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 Author  Topic: 64th anniversary of the Start of the Battle of Leyte Gulf
Gary Szot

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Gary Szot   Send Email To Gary Szot Posted on: Oct 9, 2008 - 9:02pm
On Oct. 13th 1944 Commander Bowling sailed from Mios Woendi in The Oyster Bay, with two other PT tenders, Willoughby and Wachapreague, a seaplane tender (Half Moon) two Army craft and 45 PT Boats under command of Lt. Comdr. Robert Leeson USNR. The PTs fueled from the tenders in Kossol Roads , Palau, and the tenders in turn fueled from tankers. En route from Palau to Leyte gulf , the PT's fueled at sea from the tenders so that they would arrive with enough fuel to immediately start operations. This was the longest and largest mass movement of PT's under their own power during the war and every one of the PT boats covered the full distance under their own power.

The Battle of Surigao Strait started in the early morning hours of Oct 23rd. Two Japanese Task forces steamed through the Mindinao Sea with the objective of forcing Surigao Strait and destroying our transport shipping in Leyte Gulf.

The Japanese sailed the Battleships Yamashiro and Fuso, heavy cruiser Mogami, and four destroyers, Michishio, Asagumo, Yamaguro and Shigure. Twenty miles behind them was the heavy cruisers, Nachi and Asigara, the light cruiser Abukuma and the destroyers Shiranuhi, Kasumi, Ushio and Akebono.

According to Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King "The enemy was first met by our PT Boats, then in succession by three coordinated destroyer torpedo attacks and finally by devastating gunfire from our cruisers and battleships

This battle went down as the second largest Naval Battle ever fought.


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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Thanks for the reminder Gary. Certainly no small feat in moving these wonderful small boats such a long distance. Not much has been written about this long move. I wonder what it was like to cover that distance in a small boat. How about refueling at Sea? That was no easy task I bet.............


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Gary Szot

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Gary Szot   Send Email To Gary Szot Posted on: Oct 11, 2008 - 4:16pm

Frank, This message board serves a very important purpose. Not only for trading photos and modeling tips but for me it serves as a constant reminder of a time in history that should not be taken lightly or ever forgotten. The boats, the men that served on them and the battles they fought enabled to give us the freedoms that we all take for granted these days.

Hearing stories by Earl, CJ ,Walt Kundis,, the Quartermaster and others brings us back to a time when young men were sacrificing their lives so that we could live our lives free from oppression and tyranny. Along the way we also had time for some humor.

I don't ever want us to forget what these boats and the men that fought on them went through in those trying times.

We have heard it said before "Iron Men in Wooden Ships" and no where is it truer than in the Battle of Leyte Gulf where PT Boats and their crews went up against incredible odds and came out victorious.

It is a shame that our WWII vets are dwindling in numbers and thats why I feel its important to let the next generation know what our fathers and grandfathers went through for us. History should never be forgotten.





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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Oct 11, 2008 - 4:52pm
Gary

I certainly understand what this message board represents, and I most of all can appreciate what these men did during WWII. I never take anything for granted when it comes to our freedoms, because I am smart enough to realize that I would not have the wonderful things I have today, if not for these men. I never forget about the boats and the men who manned them, made them, worked on them, fixed them. I have strived to keep their memory alive in my many Exhibits. It is because of my love, hard work and loyalty to these men of the PT BOATS, that the many hundreds that have viewed my Exhibits are educated.

They come away from these Exhibits with a much better understanding of the boats, and the men who fought on them. I get a sence of pride when a small 10 year old sits and watches the entire Elco Movie, then begins to ask questions. His first response "Boy were they Fast", followed by other questions pertaining to the boats. How joyful it is for me to see a WWII PT BOAT Veteran come into my Exhibit, slowly taking everything in, then when he thinks no one is looking, shed a tear. It is because of what he did during the War, that I can put these Exhibits on for peope to enjoy. It is because of him, that that same 10 year old can come into the Exhibit with Mom and Dad and learn about the boats. It is because of him that I and countless others have embraced the boats of the past, and do our best to keep his memory alive. No Gary, I do not take our freedoms lightly, and I more then most, go above and beyond to keep the PT BOAT VETERANS in the public eye for all generations to come.


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Gary Szot

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Gary Szot   Send Email To Gary Szot Posted on: Oct 11, 2008 - 6:21pm
I agree with you completely and applaud you for your tireless efforts in keeping these memories alive for our next generation. My dad passed away in 1992 and I never really had a chance to talk to him about his time in the Navy. It is through stories told by veterans on this board that has enabled me to have a better understanding of my dad. Nothing would have given him more joy than the opportunity to stand on the deck of a PT just one more time. When I cleaned out our family home and came across his wallet, it really hit home how much the Navy had meant to him. Looking through his wallet I couldn't find any photos of my mom or my brother but instead I found just one crumpled photo of his beloved PT.

I sometimes feel the need to remind people of what these boats and men did during the war. There are many instances of heroic feats that should be brought to light time and time again so that we don't forget.

I live in California but last year I made the effort to see your exhibit and go to Battleship Cove.

The only stories I remember my dad telling me was the exodus from Mios Woendi to Leyte Gulf and an incident with the 525 and 523 boat one rainy morning. He never ever got to finish that story because he would get too emotional and walk away.

Frank I agree with you totally and this is my way of trying to make people remember what this is all about.

Gary Szot
2nd Gen RON 36 PT 525


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Robert Orrell

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Robert Orrell   Send Email To Robert Orrell Posted on: Oct 12, 2008 - 2:35am
Thanks, Gary

I think the old saying is correct - "Lest We Forget!"

All of us need to be reminded occasionally of the sacrifices these great men made.

My cousin, Lt. Robert W. Orrell, effectively had his naval career ended at Leyte Gulf when PT 523 was hit by the Jap planes.




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don hauth

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of don hauth  Posted on: Jan 10, 2011 - 1:02pm
My father Hauth Wilbur C was a machinest mate on the USS Willoughby. He apparently also filled in as a temporary replacement on different PT Boats for sick or injured seamen. Dad will not talk about the war but he has related to me he was part of a squadron of pt boats that provided a defensive perimeter around the beachhead when MacArthur waded ashore. Anyone out there who remembers my father or other missions he may have been on?

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  TED WALTHER

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TED WALTHER   Send Email To TED WALTHER Posted on: Jan 10, 2011 - 4:53pm
Gentileman;
I will have you know that this and earlier in the war, the RON 1 to Midway missions are still the cornerstone of long distance Naval Special Warfare long range refuel/mobility situations to this day. In 1999, I had a similar situation which I am not going to get into but it was a 1200 nm transit total with refueling off a PC. Same deal. PT's tested and learned, taught us 65 years later. Thanks RON 1 and Leyte guys (RON 7, 12, 21 33, and 36) the mission worked out just fine.
Take care,
TED


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Scott Swiger

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Scott Swiger   Send Email To Scott Swiger Posted on: Jan 13, 2011 - 12:14pm
It may seem fitting that the USS Leyte Gulf (cruiser) is about to leave port with the USS Enterprise for a seven month voyage.


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