White Wing

Boat Specification
Boat Name: 
White Wing
Boat Type: 
Motor Sailer
Boat Length: 
28ft
Boat Beam: 
8ft 6ins
Boat Draft: 
3ft
Boat Displacement: 
6.5 tons
Boat Engine: 
2 x Morris Navigator
Boat Construction: 
Teak on oak
Boat Builder: 
Osborne, Littlehampton
Boat Year: 
1939
0

There could be no better evidence of White Wing's participation in Operation Dynamo. A.D. Divine DSM, whose book Dunkirk was published by Faber in 1945, recounts how he sailed for Dunkirk in White Wing with Rear- Admiral Taylor on Sunday, 2nd June at 8.45 pm. "The Admiral proposed to supervise the lifting of the pocket of men from Malo-les-Bains in person and also to take charge of other small boat movements through the night. White Wing was capable of approximately 12 knots but, owing to trouble with her starboard engine, did not make this speed all the way across".

"Having the Admiral on board, we were not actually working the beaches, but were in control of operations. We moved about as necessary and after we had spent some time putting small boats in touch with their towing boats, the 5.9 battery off Nieuport began to drop shells on us. It seemed pure spite. The nearest salvo was about twenty yards astern, which was close enough. We stayed there until everybody else had been sent back and then went pottering about looking for stragglers."

David Divine then tells how, as dawn was breaking, he saw a troop-ship alongside the Mole receive a salvo of shells in her boilers and blow up just as she was picking up some of the 1000 French troops waiting to board her. "It was quite the most tragic thing I have seen in my life." he writes.

Nick Blewitt found White Wing quite by chance in August 1994, when he went to Aberdovey in North Wales to buy an engine for another boat he was restoring. In the mid 60s the boat was sold by Jamie Nesbit Evans, a well loved local man who had sailed her in the locality for some thirty years. Nick fell in love with the boat and to his wife's consternation bought her. Then he heard rumours that she was a Dunkirk Little Ship. Jamie Evans confirmed the story before he died and David Divine's book in the local library provided the details.

In fact, White Wing's teak-on-oak construction had survived the years of neglect very well and Nick and Alison soon had her sailing again

Source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11 & 19

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Comments

White Wing

James Nesbitt Evans did not abandon White Wing and would be devasted that you have put this on the internet. her owners after him were ;- Dennis Jeavons Dudley Sadler Denis Parker (my late father in law). if you would like more information I am Ian McCutchion 07870 828 315 cindyianmc@talktalk.comcommu

White Wing

James Nesbitt Evans did not abandon White Wing. She was sold to Dennis Jeavons and then to Dudley Sadler. My father in law Denis Parker bought her from Sadler in June 1968. We owned her until 1979 when she was sold as part of the deal for the sale of the house behind your photograph. I am Ian McCutchion 1 Melin Ardudwy Aberdyfi Gwynedd LL35 0RY. Tel 07870 828 315. I can furnish you with more information if you desire.

White Wing

Further to my comment of yesterday, I have discussed this matter with my Mother, who will be 89 shortly, and remembers White Wing at Aberdyfi. When Jamie Evans had Fulmar built, he sold White Wing to Dennis Parker, who came from Coventry. Dennis Parker died some time later. Cannot remember when, precisely, but would hazzard the mid to late 70s. What happened to White Wing subsequently I cannot say. Was she found in Abertafol? This was the usual winter storage place for Aberdyfi boats, at the time. Whatever, we (my Mother and I) are of the view that it is wrong to say that Jamie Evans abandoned White Wing, since he sold it to Dennis Parker, who kept it on the river, and used it on a regular basis, for a number of years afterwards, until his death!

White Wing

I remember White Wing very well. Indeed, there is an oil painting of her in Penhelig Harbour, Aberdyfi, with the Margaret, Dear Constance and Nucklecracker, painted by Ann Ockenden in 1960, hanging in my study. I can see it just by turning to the left. I first went to Aberdyfi in 1957, when my Grandmother bought Yelland, next to the then Gray Jones Garage. White Wing was moored just off Yelland during all the summer periods that I used to spend there. We always knew that she had been a Dunkirk boat. I remember that Jamie Evans had a new boat built, called Fulmar, and he then relinquised ownership of White Wing, though she remained in active use at Aberdyfi. I stopped going to Aberdyfi, in the mid 1970s, so I cannot comment on what happened after then. In my recollection, White Wing didn't have the canopy & screen that shows in your picture. Have you added that since?

White Wing

I also knew her in my chidhood, sailed on her 2 or 3 times , she did have a sail and jib of a fashion . Owned as far as I knew her first by a gent called 'Webb'. Whether he brought her to Aberdyfi , I know not but she was there in 1958. Mr Evans restoration was to a very high standard as you could expect being an Aston DB3 owner . Renewal of the two [austin petrol engines] was carried out at this time. Also in 1959 /1960 most of the timber refit was carriied out by a chap called Potter who first told me of her Dunkirk service . Had a look at her when laid up in the boat yard in the early 90's but despite my long term 'love of the old girl' felt that with her rotten transom and already chopped length, [an early repair ] I hesitated and I missed the deal . How is she in 2010? hope the outerscale screen has been removed? Made her look as bad as a prewar car with a spoiler on the back.
Simon Worman, Aberrangell 2-5-10