In May 1940 the British Expeditionary Force and both French and Belgian forces were trapped on the beaches surrounding Dunkirk. A major operation was initiated to evacuate these troops known as Operation Dynamo.
Hindering these efforts were huge fires in the oil refineries alongside Dunkirk harbour.
London Fire Brigade (LFB) were approached for assistance and the Massey Shaw fireboat was dispatched to France with an enhanced crew of both LFB and Auxiliary Fire Service staff.
Although the fire boat was not used for firefighting, she assisted in the evacuation of many troops and in the rescue of both sailors and soldiers from a sinking French warship. On their return to London, the Massey Shaw and her crew received a hero's welcome.