History of the WWII AAF Crashboat




World War II AAF Crashboats

This popular craft has been adapted to many yacht configurations. This is a section to share all that we can about these graceful boats.


Visit this special article from THE SEA CHEST, December, 2002. It is the Journal of the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society. The article is "Bill Somers' Military Service, The World War II Crash Rescue Boat Years" by Chuck Fowler.

P-520 in Long Beach, Ca captured after a fresh paint job.
An Aviation Rescue Boat in Oregon that has been visited

Here is the Official AAF/USAF Crash Rescue Boat Association web site.

Design No. 379 85 Foot Aircraft Rescue Vessel

Submitted by Clark Green, Editor of Crash Boat News.

Introduction Letter from Clark Green Newsletter cover Armament

Outboard Profile

Engine specifications Dimensions Inboard Profile - Normal

Outboard Plan

Inboard Plan

Inboard Profile - SuperSize


Attention WindowsXP users, the Super Sized Image may auto size to one screen. If so move your mouse around over the image until you see this icon and click on it to make it full sized.  


Here are scanned Copies of the Quarterly Crashboat Newsletter

  July '03 Issue October '03 Issue  

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Scanned Photocopies of Crashboats in action.


J-680, Owens 42 footer up for repair at Constantine Harbor, Amchitka - '44 Scale model of P-115, 104 footer The 85 that tried to cross the Atlantic Two 85's Seattle bound off West Coast, June '44 from Los Angeles POE.

85 ft. P-512 on trial run - April '44 P-510, 85' on station near Adak. P-145, 104', trial run '43 10th ERBS, five 85's at Olson & Winge in Ballard for mods & repair, July '44
Dear Dan,
I am working on an exhibit on air sea rescue during WWII. I spent time on a 63 footer in Africa during WWII.
My work involved a lot of traveling around the country. If I got near an Air Museum I would look for an exhibit or mention something about crashboats. I never found anything I had a conversation with a four striper at the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola FL who had just finished 30 years service and had never heard of crashboats. I had many answers like that. I decided I would do something about it.
I went to the New England Air Museum at Bradley field in Windsor Locks CT. I had met the director several times before. He had not heard of them either ,so I started getting information from all over the country.
After I had a lot of information I went back and now I'm in the process of organizing material for an exhibit.
I looked for a plastic model of a 85 footer thought I had one in Holland but they could not deliver.
Clark mentioned he sent a packet of material to you , and suggested you send it on to me .I would appreciate if you would do that. I have a friend who is a whiz on old photos.
Enjoyed your web site.    Cheers 
Edward C. Wood
15 Rockwell Place
West Hartford CT


Hi again Robert,
The last time I told you about the photo's, I did not know where they were but now I have found them again and here are some, and I believe I have a few more but again, have to look for them. the one captioned, "Crash boat off Hawaii" has notation on back, which is,
"Some of our passengers waiting for the take-off. To the left is Soldiers Beach, an MTL at the left, and P-557 in the background".
The TBM Avenger has, "Just after a TBM Avenger buzzed us, with "Little Eva" our plane just under the Avengers tail. Picture taken from P-557.
Crash boat, has, "Lady Satan" taken from P-557
The last one has no captions, but I believe it was a convoy of the boats leaving Newark for the Pacific. I remember them being there and my Dad took me aboard P-557 for a grand tour.


I just found two more, One is the P-478 and crew, the other is guests on P-557.
Bill Burr