SEARCH AND RESCUE
B. GENERAL PRINCIPLES.
D. PILOT PROCEDURE IN A FORCED LANDING.
E. INSTRUCTIONS FROM BASE TO PILOT.
F. SEARCH AND RESCUE POINTS AND CODE NAMES.
G. REPORTING IDENTITY AND CONDITION OF SURVIVORS.
H. ORBITING SCENE OF CRASH.
I. LIFEGUARD SUBMARINES.
J. THE SUB CAP.
K. SEAPLANE RESCUE.
L. DUMBO PLANES.
M. DESTROYERS WITH AND WITHOUT PLANE COVER.
N. DUTIES OF CAP ON DESTROYER RESCUE MISSIONS.
O. LAND-BASED CRASH BOATS.
SEARCH AND RESCUE
The United States Navy places high value on her airmen and every effort is made to rescue them when downed. An extensive program for rescue facilities has been set up within the fleet. Pilots know that everything humanly possible will be done to pick them up when downed at sea.
B. GENERAL PRINCIPLES
Rescue operations very often require closer understanding and cooperation in operating procedure between separate commands and task forces than is the case for any other type of operation. In addition to units which have been specifically designed as rescue agencies during an operation, any surface ship, small craft, submarine, or aircraft participating in the operation may at any time be called upon to participate in a rescue.
Operation orders for air, surface, or amphibious operations against the enemy usually include specific provisions for air-sea rescue.
It is the responsibility of the OTC to see that downed personnel under his command are rescued. It is therefore imperative that all reports of survivors be immediately relayed to him. In this connection the DRT can be of great help in determining the geographic position of the survivors.
The OTC must know all rescue facilities which are at his disposal. He must consider the location of the survivors with respect to land and friendly ships in order to determine what type of rescue is most practicable. He must be kept informed of the progress of all rescue attempts and of their ultimate success or failure.
D. PILOT PROCEDURE IN A FORCED LANDING
When a forced landing is imminent, the pilot should attempt to establish communications with his own base, immediately turning on emergency IFF. If unable to contact his own base, he should contact any other base. The pilot should then advise the base of his best
estimated position and present altitude. This may be given as range and bearing from his base or other reference point, or in latitude and longitude. He should also give the base his call sign and type of plane, and the nature of the emergency.
Prior to ditching at night, the pilot will turn on emergency IFF and turn on all running lights. Position will be broadcast either with reference to reference point or point option, whichever is closest.
Other aircraft, if observing a crash, will drop float lights, transmit a report, and orbit the survivors turning on lights to guide rescue vessel. Survivors may assist by firing red Very star, signalling with flashlight, or by firing tracer ammunition.
E. INSTRUCTIONS FROM BASE TO PILOT
1. The pilot should be instructed to turn on his emergency IFF.
2. The pilot should be instructed to head for the nearest rescue facility, and advised to land well ahead of it. Planes which land astern or alongside of a ship underway increase the ship's difficulties by forcing it to back down or turn in order to effect rescue.
3. The pilot should be advised of the sea conditions, the direction and velocity of the surface winds, and any other pertinent weather information.
4. If several vessels are in the vicinity of the rescue ship, the pilot may be informed of the ship's identity and the type of signal the ship may employ.
Example; "Bird Dog--Destroyer is 3-6-0. She is on course 2-7-0 degrees. She will make smoke to identify."
F. SEARCH AND RESCUE POINTS AND CODE NAMES
In the interest of security as well as simplicity, land reference points are established in those areas where it is anticipated that the majority of water landings will occur in connection with combat operations. These points may be used in reporting the position of forced landings.
The position of any forced landing or survivor in the target area is reported in distance and bearing from the nearest reference point. The following sequence is used to report position:
1. Distance in nautical miles from reference point.
2. Code word for reference point used.
3. True bearing from reference point. Example: "15 Hairbreadth Harry 180."
Meaning survivor (or survivors) down 15 miles bearing 180° true from reference point (assuming "Hairbreadth Harry" to be the applicable code word).
It should be noted that the code name may serve not only to identify the reference point, but also as the voice call for any or all rescue agencies to whom the position report is addressed. No further voice call is required. Thus a complete message might read: "This is 99 Mohawk. 15 Hairbreadth Harry 180. Over." This message would be regarded as addressed to a lifeguard submarine station, a rescue PMB on station, a surface ship or rescue VOS that might be concerned in the rescue incident, or to several of such rescue agencies.
G. REPORTING IDENTITY AND CONDITION OF SURVIVORS
In addition to position, the identity and condition of survivors is necessary for efficient rescue operations and should also be reported. The following is an example of a possible rescue code.
1. The call of the survivor's parent carrier or base should be stated where known.
2. The type of aircraft, if known, using plain language or the following code:
Hawk--dive bomber (2-man crew).
