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  Grimsby Tidal Basin / Immingham Dock

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Updated: 6 Feb 06

Opened at Royal Dock Basin: < Aug 1939

Moved to Immingham Dock: Oct 1940

Closed: 16 Dec 1945, possibly to care and maintenance

Reopened: Jul 1947

Closed: 12 Feb 1958

Units based here:

22 ASRU :: 1940 - Dec 1945

1110 MCU :: Jul 1947 - 12 Feb 1958

22 Motor Launch Unit, later Marine Craft Unit was based at Grimsby Tidal Basin and later Immingham Dock throughout World War II.

On 16 Dec 1937, HSL 103 was sent from Calshot to RAF North Coates. Prior to the numbering of wartime ASRUs, launches were allotted to RAF Stations. It is certain however that HSL 103 would have been based at Grimsby. The base at Grimsby Tidal Basin was designated No 22 ASRU when established in August 1939, parented by RAF North Coates.

The duty boat would be moored in the Marine Dock Basin, with the reserve boat lying in the Alexandra Dock, at Lock Hill. Repairs to the launches were carried out by their crews, assisted by RAF shore staff at Doigs Old Small slipway.

The Royal Dock basin dried out at Low Water Spring tide and its North facing entrance made it difficult in rough weather. This necessitated a move to nearby Immingham Dock from Oct 1940. The deeper water here enabled the boats to “lock out” at all states of tide, thus giving the unit the necessary 24 hour operational cover.

The ‘local’ rendezvous area for the Grimsby HSLs varied from 30 to 80 miles into the North Sea.

In May 1942, in addition to the RAF Mk 1 and Mk 2 launches of 22 MCU, the RN had two MASBs (63ft. Motor Anti-Submarine Boats, almost identical to the RAF craft) Nos. 26 and 29 at Grimsby. These were also used for ASR duty, as by this time all rescue work was under direct control of the Royal Navy.

In 1945, with peace secured, the RAF ASR fleet was drastically reduced with many wartime craft being sold off. 22 ASRU was disbanded at 10.00hrs on 16 Dec 1945. It is unclear whether the base at Grimsby/ Immingham was retained as a care and maintenance unit until it was re-designated 1110 Marine Craft Unit in July 1947.

1110 MCU operated a variety of craft until its closure on 12 Feb 1958.

location of RAF Walthamin relation to Lincolnshire - click here for full-size map showing all station locations

RAF Marine Branch
22 ASRU Grimsby
Grimsby Tidal Basin
1109 MCU Boston
1110 MCU Immingham

Air Sea Rescue
ASR craft photos

Air Sea Rescue museum, Flixton

RAF Air Sea Rescue history on RAF website

Key dates in ASR

AIR SEA RESCUE and  MARINE CRAFT SECTION CLUB crest
ASR/MCS Club

1109 MCU website

Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire
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