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Rescue Buoys in the English Channel

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by wilconqr, May 3, 2007.

  1. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    ???Question???
    Has anyone ever seen a photo or drawing of, I want to say, barges? life buoys? life boats? that the British had moored? set? in the channel for downed airmen? I once saw an artist's rendering of one of these things. It looked quite spacious, with a bed, and was designed to accomodate/protect a downed airmen from the cold water while waiting to be rescued. Was this something real or make believe?
     
  2. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Anyone?
     
  3. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Wilconqr, I too remember seeing a drawing of such a moored buoy, but for the moment I can't think where...

    I have an idea that the Germans moored such objects off Holland in the early stages of the war, and that later the RAF also used them, but I have no sources....:eek:
     
  4. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    I did an exhaustive search on the net putting in every concievable combination of words. The closest I came was running up on someone else who was asking the SAME question. Everything I found regarding R.A.F. Air Sea Rescue during WWII mentioned nothing of the "shelter" but, some sites DID mention other inventions such as the Bircham Bag, air droppable lifeboats, etc.
     
  5. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    FOUND some INFORMATION.....I serendipitously stumbled upon a single photgraph of a German rescue float in a Time-Life Books' The Battle of Britain, page 96. The thing looks somewhat like a crude submarine conning tower atop a small rectangular barge. The text reads,
    "In the summer skies above the English Channel, battling German and British airmen often found themselves in a special kind of double jeopardy. If they had to bail out of a plane crippled by enemy gunfire, they stood a fair chance of parachuting down into the cold, choppy waters of the English Channel. Both sides lost scores of men to the Channel. But at the outset of the battle, the Germans, with characteristic thoroughness, were far better prepared to salvage their fliers.
    The Germans had a fleet of rescue floats anchored a mile or two off the French coast. Each float was equipped with blankets, rations and medical supplies to keep a flier warm and reasonably well until he could be picked up by friendly craft. For men who ditched farther out, standard gear on every Luftwaffe fighter included inflatable dinghies. And each flier carried a container of fluorescine, a brilliant green dye, which, in the water, spread out into a patch of color easily spotted by one of the Luftwaffe's rescue fleet of medically equipped Heinkel-59 seaplanes.
    The British at first were more offhand in their rescue efforts. They relied on passing ships, planes that just happened to overfly downed men, and on a fleet of small craft that patrolled the coastal waters. Otherwise, British fliers had only their Mae West life jackets--and the hope that one of their squadron mates would sight them and radio their location to shore.
    So many British fliers were lost in June and July that special observation planes were finally assigned to locate men and relay their positions to offshore craft. The task of spotting grew perceptibly easier when the RAF issued flares and--emulating the Germans--fluorescine dye. Results were good: though air casualties rose on both sides as the fighting intensified in August and September, fewer British airmen were lost to the sea."

    An excerpt from Air University Review Vol. XXVIII No. 2 January-February 1977 reads as follows:
    "In October 1940, the Germans introduced the Sea Rescue Float as one remedy for the changing needs of the air war. These buoy-type floats contained bunks, blankets, dry clothes, food, water and distress signals. Their distinctive yellow paint made them visible for many miles. Periodically, rescue boats as well as Heinkels checked the buoys. Since they attracted any distressed aviator, British and German alike, the RAF also sent launches to make occasional checks. The hapless airmen who made it to one of these floats never knew if they might be rescued by their own forces or picked up by the enemy and interned for the rest of the war."

    Consequently, there is a reference number but, the Notes page does not appear at the bottom of the essay. I saw an artists' rendering of the inside of one of these things when I was a teen. I would like to find this again. Does anyone else know of or have any pictures of them? Also, I found a short reference to the German (if I remember correctly) Sea Rescue Float as the Cuckoo. However, all of my ques online, including "Cuckoo", have yielded nothing.
     
  6. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    Come on now. Someone out there has seen this picture or has heard of this before I'm sure..........
     
  7. Forrest Anderson

    Forrest Anderson Member

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    Bad News - I couldn't find an illustration of the inside of one of these floats.

    Good news - I found a photo of the outside! :)

    The page below is taken from the 9-volume "The Second Great War: A Standard History", and the caption explains things.

