|BCN02||The First Air Sea Rescue by Flying Boat||£10.95||Buy Now|
Issue Date: 29/05/2017
Issue Name: The First Air Sea Rescue by Flying Boat
Producer: Buckingham Covers
This cover commemorates the first air sea rescue by flying boat and has been produced in partnership with The National Museum of the Royal Navy. It features an image of a Felixstowe flying boat, and has an Imperial Airways Flying Boat stamp. It also features a 5 pence and a 50 pence Machin stamp and has been postmarked in Felixstowe on the anniversary date.
100th Anniversary - First Air Sea Rescue by Flying Boat
On the 24th May 1917, Air Mechanic 2nd Grade Wright was flying as observer, with Sub Lt H.M. Morris, in a seaplane over the North Sea on patrol duties and submarine searching, when their plane crashed into the water. For six days, with little to eat, they held on to one of the plane landing floats that fortunately survived the crash. Part of a newspaper article describes their ordeal:
“There was also the danger of going to sleep, and we could not do that. When we had been hanging on to the float about five or six hours I said to Wright, ‘I think I could do with a square meal.’ His teeth were chattering with the cold, and it took him quite a long time to say ‘Same here.’ Then he said, ‘I believe I’ve got something in my pocket.’ He brought out a waterproof envelope full of milk tablets. There were twelve altogether and we decided to have one a day each.”
“I think it was on the third night we heard a squadron of German airplanes returning from a raid. One of them circled round us and fired a verey light and then flew on to join his companions. In any case we did not expect any help from them, for if they had landed in the dark, it is ten to one they would have hit one of the mines clustered about us.”
“But on the sixth day we were just about finished. Our tablets were finished and I was having a rotten time with swollen limbs, through swimming round the float for exercise. We were both at the last gasp and could hardly find the strength to cling to the ‘raft’. When the seaplane containing Flight Commander Lindsay Gordon and Flight Lieutenant G. Hodgson arrived on the morning of May 29 we could scarcely believe it. But when we were understood that it was a rescue, we both gave in and fainted.”
James Lindsay Gordon DFC was born in Montreal, Quebec. He learned to fly at the Wright School of Aviation in Dayton, Ohio. In 1916, the Royal Naval Air service (RNAS) accepted his application and he flew with great distinction as as a flying boat pilot on patrols over the North Sea originating from Felixstowe air station.
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