361st FG Message Board

361st FG Message Board
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Message for Steve Gotts

Bill Beyer was in the air sea rescue for a short period of time. He sent me interesting story about one of his experiences doing it. I will ask Bill about posting it here. What magazine was the article about the air sea rescue in? I remember looking at it at the reunion but can not remember what it was in and I wanted to let Bill know.

Bill Beyer's Air Sea Rescue story

Bill said I could post it here.

"I'm suprised at steve gotts comment about the air sea rescue as I didn't think it was really important and recorded. Yes I did spend a week or so on air sea rescue and it could have been a turning point in my life..I was flying the old thundebolt and one day I was alone flying around the english channel looking for anybody in the water. I was close to the coast of holland and sighted something in the water. I decended and there was a person sitting upright in a yellow dingy. I buzzed it many times to see if any response but the person never moved or gave any indication of life. I gained altitude and called for air sea rescue boats. Could not raise anyone and was very frustrated as I felt responsible for the person in the raft. After many agonizing moments I finally decide that a mans life was worth more than this P-47 and decided that I would bail out over him and paddle us both back to england. I climbed higher to an altitude that would be safe for bail out and got ready to go, but tried one more attempt to contact air sea rescue. This time air sea rescue responded and I gave them the location of the person. Never did hear if they picked him up
. Thinking back over the years I often thought it could have been a german pilot in the raft and he did not make any attempt to indicate life as I could have straffed and killed him, also had I bailed out and swam to him he most certainally would have shot me too."