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U.S. Crash Boats

St. Lucian Cruise

6/1/2020 - The story of the delivery of a brand new 85 ft. rescue boat to St. Lucia and the very long and challenging return trip to Florida on an old 83 ft. rescue boat. Click on the Mission Reports  button on the left side of the screen and the story is about 10 to 15% of the way down the page that opens.


5/21/2020 -  May 19th marked the first anniversary of the fire on the CIPACFLT Admiral's Barge. The Admiral’s Barge (C-3007) for the Commander In Charge Pacific Fleet was the last 63' rescue boat still in U.S. military service and was based at Pearl Harbor. The Navy has completed its investigation of the fire and I received a copy of the report on May 19, exactly one year later. The report was only very slightly redacted and I have posted the  relevant information from the report as an extended caption under the first photo in the album..  To go directly to the album and read the summary, as well as photos of the boat both before and after the fire click here .

The Kanmon Tunnel Caper

5/16/2020 - They were preparing for what could have been the climax of a James Bond movie, but they were preparing for the invasion of Japan with an incredible plan that implimented a cross between  drones and  smart bombs. Eighty-five foot rescue boats were combining with B-17s to go on the attack against a high value target in Japan's home islands. To access the story, click on "Non-Standard Applications" in the colunm of buttons to the left.


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. 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.

Crash Boats for Sale or Donation

Currently I'm aware of two 63 foot crash boats for sale or donation. The boat for donation is on the East Coast and is in need of extensive restoration. The boat is free but restoring it will be expensive and time consuming.
The Next Two Boats are Beautiful Restorations
P-619, the last 63 ft. crash boat in its original military configuration is on the market for a reduced price of $250,000.00 She is located outside Vancouver, B.C. Canada.  To go directly to her album on this website CLICK HERE.
P-520, the last 85 ft. crash boat in its original military configuration is available to an accredited museum with the ability to cover delivery costs and future maintenence. To view photos of the boat, click on the PHOTO & MISSIONS button to the left, then click on the 85 ft. Album and scroll down toward the bottom. To see additional photos of P-520 CLICK HERE. She was on loan to the Morro Bay Maritime Museum for the summer but has returned to her home port of Long Beach, CA and still available to the right museum.
For contact information on any of these boats, use the "Contact Us" button on the left.