HMAS
Air Faith

Class
Air/Sea Search and Rescue Vessel
Type
Air-Sea Rescue Launch
Pennant
ASR 909 Y258
Builder
South Coast Co, USA
Commissioned
8 February 1945
Decommissioned
29 August 1946
Fate
Transferred to the Royal Australian Air Force in 1949. Sold in July 1968
Dimensions & Displacement
Displacement 24 tons
Length 63ft (19.2m)
Beam 15 ft (4.57m)
Draught 3 ft 4 in (1.01m)
Performance
Speed Up to 28 knots
Complement
Crew 7-8 including 2 RAAF telegraphists
Propulsion
Machinery Twin Hall-Scott petrol engines
Horsepower 1,200 bhp
Armament
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 & rescue vessels