The Aleutians
The Lands of 50 mph Fog
The 10th Emergency Rescue Boat Squadron
11th United States Army Air Force Alaska - WWII Scapbooks: Wilbur Green
#1. L-R: P-512 and P-510 on their way to Alaska. 1943. [Original B&W] [Note: Original image was formatted as a halftone image (newsprint). Processed to remove halftone “dots.”
Note: The original photos sent to us were fairly small in size, some out of focus or blurry. I’ve attempted to enhance and enlarge them to present a more quality image using AI photo enhancing software. Sometimes we get good results, other times not so much. If you click on the thumbnail image you will be presented with a 2x enlarged version of the original photo. If you click on the “Original B&W” link you will be presented with the original file as received. The enlarged files are subject to a bit of distortion given the original photo’s small sizes and lack of detail…it is difficult to enlarge data that is blurred, of low resolution or lacking detail to begin with and expect a perfect image as a result!
The year was 1942. I was living in Ketchikan, AK. at the time, and WWII was in full swing. I made the decision to enlist in the 924th Boat Squadron. We received our training at the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) camp located at Ward Cove, AK. I received additional training aboard the "Chacke," a mail boat running between Ketchikan and Annette Island. The next stage of training involved several of the enlistees being sent to an Air Force Base located at Gulf Port, Mississippi to receive training in Celestial Navigation. Several months later we were sent to Treasure Island, located near San Francisco Bay, for gunnery training. We were finally billeted at Steven's Boat Yard, Stockton, CA. where the 104 footers were being built. Our objective here was to become familiar with the construction of the ships. When we took delivery of P-145 I was assigned as the Executive Officer, with the rank of Staff Sergeant. We proceeded all the way to Chernofk harbor on Unalaska Island, located just across from Umnak Island. It was from that duty station that the P-145 Proceeded to the B-24D crash site on Herbert Island, located in the Islands of the Four Mountains. CWO Mike Hatton was the Skipper of the P-145 (Mike was a former Bristol Bay Alaska Fisherman when sail was the only legal means of propulsion when fishing that area in the 1930's). Our Chief Engineer Eckly Guerin, and the first Mate Jim Hartley went ashore in a dingy to retrieve the survivors (see "Loss of 42-40080"). Both men received the Soldier's Medal for their efforts. We then returned to base where the survivors and the body of the Pilot, 1st Lt. James H. Jones, was turned over to the Doctors for their checkup. The P-145 also provided support for outpost missions in the area. Shortly thereafter part of the crew was sent to Los Angeles, CA ( a Long Beach Shipyard) to man five new 85-foot crash boats and transport them all the way to ATTU. I was fortunate to have been chosen to be the skipper of one of them. I was commissioned WO/JG as Executive Officer on the P-145, and then CWO Skipper on the P-510 when we arrived at ATTU. We were assigned a station off Alexei Point in Massacre Bay, Attu, Aleutian Islands. At one Point we went through an Air Raid by the Japs but they missed every ship in the harbor. They had lost their touch, not to mention the element of surprise, since Pearl Harbor. At one point we were tied up at the dock in Casco Cove when a B-25 crashed on take off. We tried to retrieve any survivors, but none were found. All we found were some body parts. One of our Radio Operators went into shock as a result of this mission and had to be taken to the base hospital. We never saw him again. He was sent to the States for rehabilitation, and is doing fine to date. According to two rescued crewmen at a recent reunion, the P-510 picked them up off the island after a return flight over the Jap Islands. I do not recall the details but neither do several others now in their late seventies and early 80 's. Wilbur (Bill) Green
PHOTOS
#2. L-R: Wilbur "Bill" Green, Axel Nelson, and William "Bill" Johnson on the P-510. 1943 [Original B&W]
#3. At Dutch Harbor, AK refueling. Around 1942-1943. [Original B&W]
#4. Here we are at Kodiak on our way down the Aleutian chain. [Original B&W]
#5. General Johnson (L) and CWO Wilbur Green, skipper of the P-510 in Adak, AK. [Original B&W]
#6. P-510 at Duty Station located on the west side of Adak. [Original B&W]
Current Update: 02 Dec 2021 12:31 Last Update: 04 Jan 2013 11:54 Originally Published: 22 June 2001
#7. P-510 located in Bay Of Islands, Alaska, 1944. [Original B&W]
#8. P-510 on standby off Attu Island, Alaska, 1945. [Original B&W]
#9. Here's a group of flyboys getting their moral boosted by visiting our boats, and knowing that we were there should they ever need our service. I don't know the names of the guys, but that' me front row center with no cap on. If anybody knows who these guys are, please get in touch with either myself or this web site's web master. [Original B&W]
#10. That's me, Wilbur Green, on the right waving the flag, and Bob Nesmith on the left while attending the 10th ERBS reunion at Newport Beach, CA near Los Angeles on the 11th of November, 2000. [Original Color]
#11. Here's a bunch of the old crew members at our re-union. Our boats look better today than we do! This was also taken at Newport Beach, CA. [Original Color]
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