The Thornycroft 67' Air/Sea Rescue launch was the type most commonly used by the RAF in the Second World War. A total of over 100 were built in small yards all over the country. Power was from either two Thornycroft 650hp RY/12 type petrol engines, or three 500hp Power-Napier Sea-Lion petrol units. Both types of craft had a speed of around 25 knots.

Armaments and fittings varied according to whereabouts in the world the boat was to be stationed. These craft were used in the UK, Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, saving the lives of many highly trained and valued aircrews. It was also the practice of both the German and British rescue services to pick up enemy survivors, which on occasion could result in a race to see who arrived first. The first boat (HSL) 191 went into service in mid 1942 at Newlyn.

Naval History Index

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