Fish--torpedo bomber (3-man crew).
Eagle--medium bomber (6-man crew).
Box Car--heavy bomber (9- or 10-man crew).
Monster---VLB aircraft (11- or 12-man crew).
3. The condition of survivors, in accordance with the following words:
Goodyear--survivor(s) in a raft.
Yellow Jacket--survivor (s) in life jackets.
Davey Jones--survivor(s) without life jackets.
4. The number of survivors.
5. If dye marker is showing, the word "EVERGREEN" should be added.
Example: "15 Hairbreadth Harry 180. Mohawk Chicken. Goodyear One. Evergreen."
Meaning: One fighter pilot of (ship with call of "Mohawk") down 15 miles, bearing 180° true from the reference point, in a life raft with dye marker showing.
H. ORBITING SCENE OF CRASH
Any pilot sighting survivors of a forced landing or ditching is responsible for circling their position and for making a detailed report to his controlling base or to the nearest rescue facility. Futher, it is mandatory that he remain on station over the survivors so long as fuel and weather conditions permit, making periodic reports to the base controlling rescue efforts. The pilot may also drop smoke bombs or a dye marker to advertise the location of the survivors. If necessary, the controlling base will instruct the pilot to turn on his emergency IFF in order to obtain an accurate fix. If other planes are also at the scene of the crash, the controlling base may direct one or two to orbit as high above the area as visibility permits in order to facilitate communications and to insure accurate radar fixes. The controlling base will keep all elements concerned in the rescue efforts fully informed of the progress being made at all times.
I. LIFEGUARD SUBMARINES
During fleet operations one or more fleet submarines are designated as "Lifeguards" and are assigned stations as close as practicable to the target areas covered by our aircraft.
Any pilot expecting a forced landing because of damage, engine failure, or for any other reason before being able to return to his base is instructed to proceed to the position of the nearest lifeguard submarine. (This is not contrary to instructions covering utilization of rescue DD's but rather applies to those cases in or near the immediate target area where it would be impracticable for destroyers to cruise.)
J. THE SUBCAP
For the protection of the submarines against attack and for assistance in the protection and rescue of downed personnel, the OTC designates certain fighters as SUBCAP. The fighters assume patrol station near the submarine under the control of submarine personnel.
If VHF/UHF radio can be used, that will be the normal means of communication. If not, the assigned HF will be used, having due regard for the conditions of security involved. If no radio contact can be made or maintained, the best available visual means will be utilized--light signals, circling, zooming in and indicating direction, rocking wings, course changes, or other means.
The SUBCAP monitors the assigned rescue fiequencies. At its higher altitude it is in a better position than the submarine to intercept messages. If information of such nature cannot be picked up by the submarine, the CAP will endeavor to maintain an exchange of necessary information to effect the location and '•escue of downed personnel.
Figure 165.--Submarine rescue.
(a) Duties of the SUBCAP
The CAP under the control of the lifeguard submarine will:
- Locate and protect survivors.
- Guide submarine to location of survivors.
- Protect submarine from enemy action.
- Act as a radio relay station.
- Keep record of all downed personnel, knowing position and time, rescued or not.
- Inform relief SUBCAP of all personnel not rescued and reports not receipted for.
(b) Physical Procedure for Making a Sub Rescue
The lifeguard sub upon receiving a survivor report will proceed to the reported point and with the aid of its CAP will effect rescue. The rescue may be made difficult by enemy shore or surface ship fire, in which case the CAP will try to divert the fire or destroy its source. On such occasions it may be necessary for the sub to proceed to the downed pilot, submerged to periscope depth, in which case the pilot should try to hang on to the periscope tube and be towed out of range of enemy fire. This type of rescue has been successfully accomplished a number of times in enemy waters during World War II.
(c) Need for Reporting Results of Rescue Mission
Rescue CAP must immediately report to its base all unsuccessful rescues so that other means may be employed.
(d) Use of Other Subs for Rescue
Normally lifeguard submarines are employed only in the immediate target area.
Submarines other than designated lifeguard submarines may attempt to communicate with any impending forced landing in their vicinity and they will utilize the above procedure to effect rescue where possible.
K. SEAPLANE RESCUE
Seaplane rescue missions are flown to rescue personnel who are so situated that rescue by surface or subsurface vessels is not feasible.
Seaplanes can effect rescue in areas which submarines cannot reach because of shoals or shallow water. On the other hand seaplanes cannot operate in rough waters whereas this has little effect on the submarine.
The flight consists of an appropriate number of seaplanes or helicopters accompanied by a fighter escort (BIRDCAP). The seaplanes are kept in readiness for immediate launching and take off as soon as a mission is assigned. The fighters may be drawn from any source, their primary mission being protection of the slow, vulnerable seaplanes.
