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U.S. Crash Boats

P-520 Headed to Auction

2/1/2023  The court rejected the response of Lewis Palmer a.k.a.The Louisville Naval Museum a.k.a. Veterans Heritage Foundation, essentially clearing the way for the P-520 to go to auction. The honest and most honorable thing for the LNM etc. to do would be to sign the boat over to the Maritime Pastoral  Training Foundation who is owed the  $90,000+ to settle the debt and avoid going to auction.  That is also the wish of Mrs. Tretter, who feels she was misled into donating P-520 to a non-existant museum. That probably will not happen and given the current condition of the boat, she is unlikely to generate a large bid. It is most probable that Pastoral Training will take ownership of P-520 and look for a real museum to be her new home. 

P-520 Arrested by U. S. Marshals

1/9/2023 It has been reported that U.S.Marshals seized possession of the P-520 crash boat and removed her from Port Covington, near Baltimore, MD to a secure location. This was allegedly in response to the owner, Louisville Naval Museum,a.k.a.Vetertans Heritage Foundation, not paying for the shipping costs related to her transportation from California to Florida over two years ago and attempts at collection having  proved unsuccessful. This seizure is unrelated to the judgement for $450,000+ in New Jersey against Louisville Naval Museum related to a volunteer injury on the USS Ling. Nor does this seizure have anything to do with disgruntled former volunteers; its all about promises made but promises unkept.
For a more indepth article on the fiasco that led to the seizure of P-520 and the mess that is the USS Ling, I've provided a link to Annapolis Creative and an extensive piece researched by Donna Cole. Click Here.
More information on the P-520 is available elsewhere on this website. As of 1/10/23 at 3:00pm there has been an diversionary statement on their Facebook page regarding this development, to which only his acolytes could respond. 
1/17/23 A letter from the widow of the previous owner has been posted on several Facebook pages basically stating that she was mislead into donating the boat to LNM.  She is appalled with the abuse of P-520 and urges LNM to turn the boat over to the Maritime Pastoral Training Foundation.

New Linked Videos

1/9/2023 Two new links have been added under the  Links button. One features Hall-Scott engines and the other the developments leading to the Packard 4M-2500 engine, going back to World War I.


This is the website dedicated to the men and boats of the U. S. Army Air Force Emergency Rescue Boat Service and the U. S. Air Force Crash Boat Service, especially those who served in World War II and Korea. Whether you call them crash boats, AVRs, ASRs, 63' air-sea rescue boats, patrol rescue boats, or your favoriite is the 85' rescue boat, you're in the right place. While there is a lot of information  on crash boats available on the web, it is far from complete, sources conflict, and it is widely dispersed. The history of the service of the boats cannot be told without telling of the missions and memories of the men who crewed them. You will find many of their memories collected here. When clicking on the buttons or bars to the left, be sure to check for sub-menus, they lead to more detailed information!
While the focus of this site is on Army Air Force and U.S. Air Force air-sea rescue boats, relevant information from U.S. Navy sources is being added, especially information on their 63' boats. There are almost 100 of the 63' Navy boats listed on the "Bulders, Boats, & Dates" pages. The crash boats in the Navy were organized within Patrol and Reconnaissance Wings or Fleet Air Wings (FAW-1 through 19). About 230 U.S. Coast Guard 83ft boats have been added. While they were not focused on air-sea rescue work, they certainly did rescue work at sea and could be confused with the other military services' rescue work. I started collecting data because I wanted just a bit more information on my father's service in the Army Air Forces during World War II. When my son was growing up he once said, "Don't ask Dad what time it is; he'll tell you how to build a clock." After looking over this site, you will understand what he meant. 
I am especially anxious to locate the following:
  • 104 Ft. Rescue Boat Operator's Manual
  • Logbooks from Crash boats
  • Diaries of men while serving on crash boats
  • Good quality photos of crash boats and their bases
If you are able to loan any of the above, or other relevant material, please use the "CONTACT US" button to the left to extend your offer, or to make corrections to this site. As new information or features are added to this site you will see notice of it here. Please check back from time to time to check for additional information and photos.
While the AAF/USAF Crash Boat Association is still active, they no longer maintain a separate website but have chosen to sponsor this site. Due to the extensive contributions from its members of photos, manuals, information, and mission reports, this site has become their semi-official home on the web.
 In spite of the many hardships, for many of the men who served on these small boats, it was one of the most outstanding and rewarding periods of their lives. By now, most have passed from this life. I hope this site will keep their memory alive for at least a few years. Please feel free to copy any material on this website for your personal, non-commercial use.

P-520 Changes Home Port Again

Note: This website is not affiliated with crash boat P-520.  A post  on November 15th at 9:28am from Lewis Palmer, the president of the group that owns P-520, implied that the new permanent home port for the boat is to be Port Covington, MD, near South Baltimore. This was the fifth "permanent home" for the boat in a little over two years since the P-520 left Long Beach, CA. There was no word on how her one year lease  with a marina in Crisfield, MD, which Mr. Palmer said he signed in August, was settled. Prior to Crisfield, the home port for P-520 was Cambridge, MD.
P-520 cruised the Chesepeake throughout the summer of 2022.  As of late October 2022, per her Facebook page, she appeared to be under severe financial pressure. The organization owed the marina in Crisfield, MD for two months of electric power, a liitle over $500.00, and did not have the funds to pay the bill.  With the cruising season over, prospects for substantial donations are poor until spring. P-520 still has unrepaired hull damage from her trip on the yacht transport from California in 2020 and her overall appearance has deteriorated. The same group that owns P-520 appears to have recently dis-associated itself from the  troubled sub USS Ling. If you see P-520 outside of the Chesepeake Bay area, please report her location to this website via the Contact Us button to the left.  I do not want to lose track of the last 85' rescue boat in military configuration.