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WWII Patch, RCAF Search and Rescue Command SRC Royal Canadian Air Force Marine Section

WWII Patch, RCAF Search and Rescue Command SRC Royal Canadian Air Force Marine Section

Product Information
WWII RCAF SRC Command Squadron Patch
RCAF Search and Rescue Marine Section
Royal Canadian Air Force Marine Section

Walt Disney Design
5.5 inches

Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Marine Section History - "The Air Force Navy"
Prior to 1924, Canada's involvement with air defense consisted of Canadian airmen flying with the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service, with the short-lived Canadian Aviation Corps, and with a small two-squadron Canadian Air Force attached to the Royal Air Force in England during the First World War. In 1920 another Canadian Air Force was established in Canada that was concerned mostly with military flight training and civil operations. This Canadian Air Force was renamed the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1924.  After 1968, the RCAF was merged with the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Navy to form the Canadian Forces, and air force functions were divided up and placed into several new commands. On September 2, 1975 Canada's military air services was organized into a single command: Canadian Forces Air Command.  Canadian Forces Air Command (AIRCOM), also known as the Canadian Air Force, is the air force element of the Canadian Forces. AIRCOM is the descendant of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), which was Canada's air force from its foundation in 1924 until February 1, 1968. 

Off the east coast, buffeted by wind and waves, soaked and shivering from the cold,  the pilot of a downed Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Hurricane,alone in his small dinghy, peered anxiously through the mist and rain for some signs of a rescuer. With darkness fast approaching and the wind rising, he realized only too well that spending the night alone on the inhospitable Atlantic was risky business. Then, barely audible at first over the sound of the wind and water,came the faint throaty growl of powerful engines.  Moments later, an RCAF launch came alongside; soon another thankful friend of the "Air Force Navy" was wrapped in blankets, sipping a hot drink, safe, alive and ready to fly again.  This incident took place 55 years ago, on 2 May 1944 off the Nova Scotia coast.   And, although equipment and personnel changed somewhat, this story was repeated numerous times both before and after this period by men and vessels of the Royal Canadian Air Force Marine Section.  <Link>

To tell the tale of the Marine Section properly, it is necessary to go back to the very beginning of military flying in Canada . After World War I and prior to1939,most of the Air Force's aircraft were amphibious (in fact, prior to the outbreak of World War II, five of the eight squadrons that made up the regular component of the RCAF were equipped with flying boats or float planes). To service these aircraft, small boats of different sizes and shapes were used, from collapsible canoes to scows. These craft were manned and maintained by personnel who were to become the RCAF Marine Section.

Marine "Air Force Navy" strength on the eve of 1939 was 64 assorted vessels and 153 officers and airmen. Only a small portion of the vessels were powered, the greatest number being scows and assorted small craft.  When the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan came into effect in 1940, the RCAF Marine Section was charged with the responsibility of providing rescue and standby vessels to those stations situated near water  To meet the immediate need for more vessels, several commercial fishing boats and small yachts were chartered and an energetic boat building program was set in motion.   Eight more 38-foot crash boats were built, also eight 56-foot refueling scows with a capacity of 12,000 gallons each. In addition, three 84-foot supply vessels for coastal use were launched.

 In 1943, two marine squadrons were formed in the RCAF, one in Eastern Air Command based at Dartmouth , and one in Western Air Command based at Jericho Beach , Vancouver. It was in this year that the RCAF Marine Section reached its full wartime manpower peak, with a strength of 941 officers and airmen operating 384 marine craft of all sizes and shapes.

Of particular importance was the role carried out by the Dartmouth-based marine squadron during the later war years.  Sailing as escort and “survivor" ships for the trans-Atlantic convoys setting out from Halifax, the vessels and men of the RCAF marine section, particularly the crews of the Eskimo and Beaver , shared the same dangers and hardships as their bigger brothers-in-arms.  Besides carrying out convoy escort duties from Dartmouth , the Marine Section also ran regular supply runs to Newfoundland ’s and Labrador 's outlying stations.  In addition to coastal work, the Eskimo and the Beaver undertook to transport, even though unescorted and lightly-armed, the equipment of No. 162 Sqn. to Iceland .

Both marine squadrons on the east and west coasts carried out search and rescue, supply and patrol work until the end of 1945.   Space does not permit the listing or accounting of all the rescues performed by these two organizations during the war years, but many aircrew and civilian personnel will attest to their efficiency and professional seamanship which saved many lives and many dollars in equipment.


Price: $92.50

Product Code: PatchX.RCAF.MarineSearchRescueCommandSRC
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