P-520: WWII & Korean War Crashboat

There are many sites that provide information about the crashboats and their brave crews.

The story of USAAF crash boats in Alaska in WWII and the men who manned them. My dad, Collins Wynn Sr, was a crew member aboard the P750 as a radio operator/cook from 1942 through mid 1945. He appears in this documentary at 12:18​ standing outside the pilot house to the right of three other crew. The P750 was a 104' crash boat and was the only one surviving into 2000 when this video was made. Its current status is unknown.



The U.S. Air Force's crash rescue boats were little-known but important parts of the rescue effort in Korea. After World War II, the Army Air Forces' dismantled its extensive network of rescue boats, but the war in Korea made them once again necessary. The Air Force regained a limited number of boats from the Army and Navy, and found Airmen with boating skills to man them. In most cases, enlisted men commanded rescue boats. The boats were not part of the Air Rescue Service, but instead were assigned to local air base groups.


Enjoy this comprehensive collection of information on the combatant craft or "Warboats" serving from before WW1 to the present day around the world. Sponsored by Combatant Craft of America, This project started in late 2000 in a conversation about how to capture the history of the boats and the men that served aboard them around the world.


Crash Rescue Boat is a name used in the United States to describe military high-speed offshore rescue boats, similar in size and performance to motor torpedo boats, used to rescue pilots and aircrews of crashed aircraft. During World War II these rescue boats, armed with light anti-aircraft guns for self-defense, saw extensive service with the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and United States Army Air Forces (USAAF).


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.

LATimesLA Times

The battleship-gray, 85-foot military craft bristling with four .50 caliber machine guns observed navigating the waters off the Orange Coast is a head-turner. What spectators lining the shore see churning through the Pacific waves belongs neither to the U.S. Navy nor Marine Corps. It also has no name. Its only markings are “U.S.A.A.F. P-520,” painted in black on the stern and both sides of the forward pilothouse.

Full Article Here:  https://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/news/tn-dpt-me-navy-craft-20170415-story.html

If the name does not sound familiar to you World War Two Veterans its because this is the name it was given when I was introduced to this 63ft boat. You may know it as a Crash Boat, Emergency Rescue Boat, Air Sea Rescue boat, and as the plaque on the boat reads ARB. I know for you  military people that ARB in WWII meant Battle Damage Repair Ship, but that's the name given by the builders of these boats.

More information at:  http://www.scottdavis61.com/avr.html

U.S.A.A.F. P-520
WWII & Korean War US Army Air Force Crashboat
Louisville Naval Museum Inc
PO Box 1183. Cambridge, MD 21613

100% of all donations made are used for the P-520. Our museum staff is unpaid and all proceeds to keep the P-520 operating. All donations are tax deductible as we are a 501c3. Donation letters are given upon request.