1153 MCU Boys 44 years on 

AIR SEA RESCUE UNIT 02-2019A1153 MCU Boys 44 years on
Royal Air Force
No 24 Air Sea Rescue Unit


as published by St Andrew's Church in the Gorleston Community Magazine

I was intrigued to meet a group who obviously had connections at the Remembrance Sunday Service at the ASR Memorial on Gorleston Quay last year. These turned out to be former members of the same crew who had served together in Cyprus 44 years ago and still keep in touch
The RAF'’s Air Sea Rescue Service saved thousands of aircrews in the Second World War, often in the most challenging conditions. RAF launches operated from Gorleston before World War II. No. 24 ASR Unit was formally established at Baker Street in 1940. A total of between 700 and 800 Allied service personnel were reported as being recused by No. 24 unit. The memorial is on the Gorleston side of the Great Yarmouth harbour bend near the Pier Hotel
John Leech sent me these memories:

“In your memorial photograph/s are members of the RAF ASR & MCS Club who served together as skipper and part crew of Her Majesty's Air Force Vessel (HMAFV) 2769 at 1153 Marine Craft Unit, RAF, Limassol, Cyprus in 1971 – 74
Living locally; John Leech, Dave Batchelor MBE, Steve Merrett OBE, Stephen McKay, Reverend Peter Paine and, from Sheffield, Joe Thomas
The launch was involved in a number of aircraft and maritime emergencies in the Eastern Mediterranean during this period, including the rescue of ten Turkish Navy seamen who, after their destroyer sank in unfortunate circumstances, had been adrift in an open rubber dinghy for almost three days in high summer temperatures. They were later winched off my launch by helicopter for transfer to RAF Akrotiri
I was based at Gorleston 1957 to 1959 when it closed, as helicopters had then taken over primary SAR duties in the UK”


Zara (Guest) 31/07/2019 17:52
My grandad is in this photo!! I wonder if anyone could get in touch and assist with me possibly finding out more about him and seeing any pictures that anyone has. I would be most grateful (Guest) 02/12/2019 19:43
I know a few of these pirates Far left is Sqn Leader Graham Duffy my CO @ 1102 MCU Gibraltar and I served with him at Mountbatten in Plymouth. 4th from left Dave Bachelor Served with him @ Mountbatten. 6th Looks like Ray Walker Technician, 7th Bill Kershaw, 8th Steve Smith (Smudger) Guy next to Dave was a master coxn name escapes me Len something
Ian Banks (Guest) 12/02/2020 21:48
My father John Banks served with 1153MCU in Limassol then Akrotiri during the troubles. Great memories of families outings to Mahmouts and driving the boat!