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U.S. Crash Boats

What's New

NEW 9/30/17 -  Under Builders, Boats, and Dates, well over 100 boats, many of them U.S. Navy, have been added to the database. Additional details have been added to some previously listed boats. Some foreign boats that were originally purchased by the U.S.Navy for Lend-Lease have also been added.
NEW 9/6/17 Under Manuals & Publications, an additional portion of the Maxwell AFB, Mongomery Alabama, Historical Files of Emergency Rescue Boat Squadrons 1944 - 1945 have been added to this site. The portion added covers the 13th, 15th, and more on the 12th ERBS, which includes Hawaii, Western Pacific, and Panama. This portion of the collection consists of well over 500 pages.


This is the website dedicated to the men and boats of the U. S. Army Air Force Emergency Rescue 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, 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.
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. I started collecting data because I wanted just a bit more information on my father's service in 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
  • 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 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 website. Due to the extensive contributions from its members of photos, manuals, information, and mission reports, this site has become sort of their unofficial 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.