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 Author  Topic: What did PT Crews do when enroute aboard a merchant marine tanker
Mike Montana

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Mike Montana  Posted on: Oct 8, 2006 - 8:06pm
I got a general question - when the PT boats were being shipped from NY to the Pacific via merchant-marine ships, where did the PT crews stay? In their quarters on the PTs? What did they do on the ship for 2 months?

I'm thinking of the SS Stanvac Manilla. In '43 she was sailing from NYC w/ six PTs on her back, and a crew of 188, only 50 were merchant-mariners, the rest were listed as "naval personnel and officers". As the story is told in "At Close Quarters" the ship was torpedoed and the PT crews managed to salvage 4 of the 6 boats. The ship was an Exxon oil-tanker carrying 130k tons of oil. So I dont think it had quarters for 188 ppl on board the tanker per-se.


Any thoughts on where the crew stayed? what they might have done to keep from going crazy? etc?

"Self doubt clips the wings of Hope"

http://www.PT171.org

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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 9, 2006 - 6:20am
Mike:

Most crews stayed pretty much to themselfs, keeping busy readying the boats for the War Zone. Crews stayed right on the PT Boats, sleeping below deck or above deck. Although certainly not much to do during the trip, they had access to the Ship. Many wrote letters, listened to music ( if someone had a phonograph ) From talking with several crew members, many actually became seasick because of the slow roll and smell on the ship. They prefered the high speed of their own PT Boats.


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Will Day

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Will Day   Send Email To Will Day Posted on: Oct 10, 2006 - 7:50am
Mike: I know there are at least some instances when PT crews in transit stood deck watches aboard the transporting ships. Also, there were instances of the PT guns being manned during threat of air attack.

Will

Will

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TGarth Connelly

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Oct 10, 2006 - 3:44pm
Mike,

I would tend to think the crews stayed in free areas on board the ship that the boats were being transportated on. Remember, when being transported, the boats had their fuel tanks filled with a chemical that coated them and prohibited them from exploding and maybe this chemical was dangerous to humans?

Hey Mike, are you going to post that article?

Garth

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Jerry Gilmartin

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jerry Gilmartin   Send Email To Jerry Gilmartin Posted on: Oct 11, 2006 - 8:23am
Hi Garth, I just read the account on Mike Montana's PT171 website about how PT171 almost sank upon delivery. In it, it says how the PT boats started their engines in order to get out of danger from the sinking Stanvac Manila. So I imagine at least -some- PT boats did not have their gas tanks filled with that preservative stuff, else they would not have been able to start their engines. By the way what was the preservative? I have never heard of such a thing. Certainly not cosmoline? Let me know if you have the name of the chemical or where they used it. I imagine it would have been pretty smelly. Thanks Jerry

Jerry Gilmartin

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TGarth Connelly

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Oct 11, 2006 - 10:51am
Ya know Jerry -

I thought of that myself last night after I went to bed. And, it struck me as wierd. Wouldn't that be a common practice? I just remember reading something to that effect about the boats that were sitting on the pier next to the RAMPAPO on 7 DEC 41. They had their tanks coated ...

Hey Jerry, anything on the damned 659?

Garth

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Mike Montana

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Mike Montana  Posted on: Oct 11, 2006 - 11:36am
From what I've read, the fuel-tanks were filled with C02 - makes perfectly good sense: non reactive, prevents rust, moisture buildup, and its gaseous so it can be released simply by opening the valve and 'airing it out'.

Of course the real problem would have been finding a couple gallons of high-octane gasoline on a steam-powered merchant marine ship that was in the throes of sinking.


"Self doubt clips the wings of Hope"

http://www.PT171.org

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Will Day

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Will Day   Send Email To Will Day Posted on: Oct 11, 2006 - 3:29pm
I don't remember, does it state for a fact anywhere that the boats that were saved during the sinking were underway, or were they just simply floated free?

Will



Will

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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, 2006 - 6:42pm
Seems that Carbon Dioide was used as a gaseous fire suppression agent from the 1920's. In the PT Boats, they blanketed the Fuel Tanks with this stuff to reduce the risk of fire and or explosion. What they did not tell people was the effects on the body from exposure to this gas. Even a short term exposure could cause Headaches, Visual and hearing problems and difficulty in breathing. Deaths from Marine use were recorded as early as 1948, so who knows what the stuff did before the records were kept. But, it was the only agent available in those days to do the trick. I understand you could still operate the Engines in an emergency, but it was very risky to do so.


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  earl

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of earl  Posted on: Oct 18, 2006 - 2:41pm
hi everyone.welcome back. this just as general info.when i left San Fransisco,on a liberty ship i was,at the time not assigned to pt boats.i was assigned in numea new caledonia after i got there.while aboard the liberty ship i was assigned as one of the loaders on a 4 or 5 inch gun and was also assigned as helper in the galley.i was a ships cook 3rd class.
while aboard we listened to radio-news and music and tokyo rose.we also played poker,gin rummy,cribbage,black jack, and shot craps.we read a lot and had general quarters quite often.otherwise we were plain bored.it was cramped,dirty and smelly.oh well,so much for the good life.welcome back and congratulations on return of the message board.it was sorely missed. earl

earl richmond

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