Flying Fortresses calls Mayday
At 11.35, the Mayday call was received from one of the Flying Fortresses (B-17F-35-VE S/N 42-5944, 301st BG 419th BS, pilot 1st. Lt. Charles Dodrill) on return from the attack on Blechhammer in Germany with only one engine in operation. Flying Control homed it to Vis. Simultaneously, the High Speed Launch HSL 2544 of the RAF SAR service stationed in Komiža, was scrambled and headed towards the south part of the island. Soon the crew of the launch saw a damaged bomber which, being too low, failed to land on the strip, and crash landed in the water off the south coast of Vis, not far from Ruda inlet near Rukavac. The crew climbed out of the aircraft through the radio room hatch. Due to the damaged and twisted tail and horizontal stabilizer, HSL could not quite approach the aircraft. Therefore the crew, helped by one British seaman who jumped overboard, swam to the launch. HSL rescued the complete crew of ten before the aircraft, after 35 minutes of floating, finally sank.