The PT Boat Forum

Forum Category: PT Boats of WWII

Forum Name: PT Boats - General

Topic: Pilot Rescue

Someone mentioned crash boats recently which remined me of an experience we had at Green Island. We were tied up at our bouy one day when the signal tower semaphored us to get on the radio for a message. We normally didn't have the radio on when at the base unless we were "ready boat". The base radioman told us that a plane was in trouble and was going to ditch in the cove across the bay from the P.T. Base near our fuel dock. (P.T.s refueled at the dock at the end of the airport runway.) We fired up and went roaring over there full throttle - about 3 or 4 miles. About the time we arrived the plane was making an approach to land with wheels up. It was an SBD Navy dive bomber. We were about 200 yards away when they hit the water. It splashed water at least 20 feet high completely hiding the plane. When the water settled the plane was floating and the two guys in the plane already had the canopy open and were standing up inflating their mae wests. They got out on the wing then into the water. By then we were alongside to pick them up. Neither was hurt. The plane floated probably for 5 minutes or more. The pilot said their landing gear would not go down and they would rather land in the water than on the runway. We took them to our fuel dock and they went up the hill to the air base. We were called out a couple of other times to look for downed pilots but we never located them out in the open sea.

C. J. Willis

Posted By: CJ Willis | Posted on: Mar 15, 2008 - 12:05pm
Total Posts: 464 | Joined: Nov 5, 2006 - 5:02pm


good story about the plane. my dad was on a crash boat and am always looking for info as he my have been with ron 7 ? thanks

kendall p. strehle
avr c-26654

Posted By: kendall strehle | Posted on: Mar 16, 2008 - 7:58am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered

Terry Holtham of the Small Craft Group has recently published two books covering the 63' MIAMI that might be of interest. I have copies of both on order and should have them within a week or so. His previous works have been outstanding, and I expect nothing less for these. If you'd like to find out more, contact him at

Al Ross

Posted By: alross2 | Posted on: Mar 16, 2008 - 9:47am
Total Posts: 919 | Joined: Oct 30, 2006 - 8:19pm

Volume ! of Terry's crash boat book arrived today. Outstanding!!!!!!!!!

Al Ross

Posted By: alross2 | Posted on: Mar 18, 2008 - 6:29pm
Total Posts: 919 | Joined: Oct 30, 2006 - 8:19pm