"Dinghy Drop - 279 Squadron RAF 1941 - 46" by Tom Docherty

Discussion in 'Non-fiction' started by vikingBerserker, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    24,064
    Likes Received:
    655
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Korporate Kontrolleur
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Dinghy Drop – 279 Squadron RAF 1941-46
    Tom Docherty
    Pen Sword Aviation - 2007
    ISBN 978-1-84415-482-1

    Dinghy.JPG

    A lot of books have been written on the British/American Fighter Squadrons and Bomber Squadrons based in the UK. As they returned from the mission in Europe, perhaps damaged in battle or even having mechanical problems a number of them had to ditch in the ocean. If they were lucky enough to send out an SOS before the crashed, they might be saved. If not then their only hope would be if another plane might spot them and send help. This is a book about some of the unsung heroes in the air war: The 279 Long-range Air-Sea Rescue Squadron of the RAF.

    The book is 259 pages long divided into 9 Chapters, 15 Appendixes, Acknowledgements, Bibliography References, an Index and contains a nice assortment of pictures.

    It details the formation of the unit in 1941, the experiment and implementation of a fully equipped air dropped life boat until the Squadron ceased operations as the 279 in 1946. It also lists the aircraft flown (Armstrong Albemarle, Lockheed Hudson, surprisingly the Hawker Hurricane, Avro Lancaster, Supermarine Sea Otter, and the Vickers Warwick) and the 15 crews they lost in service.

    The issues with the air dropped dinghy are pretty detailed as well as the supplies they were packed with. The plane would drop the boat, parachutes would open to gently land in the ocean, then rockets would fire carrying ropes out of the side to allow crews in the water to grab a hold of them. The parachutes would not always open the way they should and the boat would become lethal to the people below. Imagine – you freeze on the way to the target, you are blasted with flak, shot up from fighters, survive a crash landing only to be bonked on the head from a life boat traveling at 100 mph from the air. “Hi honey, how was your day????”

    In the end the squadron saved almost 2,000 USAAF crews and over 3,700 British from the coast of Norway to the coast of Iceland, sometimes in weather or conditions that no sane man would ever try to fly in.

    It’s a wonderful tribute to those that lived to save others.

    A solid 9 dinghies.
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,630
    Likes Received:
    1,415
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Good review David, and sounds like it's a book worth reading.
    Coincidentally, I've just read of a dinghy dropped by a Spitfire pilot, from 485 (NZ) Sqn, RAF. He managed to free his own dinghy from between himself and his seat-type parachute, which involved un-fastening all his straps, including parachute harness, and dropped it within feet of his comrade in the English Channel!
    He ended up getting a reprimand - yet a pilot from another squadron, who had done this earlier, received a decoration !
     
  3. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    24,064
    Likes Received:
    655
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Korporate Kontrolleur
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Wow, that's pretty dam impressive!
     
Loading...

Share This Page