World War II arrived at a time when airplanes were scarcely thirty years old. Engines were small, passenger capacity was limited and only the biggest of the flying boats had the fuel tanks and safety features necessary to cross the oceans. But war changed that quickly and within a year, bombers and fighters were routinely crossing the Mediterranean, the English Channel, and most daunting of all, the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. Naturally, the odds caught up with them and planes crashed. In time, hundreds of them were ditching a year and with that came the necessity to develop an air-sea rescue service – and from that comes this remarkable history of courage, willpower, and determination. The air sea rescue services faced hard choices and bad odds – but they flew each mission determined to save one more pilot, one more aircrew, and to bring one more man home again. Includes first hand accounts unpublished for 70 years.