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Army Air-Sea Rescue Sq. Gulfport MS 1944 (crash boats school) graduation

Bill Zurkey
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2011/12/16 10:24:01 (permalink)

Army Air-Sea Rescue Sq. Gulfport MS 1944 (crash boats school) graduation

I completed the required course as 'boatsin' (sp?) for a Warrant Officer Commission in Gulfport MS in early 1944. Rewarded with a 2 week furlough only to return and find the General Arnold had de-activated the school. Since the St. Louis fire in the '70s destroyed so many records, I'm not only looking for my outfit, but my discharge never showed that I was part of the army air force, that I entered as a cadet on Nov. 10, 1943.  The only record I have of being in the Air Force is the completion of my radio operator at the Sioux Falls SD school. When the Battle of the Bulge came, we were all transferred to the infantry at Camp House, TX to be re-trained as rifleman replacements. We were moved to the South Pacific and the Battle of Luzon (sp?) in the Phillipines. I'm open any to advice how to find  my records and any information on my tenure that I entered in basic training at Kessler Field, MS.

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    Re:Army Air-Sea Rescue Sq. Gulfport MS 1944 (crash boats school) gradu 2011/12/16 14:17:16 (permalink)
    At least some of your records survived. The link below is tou you I assume .... Willaim L, enlistment date same as you entering as a cadet ....

    Try contacting the National Archives; even when a man's records were lost in the fire there, it's sometimes possible to reconstruct a record using " alternate sources ", such as payroll records, hospital records, etc ... I had a link to the archives page dealing with this, but they have gone through a web redesign, and the link is no longer good ... try this one below, and click around to see if you can find any of these sources, or write/email them and request they find or reconstruct as much as possible for you.

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    Re:Army Air-Sea Rescue Sq. Gulfport MS 1944 (crash boats school) gradu 2012/05/16 18:01:08 (permalink)
    Bill....did you receive a diploma for completing the Crash Boat Crs?  That too could help prove your AC service.  The AC had crash boats, but the Army didn't....I don't believe.  The Army had more boats than the Navy but crash boats were totally AC as far as I've been able to determine. 
    Were you to receive a WO commission upon completion of the school or was there further training required before that would have happened?  Just curious.  I was aware of a Cicel Nickerson who went to the boat school and was commissioned a WO but I'm unaware if he had other requirements to complete to be commissioned.  I believe he was involved in sailing as a civilian prior to the war and that might have had more to do with it than the school.
    In the past I've asked the question, could AC personnel be rotated to the Army?  Your answer says yes they could.  Seems to me the Radio Operator Crs would have pertained more to aviation radio equipment than Army field equipment, but maybe it's all relative. Maybe a radio is a radio no matter who owns it.  Dad attended the Radio Operator/Radio Mechanic Crs which I've come to discover was a gateway to Gunnery School, but dad ended up at Control Tower School after that and never saw any WWII service with the Army...just the AC working on the B-24 flightline before ending up on a crash boat.  They already had a radio operator so they made him the Engineer.  Go figure, I guess he was just excess personnel and they didn't know what to do with him.  If not for a lack of points, they could have just sent him home it would seem. At least he didn't end up in the infantry but at some point some did even after completing obvious AC training.

    Son of Cpl Charles Caldwell, Engineer Crewman, USAAF Crash Boat P-258, Rey Island, Panama (Pacific side)
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