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Rescue and Target Towing Launch 2748
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No: 1741   Contributor: Peter Langsdale   Year: 1964   Country: Maldives
Rescue and Target Towing Launch 2748

Taken about 1964 at MCU Alness, Cromarty Firth, Scotland. Among the many jobs I did whilst in the RAF was radar fitter, carrying out periodic maintenance on the Decca radar fitted to these launches. No motorways in those days, so we had to drive up from RAF North Luffenham in RAF Morris Minor shooting brakes, stuffed with test equipment, in two hops, with an overnight stop at RAF Turnhouse, Edinburgh.
I travelled to every MCU in the UK while on that job, and always asked for a full speed run out to at least 30 miles to "check the radar" - very exhilarating at 33 knots, hanging on for dear life!

RTTL 2748 spent some time at RAF Gan, Maldives, Indian Ocean around 1960, and I believe this craft may be found today in the Maritime Museum at Bristol.
A crash survivor relates (on the Flypast Forum) "Thankfully 2748 was in the water on the night of March 1st 1960 at RAF Gan, Maldives when a Hastings I was travelling in ditched in the sea in a raging storm 1.5 miles short of the runway. The crew of this craft saved 14 lives that night, including mine. I was pulled aboard from a dinghy by a boat hook inserted into the back of my Mae West, half holding on to a scrambling net. My colleague was less fortunate, he was hauled aboard by his hair!"
Picture added on 28 January 2008
add commentComments:
I have just discovered that 2748 has survived, been restored and may be at Bristol (2007). There is a photo of her, now painted white overall with black numbers, on the British Military Powerboat Trust web site in the Target Towing Launches forum.

Added by Peter Langsdale on 02 February 2008.
I was stationed at RAF Alness 1959 as a wireless op. I am trying to find a photo of the launch I served on, it was either 2757 or 2754 I am not quite sure. Can anyone help please
Kind regards
Edwin Smith

Added by Edwin Smith on 02 April 2008.
Now in plymouth - restoration continues

Added by KEITH on 18 May 2008.
In relation to 2757 based in RAF Alness in the 1960's, i have some great pictures and further information. Does anyone remember my father Ted Phillips (R1921163), he was the radio op on this craft.

Added by Christiaan Phillips on 24 January 2009.
My Dad was Stned in Alness between 76-78 Graham Matthews in his son. We are looking for info on who may know hima and pic of the boats and STN Crests. If any one can help, thank you.

Added by A MATTHEWS on 27 June 2009.
I have just seen the picture of the RTTL 2748. My Dad, Sgt Ron Claret, was stationed at RAF Alness between 1966 and 1968. He was Coxswain and I have his log books. They tell of many target towing and other duties in the Moray Firth, Cromarty Firth and to Lossiemouth, Invergordon, etc., with the 2748 and the 1391.

I don't have any pictures of either of these boats, so it was lovely to come across this one. Thank you.

Added by Jackie Jenkins on 13 October 2010.
If you still want a photo of 1391 let me know at I have a couple of her that I took when she was based at the MCU in Gibraltar circa 77/80.

Added by Steve Crossley on 25 October 2010.
2748 is moored in the River Plym, Plymouth of off Yacht Haven Marina and is in a sorry state

Added by Russ Cluer on 04 December 2010.
Has anyone pictures of the MK1 RTTL's? The ones named after bombers, apart from Spitfire, numbered from 4000-4007.
Be great to see if anyone has any.

Added by Andrew Wright on 15 December 2010.
Correction to my last post, the Spitfires were MK3's.

Added by Andrew Wright on 16 December 2010.
Hi Spitfire is in a sorry state located at NNS Pathfinder (Nigerian Navy Ship, shore base) Port Harcourt, Hurricane & Wellinfton are in Guinea Bissau where we handed them over after delivery from Rosyth (under their own steam) albeit a little tired but still healthy and requiring some work to be operational.

Added by Tony Byrne on 18 February 2011.
Tony! I understand Halifax went to the Nile. Thanks for replying to this, it would be interesting to know where all the seven boat's are now, and pictures would be better still.

Added by Andrew Wright on 24 February 2011.
Peter, were you ever stationed at RAF Glugor, Penang, and known as Radar. Never got to know your proper name, with Terry O'carroll as I/c Wireless mntce.? Sister ship on station RTTL 2755

Added by Tony Meagher on 06 April 2011.
Hello tony, no, I never went further East than Bahrain, and was a 3rd line servicing "expert" maintaining, retuning and repairing the radars on only the RTTLs in the United Kingdom. I had that job for a couple of years during mu total of 17 years in the RAF, and a great job it was too! I always insisted on a run out to check maximum range (30 miles offshore) as a final check. This was usually done at maximum speed, something like 33 knots, I recall - wonderful to get some sea air!

Added by Peter Langsdale on 07 April 2011.
Great picture, any one's taken of 2755 based in Singapore in early sixties.

Added by John Billinton on 15 August 2012.
I remember an air sea rescue launch named Spitfire that was permanently based at Gt.Yarmouth, would this be the one that Andrew mentioned.When I was on the docks we often used to cadge a cup of tea off the crew and we
all missed it when it disappeard [I think in the early nineties but I stand to be corrected].Sorry to hear that she is in a sorry state from Tonys report.As Peter says to see them on trial just off Yarmouth passing the pier heads flat out was an unforgetable experience

Added by Andy Wilson on 16 August 2012.
The Spitfire was the first of her class Andy, being slighly shorter than her sisters and having a pair of funnels, I think she was lenghened by extending her bow. Pictures of the Spitfire would be greatly appreciated if possible. She and her sisters were RTTL MK3'S.

Added by Andrew Wright on 17 August 2012.
Sorry Andrew I Dont have any pictures of Spitfire when she was stationed in Gt.Yarmouth
but if I get a chance I will pop into the local newspaper and have a browse through their library but it might take time Regards Andy

Added by Andy Wilson on 20 August 2012.
I was fitter on RTTL 2748 in Gan all of 1965. Great posting and good fishing . We took Lord Mountbatten out and caught a 197 lb.shark

Added by Jim Dunn on 29 September 2012.
Peter. I worked on the Decca Radar on both RTTL's as a Air Radar fitter. Left Alness in April 1964. So you must have completed the periodic maintenance which I started.

Added by Tony Eades on 11 November 2013.
I was an Air Signaller on 204 Sqdn, RAF Ballykelly and was detached as a wireles operator to 1103 MCU at Felixstowe during Aug. Sept. and Oct. 1958 while the rest of my Shackleton crew were in Christmas for the nuclear tests. The only time I went to sea was to take a launch to Calshot to have her Sea Lion engines replaced with Sea Griffons. I didn't record her number but it may well have been 2748.

Added by David Edwards on 18 May 2015.
Hi, can anyone tell me where I can get some pictures of RTTL Spitfire, call sign MUIF. I served aboard her and would like to have some pics to show my grandchildren, my email is mant thanks, Colin.

Added by Colin Jewell on 30 June 2015.
try this site Colin Jewell

Go to the Boats website of the ASR/MCS Club website. Photographs of all the craft of the RAF are on there

Added by Malcolm Gibson on 08 July 2015.
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