In a carrier task force operating with battleships and/or cruisers, one battleship or cruiser may be designated by the OTC to maintain its planes in condition 11 (10 minutes' notice) and a second battleship or cruiser to maintain its planes in condition 12 (20 minutes' notice). The OTC will also assign the rescue CAP.
(c) Briefing of Seaplane and CAP Personnel Both seaplane and CAP personnel are thoroughly briefed on all the available information so as to expedite the rescue. This briefing should include position of survivors, type and calls of CAP and rendezvous position, frequencies assigned for mission, and character of whatever enemy activity may be in the vicinity.
(d) Departure for Mission
Once rescue planes and fighter escort are airborne, they should rendezvous as quickly as possible and proceed on their mission. The CIC tracks them by radar and maintains a DR track after they have faded from the screen.
(e) Responsibility for Flight
The responsibility of leading the flight and directing rescue operations falls to the senior fighter pilot. When the seaplane is too heavily loaded for take-off after picking up survivors, it may sometimes taxi to the nearest friendly position, always under the protection of the fighters.
As in the case of the submarine rescue CAP, the fighters may find it necessary to strafe enemy gun positions during the time the seaplanes are on the water. It is absolutely imperative
that escort fighters keep rescue seaplanes in sight at all times from time of departure until return to base.
L. DUMBO PLANES
Dumbo missions are similar in nature to air-sea rescue missions but employ long-range flying boats in lieu of seaplanes. The principal advantage of flying boats over seaplanes lies in their long endurance and great carrying capacity. If rescue is not possible, they may drop survivor gear. They generally operate from shore bases and tenders, and their crews are carefully briefed before each mission; however, task force or task group CIC officers of forces operating at sea may assist Dumbo aircraft in numerous ways.
(a) Dumbo Communications Facilities
Dumbo's communication facilities should be known, so that Dumbo planes in the area may be contacted if needed. Since the Dumbo operates far from base, usually beyond VHF and radar range, all position information may have to be given in latitude and longitude supplemented by grid coordinates or bearing and distance from a known reference point.
When it is necessary for a task group CIC to furnish information to a Dumbo, the plane should be informed of all known enemy activity in the vicinity and of friendly movements in the area, both air and surface. The force or group CIC officer is also responsible for effecting rendezvous of Dumbo and fighter escort when the rescue mission requires protective cover.
The actual rescue operations are carried out by the crew of the plane, without assistance.
(b) Warning Friendly Forces of Dumbo's Approach
All friendly forces in Dumbo's operating areas should be informed of Dumbo's approach and mission. This is usually done in operation orders or dispatches, and should be given wide dissemination.
Another type of plane used in the rescue of downed airmen is the Pluto. This may be either land- or carrier-based, but it functions as a lifeboat-dropping aircraft. Fully equipped
lifeboats are carried slung under the fuselage and are dropped by parachute to personnel in areas where water landings or submarine maneuvers would not be possible. Equipped with sail and motor, these small craft are steered out of the area and toward the most convenient rescue facility.
M. DESTROYERS WITH AND WITHOUT PLANE COVER
Destroyers are assigned rescue missions because of their maneuverability, shallow draft, speed, and protective firepower.
If a rescue mission is necessary, the OTC assigns a destroyer, usually one engaged in picket or screening duties. If aircraft are
assigned as plane cover, the force (or group) CIC officer will give them their orders. They report in to the destroyer and are controlled by it until the mission is completed. It is often necessary for the destroyer to indicate itself to the planes assigned, by making smoke or giving course and speed to the CAP.
The destroyer is usually assigned to rescue downed air crews whose position is fairly well known, and who may or may not be in close proximity to enemy-held territory. Survivors of all water landings in the immediate vicinity of the task group are rescued by destroyers of the screen.
N. DUTIES OF CAP ON DESTROYER RESCUE MISSIONS
If aircraft are assigned as escort, they are employed to protect the destroyer by acting as combat air patrol and are controlled by the destroyer's CIC. They may further be used to strafe enemy shore installations and surface vessels. This, of course, means that adequate intelligence or visual information of enemy forces must be available and close coordination of ship control is necessary. This is achieved
by controlling the aircraft visually or by having special CIC lookouts relay information directly to air plotters.
If the rescue is to be effected at some distance from land, the CAP may be used as search units for survivors, and when they are located, the CAP should zoom or orbit the spot, aiding the destroyer in arriving at the proper point.
If aircraft are not assigned to the rescue ship, the problem becomes one of ship control and utilization of available information, including radar navigational information.
O. LAND-BASED CRASH BOATS
Land rescue boats of this type are available only at established bases. By their nature they are of short range and are under shore-based control.
In a few instances other surface units may be assigned to effect rescue. In such cases the problem is one of coordination between boats, ships, and available aircraft. The ship generally acts as coordinator, using aircraft as search units, the crash boats acting as search and rescue units.
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