WHITE WING

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

There could be no better evidence of White Wing's participation in Operation Dynamo than the account by A.D. Divine DSM whose widely respected book Dunkirk recounts his participation at Dunkirk by sailing in and skippering White Wing with Rear Admiral Taylor aboard on the 2nd June 1940.


The Admiral who was in charge of Operation Dynamo's Small Vessels Pool Sheerness, crossed to Dunkirk with the aim of organising the evacuation of the last parties of soldiers from the beaches.


A.D. Divine writes '' 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 about pottering looking for stragglers.


A.D. Divine then recounts that 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.


White Wing returned with 6 rescued troops.


Previous owners have included Mr. N. Blewitt whom first registered White Wing with the A.D.L.S. Mr. D. Piper and Mr. D. Parker.


Having found White Wing in North Wales in November 2019 her new owners will endeavor to have her ready for the 2020 return.

Comments:

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.


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.


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 hazard 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!


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 relinquished 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?

Login to post comments


I also knew her in my childhood, 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 gentleman 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 carried 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 outer scale 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.

 

©2020 The Association of Dunkirk Little Ships. All rights reserved.