Dinghy Drop - 279 Squadron RAF 1941-46, by Tom Docherty
Book published by Pen and Sword in 2007, 259 pages. Hardback with Dust Jacket (N3769)
Brand New Book
In September 1941 approval was given for the formation of two long-range Air-Sea Rescue squadrons. This led to the formation of No 279 Squadron at Bircham Newton in Norfolk, and it was initially equipped with Lockheed Hudson Aircraft.
In the period leading up to the formation of the squadron there had been much work done in relation to air-dropped survival equipment such as the Lindholme Dinghy Dropping Gear, the Bircham Barrel and the Thornaby Bag. These contained such items as water, food, first-aid kits and distress signals. In addition, 279 was the first squadron to employ the airborne lifeboat, which was carried beneath the bellies of the portly Hudson.
In January 1942 a practical boat, fitted with oars, sails and engines was put into production with the intention of slinging it under the bomb bay of the Hudson and to drop it by parachute!
In October 1944 the Squadron was re-equipped with Warwick Mk I aircraft and relocated to Thornaby in the NE of England. By now its Air Sea Rescue net was cast wide and there were detachments at Tain, Fraserburgh, Wick and Banff (all in northern Scotland) and Reykjavik!