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Portsmouth in Hampshire County, England, United Kingdom
 

RAF – HSL 102

 
 
RAF – HSL 102 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, July 31, 2018
1. RAF – HSL 102 Marker
Inscription.
RAF – HSL 102
“The sea shall not have them”
HSL 102, built by the British Power Boat Company at Hythe in 1936, is one of only 22 100-Class High Speed Launches which were used by the RAF to rescue World War 2 airmen from the sea. The launches operated from various bases around the coast of Britain and saved more than 13,000 lives during the course of the war. HSL 102 is known to have operated from Blyth in the north-east and also from Newhaven on the south coast.

Aircraftsman T E Shaw, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, was involved with the development and evaluation trials of a RAF prototype seaplane tender, the 200 series. This hard chine, planing hull revolutionised high speed craft design and its success resulted in the larger RAF rescue launches, RN MTBs and MGBs which followed.

HSL 102 was capable of a speed of up to 42 knots and took part in the Battle of Britain. During a two-month period in 1941 she rescued 38 aircrew from the North Sea, including the crews of two German bombers. As a result, in July that year she was inspected by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

However, by the middle of the war the 100-Class had been replaced by the Type Two 'Whaleback' high speed launches. HSL 102 was transferred to the Royal Navy in 1943 and was used for target
RAF – HSL 102 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, July 31, 2018
2. RAF – HSL 102 Marker
towing, and by the 1980s she was in private ownership as a houseboat.

In 1993 she was spotted and bought by an enthusiast who began an intensive and thorough restoration, following which she was re-launched by HRH Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in July 1996, 55 years after she had first stepped on board.

Since then HSL 102 has been involved in film work, has acted as a royal barge for both HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Duke of Kent, and has featured regularly at boat shows and the International Festivals of the Sea at Portsmouth and Bristol.

Today she is on display and available for charter, thanks to funding granted by the National Heritage Memorial Fund to her current owner Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust, which works in partnership with Gunwharf Quays.

Current Specification
Type:   100 class High Speed Launch
Builders:   British Powerboat Company
Year built:   1936
Quantity built:   22
Displacement:   19 Tons
Length:   64 ft
Beam:   14 ft
Draught:   3 ¾ ft
Hull:   Mahogany
Engine:   3 x 500hp Cummins
Max Speed:   42 knots


 
Location. 50° 47.911′ N, 1° 6.542′ W. Marker is in Portsmouth, England, in Hampshire County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Route B2154
Raf – Hsl 102 image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, July 31, 2018
3. Raf – Hsl 102
and Clock Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Located on the HMS Warrior pier in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Marker is in this post office area: Portsmouth, England PO1 3QX, United Kingdom.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Labour of Love (a few steps from this marker); A Sad and Lonely Journey (within shouting distance of this marker); Homecoming (within shouting distance of this marker); Left behind by progress (within shouting distance of this marker); The First Black Battleship (within shouting distance of this marker); Warrior – the ultimate deterrent (within shouting distance of this marker); The Figurehead (within shouting distance of this marker); Beware of the Wolf (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Portsmouth.
 
Also see . . .  National Historic Ships UK RAF – HSL 102. (Submitted on September 11, 2018, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
 
Categories. War, World IIWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 11, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 11, 2018, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 70 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 11, 2018, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.
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