April 10, 2022 Jordie Clark
CAMBRIDGE, Md. – Sailwinds Park in Cambridge received a historic visit from the P-520, a crash boat used in World War II. “We want to make this vessel the p-520 sort of Cambridge’s ambassador to promote Cambridge,” says Ted Yadlowsky, a consultant with the Veterans Heritage Foundation.
The boat’s arrival marked the start of a tribute to Brigadier General McGee, from the famous Tuskegee Airmen. Family members of General McGee were a part of the memorial service and received a flag from the boat. “Turning around and handing it to Ivan Magee and seeing the look in her eyes as she looked at me and we were both tearing up,” says Lewis Palmer, President of the Veterans Heritage Foundation.
While Cambridge is well known for its connection to the waters of the Chesapeake Bay, what’s not as well known is the fact that it was the site where many vessels, like the crash boat, were built. “This boat is an example of that living history to tell the crash boat veteran story and we want to include other museums and other groups to tell their story and how they all are interconnected,” says Yadlowsky.
The boat was used to rescue or recover soldiers from the water and in battle during World War II and the Vietnam and Korean wars. “That’s what it was about, was a selfless sacrifice to save a pilot and we thought that is a story to tell,” says Palmer.
While this specific boat spent years in California, she recently found a home on the Chesapeake. “I believe the Chesapeake is the best place for this vessel and to tell this story,” says Yadlowsky. He adds, “We’re hoping to set our foot here and build a museum that’s going to honor our WW2 veterans, Cambridge’s history.”
Organizers say there’s much more to be learned from here. “I think we can have something that Cambridge can be very proud of the Delmarva peninsula can be proud of and they can stand behind it in having the support of that,” adds, Yadlowsky.
Organizers say plans are in the words to convert Sailwinds Park into a War Museum which would include the boat as well. They say while the ultimate decision is up to the city of Cambridge, they want to truly showcase all of the rich histories that are there.