Air Faith

Air/Sea Search and Rescue Vessel
Air-Sea Rescue Launch
ASR909, Y258
South Coast Co, USA
8 February 1945
29 August 1946
Transferred to the Royal Australian Air Force in 1949. Sold in July 1968.
Dimensions & Displacement
Displacement 24 tons
Length 63 feet (19.2 metres)
Beam 15 feet (4.57 metres)
Draught 3 feet 4 inches (1.01 metres)
Speed Up to 28 knots
Crew 7-8 including 2 RAAF telegraphists
Machinery Twin Hall-Scott petrol engines
Horsepower 1200 bhp
Guns 2 x twin Lewis guns

HMAS Air Faith was one of 21 air/sea rescue vessels originally built in the USA and Canada between 1943 and 1945, and transferred to the RAN under the Lend-Lease Agreement. These vessels were originally designed as anti-submarine craft but their high speed and manoeuvrability made them ideal as search and rescue vessels. In this role, their hulls were painted black and their upper decks and superstructure painted bright yellow. One vessel, HMAS Air Sprite, was built locally in 1960 to an almost identical design.

Air Faith was commissioned on 8 February 1945 in Sydney under the command of Lieutenant William Brown, RANVR, and officially listed as a tender to HMAS Rushcutter, and later to HMAS Madang. Her first few weeks of commission were spent at Garden Island in Sydney preparing for sea and conducting trials before proceeding north bound for Madang, New Guinea, where she arrived on 11 September.

Air Faith remained on standby for search and rescue duties in New Guinea waters and on occasion came to the assistance of other boats and small water craft in distress. On 3 April 1946 she began passage back to Australia departing Langemak under tow from HMAS Wilcannia in tandem with HMAS Air Guide, though part of the passage between Langemak and Port Moresby was conducted under her own power as foul weather made continuing the tow untenable. She arrived in Sydney in May and decommissioned on 29 August 1946. She was transferred to the RAAF in 1949. She was returned to the RAN in 1965 though did not recommission, and was sold on 3 July 1968.

Air Faith at speed
Air Faith at speed.
Air Faith in Sydney following her transfer to the RAAF
Air Faith in Sydney following her transfer to the RAAF.
A general arrangement plan of the Air class search & rescue vessels
A General Arrangement Plan of the Air Class search and rescue vessels.