THE AIR SEA RESCUE AT NEWHAVEN

Photo:The Sea Shall Not Have Them

The Sea Shall Not Have Them

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'THE AIR SEA RESCUE AT NEWHAVEN' page
Photo:WW2 Rescue float

WW2 Rescue float

Photo:German rescue float

German rescue float

Aircraft Magazine

No other words needed.

By Richard Beckett

Photo 1. The Badge of the Air Sea Rescue Service. The badge motto "The Sea Shall Not Have Them" was the title of a film made in 1944 about the service and much of the film was taken in and around Newhaven including use of the ASR high speed launches. During the film it is possible to see views of the harbour with many other military craft moored along the quays. A film worth watching even if only to see the harbour as it was in wartime.

Photo 2. Two ASR high speed rescue launches at the berth on west quay Newhaven. The unit was stationed on site here until well into the 1960's.

Photo 3. This is one of a series of ASR rescue floats which were moored at suitable points around the coast for the aid of airmen forced down into the sea.

Photo 4 Shows a similar rescue float which the German Luftwaffe also provided for their airmen.

This page was added by Richard Beckett on 31/10/2008.
Comments about this page

Nice to see some photos of ASR / MCS unit which was established at Newhaven in 1939 and ran various HSL craft together with general service pinnace's from the designated jetty location. The first class of vessel used here were called Whaleback ( HSL100 - Class ) two of which initiated the original base (No 100 and No 121 ). I am in the process of sorting out some photos of these craft which I shall be logging at a later date all these pictures were taken by my late father ( Flight Sgt. Tom Young ) when he was one of the crew on launch No 100, based at Newhaven during early second world war period. There are many more interesting ASR photos to see at the local Maritime Museum, Newhaven, should any viewer require more in depth information on this aspect of Newhaven harbour history.

By Chris Young
On 23/12/2008

Nice photos but I believe photo No 2. shows a converted Inshore mine sweeper of late 1960 circa, taken up for use from navy service as a ASR Unit, as she is a lot larger than the usual HSL craft. It also appears that there is a 60ft General Service Pinnace laying on her starboard side which I can remember was quite a common sight at this time, towards the latter period of the RAF base between the riverwall berths and Fort Road ( Now all built on with houses etc ). Glad to see some other photos of a long gone aspect of a byegone era!

By Chris Young
On 23/12/2008

There was another film produced following the Second World War which featured ASR / MCS craft participation and was entitled 'ONE OF OUR AIRCRAFT IS MISSING'.

This film also used HSL craft from the Newhaven (MCS 1107) Unit and the story line portrayed aspects of the RAF Search-and-Rescue service during a WW2 exploit.

By Chris Young
On 04/01/2009

I think photo no 2 shows the last two RAF craft to be stationed here. The ex Ham class minesweeper is 5012, and the pinnace is either 1390 or 1392, if my memory serves me well.

Nice enough, but not as 'exciting' as the RTTL craft shown in some of the other pages here.

By Andy Gilbert
On 07/02/2009

Hi Chris. I am pretty sure that the movie made in 1943/44 was called "For those in peril." It starred David Farrar, John Slater.
"The Sea shall Not Have Them" was made ten years later at Felixstowe.
Great Photos & nostalga. I only spent one day at Newhaven during my Nashos in 1956/58. Then sent to The detachment at RAF Thorney Island. Which I have never regretted.

Regards Jim.

Jim is quite correct of course, the 1944 film WAS called "For those in peril". My apologies. (From Richard who originally posted this page)

By James P Knight.
On 22/02/2009

I was stationed at Newhaven in 1967 as a wireless operator. My vessel was the Pinnace and am almost sure its serial number was 1390. Our only other vessel at that time was an ex RN 'Ham' class inshore minesweeper. This vessel was alleged by its crew to have appalling sea keeping qualities in heavy weather.

By Mike Sargeant
On 07/06/2009

I was also stationed at RAF Newhaven as a Marine Fitter from May 1968 to November 1970 and agree with Mike about the minesweepers sea keeping qualities in fact we would joke that it would roll on damp grass! We did a lot of work during those years for the then, now defunct, 'Ministry of Technology', in fact they had a laboratory on board with various items of equipment and the majority of the time the civilian technicians were invariably sea-sick. I have fond memories of my twelve years as a Marine Fitter in the RAF around the world.

By Peter Fox
On 25/08/2009

I am intrigued about the 'high' tide' shown in photo 2. Does anyone remember when the riverside was regularly flooded? The houses in Chapel St. were flooded as well as the RAF camp was and a 'little' wall was built along the side of the river to keep the water out. That wall is still there but I think it now has the new stainless steel handrail fitted on top of it.

By Peter Fox
On 28/08/2009

I spent two and a half delightful years at 1107 MCU Newhaven from 1959 until 1962. I was not Marine Trade but a Supplier running the Stores and driving the truck. Made many good friends there including my wife whose parents ran the "Hope Inn". I always equate RAF Newhaven to the old "Navy Lark" played on the radio many years ago. I dont believe anyone in the modern RAF would believe some of the things that went on there.

By Charles (Jimmy) James
On 09/01/2010

Richard Stark (my father) served with the RAF at Newhaven in the air sea rescue from 1941-1944. He was the medic on HSL 190 (whaleback). He and crew of 190 were used too film the high speed shots in the film, FOR THOSE IN PERIL. My father was also in 2 or 3 of the shots on land, one with John Slater. Bert Underwood was coxswain, whom I met in 1956 at a reunion in a hotel in Newhaven.

By Alan J Stark
On 19/04/2013

My father Walter Callander served in the Air Sea Rescue from 1941. He was with the Ambulance Service prior to being called into the Air Sea Rescue. He seen service from bases at Lossiemouth, Fraserburgh & Campbeltown. I am looking for any information, please.

By Alex Callander
On 24/11/2013

I spent my last year of RAF service here in 1969. I remember the trips out on the Ex.Ham Class minesweeper with the MOD boffins. They also had an inflatable boat. Radio callsigns were from "Magic Roundabout" Hello Dougal... this is Florence, how do you read over.

Sports afternoons were at the Pitch and Putt course near Saltdean.

Happy Days.

By Steve Foster
On 04/10/2014

I was stationed at 1107 MCU from 1970 till posted to Germany in 1971. Fond memories; I was one of three cooks - there was a Corporal,  a civilian (ex Flight Sgt) and me SAC.  I remember the food being first class till we got hold of it, transported by the station van from Biggin Hill.  The dentist was conveniently located at Tangmere.  I seem to recall that sports afternoons were often convened in the Sheffield if the weather was poor. Remember getting the short straw and having to do my time before the mast on a months jolly up to Campbeltown on the inshore minesweeper.  There was no cat supplied to swing around the snug galley.  Although not seasick could only do twenty minute stints down bellow.  Did we really use the washing machine to complete or personal hygiene? Met the first Mrs Bowers at Paddy Aherns birthday party on camp.

By David Bowers
On 09/05/2016

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