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 Author  Topic: PT 109
Roger Pearson

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Apr 1, 2009 - 2:43pm
Hello from OZ,

I will be starting on the above model in 72nd scale soon and while I have some info on her configuration at the time she was lost I thought I should seek further info here.

Some articles I have found on various modelling sites indicatethings like she had no mast fitted, the portside depth charge was missing and the 'day cabin' windows were blocked off.

Does anyone here have any further info, especially photo's of the 109 at the time of her sinking?

Thankyou,

Roger Pearson.
Bendigo, Australia.
"Roger's Little Ships".

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TGConnelly

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Apr 1, 2009 - 3:09pm
She had the mast ................

Garth

Al, she did have the mast - I base that statement on what that statements that the crew wrote me - before you ask for sources.


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David Waples

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Waples  Posted on: Apr 1, 2009 - 8:18pm
Welcome Roger,
Garth and I clearly disagree on this issue. If you search the web site you will find the photographic evidence that the 109 did not have a mast. Myself and others have posted a number of pictures in this forum. I'm sure at one time she did, but sometime before JFK had her that mast was removed from the boat. There is no evidence that it was ever replaced prior to her sinking.

Dave

David Waples

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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: Apr 2, 2009 - 6:04am
Iam going to try and put in a call to the last survivor of PT 109 today. I would like to ask him this question, although he was on the boat prior to her being destroyed. This is a question I never asked my friend, Gerard Zinser, who was on the 109 was she was rammed. We shall see.


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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: Apr 2, 2009 - 6:05am
GUYS;
I hope this one does not go the same way the PT 109 paint topic went, but here is my two cents and few cents more:
In reference to some photos I have seen, a common practice around Guadalcanal.....in the early days(Nov 1942-Feb 1943 time frame), was to have the mast in the stow positionRON 2, and 6. This was for 77' as well as 80' Elco's. The thing making the two boats different in regards to this was the 80' was "folded" down on top of the dayroom. This would obviously create a tangle foot situation for the rear .50 cal gunner who might be in another location of the boat when GQ was sounded(for instance, a diving enemy plane coming out of the sun during daylight hours. If the gunner had to scramble across the top of the dayroom, he might trip and injure himself. I suppose this would also be true at night, but it is my impression the gunner would already be in the turret, since at night, the crew was already at a hightened sense of alert, and already at their posts/GQ stations, but it could happen. As for 109, I have only seen the really bad water damaged photo in Donovans book that might suggest, that 109 had her mast removed, however, it must be remembered, that during the time the photo was taken, JFK was op testing the boat, and honing the crews warfighting skills. So it is possible the mast was removed for some repairs/replacement. Even though the photo mention was taken between May-July 1943, it will be remembered 109 was supposed to recieve radar, which would have made her the first boat in RON 2 to get radar. If the line in the movie can be used as a loose reference point, this would have meant, she would have recieved her radar in SEPT 1943. Every other photo of 109 I have seen, does not have the correct angle to determine if the mast is removed or simply folded down in the stow position.The RON 6 PT 116 photo on Gene Kirklands site also shows 116 with either the mast folded or removed, the photo has to be enlarged to be sure. Lets face some operational facts her, the RON 2 boats at times only used the small mast on the stern to carry the national ensign, sometimes they got underway without it even up and at the time that was the only purpose for the large mast on the dayroom roof. Nobody used mast mounted signal flags, signaling was done with semaphore hand flags, or at night with blinker light.
It is interesting to note here, PT 109 was the first boat in RON 2 to mount a radar unit, under Bryant Larson command, a PBY surface search radar unit(the same unit seen on PT 28 on Gene's website) was mounted on the bow, but was removed after unsuccessful operational tests were performed. Even though JFK was supposedly to get radar installed on 109 in SEPT 1943, He was still the first Skipper in RON 2 to get radar permanently installed on the boat as PT 59, got hers in late SEPT 1943 and he was Skipper.
Take care,
TED


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TGConnelly

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Apr 2, 2009 - 7:16am
David,

She had the mast. I'm sorry.


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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: Apr 2, 2009 - 8:38am
Hello Fellas:

I just got off the phone with Maurice Kowal, last PT 109 Crewmember still alive. He suffers from differnt ailments and can sometimes be hard to understand. Today, he was willing to talk, and I asked him about the mast on the 109. He reply was "I never noticed the darn thing that much, although we did get underway several times with it, stowed away in the down position". We hung our commissioning pennant on it, best as I remember".




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TGConnelly

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Apr 2, 2009 - 8:52am
THAT's what he wrote to me in 1984.

Garth


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Roger Pearson

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Apr 2, 2009 - 1:32pm
Thanks Gents,

It seems I have opened a can of worms so to speak with some differing opinions. I'm not surprised really as things like this generally happen when modelling something. I appreciate the input now coming in and I hope some of you can point me towards/share with me some of the photo's mentioned?

Cheers,
Roger in OZ.

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Drew Cook

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Drew Cook  Posted on: Apr 2, 2009 - 2:33pm
Here we go again...

All wartime photographic evidence extant of PT 109 in the Solomons, which shows the boat from angles from which the mast could possibly be seen, DOES NOT SHOW THE MAST RAISED.

This is based on close examinations of the following three vintage photos:

#1) PT 109 idling into Tulagi Harbor on December 1, 1942 with 93 survivors of the sunken U.S. heavy cruiser Northampton on her deck (prior to JFK's taking command) -- NO MAST UP.

#2) PT 109 underway at sea off Guadalcanal (unknown date, but during JFK's command period) -- NO MAST UP.

#3) JFK and some crew members, on PT 109's foredeck in front of the charthouse -- NO MAST UP.

Unless I'm mistaken, there are approximately nine known and identified WWII -vintage photos of PT 109 "in the forward area;" the three I've mentioned, three shots of JFK in the boat's cockpit, a shot of PT 61 taken from the 109's foredeck in which the 109's port depth charge and tip of the port forward torpedo tube can be seen, and the two recently-posted-here Ken Prescott color shots of the boat moored next to PT 61, showing the port side torpedo tubes and the amidships/stern area with a shirtless crewman standing on deck.

I repeat -- the only three known photos of the 109 in the forward area taken from an angle that the mast could be seen that I know of SHOWS NO RAISED MAST!

There also exits an intriguing photo of seven PTs (four 77' Elcos and three 80' Elcos), moored side-by-side at Tulagi, published in several books -- NOT ONE OF THE THREE 80-FOOTERS IN THE PHOTO HAS A MAST UP. Since PT 109 was one of the first 80' Elcos at Tulagi, one of those 80-footers in that photo MAY HAVE BEEN THE 109 (WITH NO MAST UP).

I'm personally getting tired of this argument, and will (hopefully) end my part in it by stating -- AGAIN -- that, based on the photographic evidence extant (existing), PT 109, like a number of other 80' Elco PT boats in the Solomons, MOST PROBABLY DID NOT HAVE ITS MAST UP WHILE IT WAS COMMANDED BY JFK.

It's a free country, so make your models, paint your pictures, write your articles, and think of PT 109 any way you want to. Mast up or down, it doesn't really matter. Unless, of course, you're interested in historical accuracy, based on the best possible evidence -- which points to the 109 without a mast (at least in the period from December 1, 1942 to August 1-2, 1943).

Period!


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