1st & 7th Emergency Rescue Squadron
ERS Air Sea Rescue
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Helping a survivor from the blister

1st & 7th Emergency Rescue Squadron
Operating from 1943 to 1946 first in Italy, the Mediterranean and the Adriatic Sea and later in India and Okinawa saving lives.

Italy - Click to EnlargeIndia - Click to enlargeOkinawa1st ERS "B" Flight FogiaPBY5A
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PBY "Cat" in Flight

The purpose of the 1st Emergency Rescue Squadron was to accompany Fighter and Bomber Squadrons while flying sorties and bombing missions during the invasion and subsequent victory in the European and Mediterranean Theaters. And later the 7th Emergency Rescue Squadron, most of whom came from the 1st, in the CBI (China, Burma, India) Theaters. Flying their multipurpose Catalina PBY-5A (Flying Boat) and sporting the bravest and most fearless crews, they effected immediate rescue of the "ditched" ship's crew. Whose misfortunes lay in being set adrift on the open sea. In so doing they not only save human life but trained and experienced fliers, who can again be at their battle stations with a minimum loss of time.

Exclusive of the humanitarian aspect, the monetary saving is not inconsiderable. It is estimated that the aggregate expense, to the Government, for the training program of an Air Crew of ten men, approaches a figure in excess' of $200,000. (1945 Dollars)

It is no small comfort to those brave pilots and crews flying into harm's way that hovering on the edge of battle is a friendly formation, waiting expectantly to pull them out of the "drink", should he be ill-fated in combat. Such peace of mind definitely contributed to the prevention of "War jitters" and "flying fatigue". It is no less reassuring to know that as soon as a ship is abandoned the location has been accurately plotted and a PBY is launched on its mission. Much of the fear of "ditching" was thereby circumvented and the hope of survival made almost a certainty.

French Survivor Lussier
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ERS Air Sea Rescue