air-sea Rescue Unit No 42, based at Newlyn, when at midnight we received a call from Penlee Coastguards. I was asked to answer a distress call from a yacht lying at anchor on a lee-shore, about a mile off Penzance beach. The Penlee lifeboat, based at Mousehole, was unable to launch for reasons I couldn't learn. A gale force SE wind was blowing, with heavy seas and a ground swell running.

Sailing in L.R.R.C. 004 we made our way to the yacht, which was in a dangerous position but still holding on her anchor and cable. I was unable to get alongside, as the heavy swell and breaking seas would have rendered the attempt dangerous. Hailing her crew, I realised they were foreign, believed Greek, and our shouted exchanges were not understood. I stood by the vessel for over an hour. Finally, her crew indicated that they had no option but to rely on their anchor until daybreak, I returned to base.

When alongside again, we discovered that the windows of our unit building were smashed in by the heavy breaking seas. The offices and sleeping quarters were flooded. This had to be the night that brought my wife Ena, with our two year old son Roger, in his push chair, to the base. She had been staying in our rented cottage in Penzance when, frightened by the gale, she had rushed down in a panic to stay with me at the base. My W.A.A.F equipment assistant had been able to arrange things in my absence but had long been off-duty at the time of the flooding.

By next morning the weather had eased enough for the Penlee Lifeboat to tow the yacht into Newlyn Harbour. She was the Greek owned yacht "Dianne" of 300 tons.