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U.S. Crash Boats

Packard Engine Specs.

NEW - The information on Packard engines under the Engines tab has been updated with both new and conflicting information from other sources.


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, specically information on their 63' boats. 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, their bases, and sailors
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.

Three Packard Engines FOR SALE

This website is not intended to list items for sale. However, this seems to be a fairly uncommon situation.
I have been contacted by a man in Vancouver, Canada (not Randy Cunningham) with three Packard 4M 2500 engines for sale. At least one is a W14 model.
The serial number for one engine is 12125W14.
I do not know the man and have not seen the engines; I'm only passing on the information.
The gentleman states he has owned the engines for about 40 years.  But is not sure when they last ran. He further states that all three are complete running units and can be rebuilt.  One engine has a Marine Gear. Brand is Snow & Petrelli. Joes Gear Mod #3865.
The gentleman states that he will sell the engines either indivitually, or all three and is open to offers.
I urge anyone considering purchase of these engines to do their own due diligence as I have not seen the engines and do not know the gentleman. This is not to imply that he is anything other than 100% honorable. If you are interested in making an offer, send me your contact information through the web contact form on the  "Contact Us" page and I will forward it to him.