    Note the number on the hull, ASR-10, which might be the basis of further research.

    For further information, the National Archives at Kew has three files which may be of interest:

    • AIR 2/4721 ROYAL AIR FORCE: Rescue Services (Code B, 67/33): Air/Sea rescue: floats 1941-1946
    • AIR 2/4744 ROYAL AIR FORCE: Rescue Services (Code B, 67/33): Air/Sea rescue: positioning of floats 1941-1944
    • AVIA 13/1097 Transmitter type T1299 (rescue float) 1941-1943
    If you can't visit Kew, some items can be ordered by e-mail direct from the National Archives - see http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/recordcopying/?source=ddmenu_shop3

    Forrest


    [​IMG]
     
  8. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    Wow, the British float pictured here is quite different from the German one I have in Time-Life The Battle of Great Britain. The German float pictured there looks like it was built strictly for the purpose while the British version pictured here is undoubtably a modified launch of some sort I'm guessing. Interesting picture though. Thank you for responding.
     
  9. Forrest Anderson

    Forrest Anderson Member

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    Luckily, the vessel in my book turns out to have been preserved at the Scottish Maritime Museum.

    [​IMG]

    She was built in 1942, and after being converted to a yacht in the 1950s, has now been restored to her wartime condition. The above photo comes from http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/irvine/maritimemuseum/index.html and her history and a larger photo is at http://www.shipspreservation.com/admin/docs/44.1.doc which says:

    ASR 10
    Air Sea Rescue “10” (ASR 10) was built in 1942 by Carrier Engineering Ltd as an experimental rescue vessel. She is of all welded steel construction, with a steel superstructure and mast. Her hull is brightly painted in red and yellow bands (yellow is the colour most easily seen at sea).
    ASR 10 was never fitted with an engine - her function was to be moored as a dumb barge at strategic intervals around the coast (in particular under the flight path of aircraft returning from the continent) during the second world war, to provide emergency shelter for the crews of downed 'planes. She is designed to be easy to board and is fitted with six bunks, emergency rations and signalling apparatus to attract attention.
    These "floats" were built for the RAF and maintained by the Air Sea Rescue Service. They were not found to be particularly useful - they could only be moored close to shore in positions where an aircraft in trouble could usually be spotted anyway. Few airmen were rescued from the floats - but one did provide shelter for the survivors of a German aircraft shot down over the English Channel.
    ASR 10 has been restored to original condition after conversion to yacht in 1950s.
    Dimensions: Length 30ft6ins, breadth 9ft6ins.
    Construction: All steel welded construction. No engines or rigging.

    Next time you are in Scotland(!), you could visit the museum and take some photos of the inside :)


    Forrest
     
  10. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    I wonder how many of these barges there were and how far into the channel they were morred and exactly how they were situated-to point bow south, north or what, or did that not make any difference? Also, this float looks a sight more inviting than the German float.
     
  11. TA152

    TA152 Ace

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    It seems like such a device was used in the movie Lifeboat but it has been decades since I have seen the movie. I recall they had to share the device with a German pilot and they waited to see who would rescue them, the British or the Germans.
    http://home.hiwaay.net/~oliver/tblifeboat.htm
     
  12. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    What I'm talking about...
     

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  13. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    Hello me! Is this you?:FUallplz:
     
  14. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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  15. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    WOW!!! Yeah man, that's it. Thank you very much. Did you que in the German name for this? I searched for hours and found nothing. I saw a picture with cutaway in a color magazine when I was a child. This is great too. Any telling how many of these were launched and when they ceased being used? Thanks again.
     
  16. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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  17. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
     
  18. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    You people suck!!!

    A Rettungsbojen that got loose from its moorings and drifted onto the coast of England.
     

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  19. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    Another shot of the Rettungsbojen Generalluftzeugmeister (Udet Buoy)... I wonder if anyone has either of the publications mentioned in the article and what exactly the "diagrammatic drawing" looks like?
    [​IMG]
     
  20. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    More "Lobster Pots." If anyone can find a cut-away of these things, please, feel free to post it!
    [​IMG]
     

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