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 Author  Topic: African-Americans and PT boats
Glenn Knoblock

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Glenn Knoblock  Posted on: Oct 15, 2006 - 10:34am
Hello all...I am an author/historian currently at work on a book about African American naval casualties in WW II. My question for PT boaters is whether any of these men, who were rated only as stewards/steward's mates (serving in the war zone), ever actually served on the boats and made patrols. I know that they served on shore bases, but what about at sea as part of a crew? I've yet to document any stewards who were pt boat casualties. Other naval historians have speculated that perhaps blacks served as replacement crew when needed at the last minute, or perhaps late in the war when pt boats were more heavily armed and had some added crewmen. Any help or information that members can provide on the subject of African Americans and their service with PT boats, whether ats ea or ashore, will be greatly appreciated.

Incidentally, this site does list a steward's mate, Vesper Stuckey, who supposedly served in RON 25 and was KIA. My research has proven this to be incorrect. While Stuckey may have served in RON 25, he was not killed in action, but lived until fairly recently.

Thank you


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Steve Tuhy

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Steve Tuhy   Send Email To Steve Tuhy Posted on: Oct 17, 2006 - 6:30am
GLENN;
I REMEMBER MY DAD SAYING THAT THE STEWARDS ABOARD
THE U.S.S. VARUNA, AGP-5, (PT TENDER) WERE VERY PROUD OF THEIR 20 MM. GUN POSITION. THEY KEPT THE CANNON IN IMACULATE CONDITION AND WERE"DAMN GOOD SHOTS".
Steve Tuhy

Steve Tuhy

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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 19, 2006 - 7:01pm
Glenn:

In checking my sources, I do not have any knowledge of any African Americans making patrols with the PT Boats. I have based this information on several calls to at least 7 different PT Boat Crewmembers from 7 different Squadrons. However, most have said that many of them did serve on PT Tenders as Stewards, and many helped with the Gasoline Drums, Ammo Loading, and working Ship and Base Guns. As you are aware, African Americans at that time were segragated from the Whites and pretty much stayed with their own. Several Crewmembers even said that they did not remember any African Americans in the forward areas of the South Pacific except for Natives, which helped with many of the daily PT Boat chores.


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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: Oct 22, 2006 - 1:20pm
There are at least two photos of African-American stewards on and around PTs in the PT Boats, Inc. 50-year annual book "Knights Of The Sea."

On page 92, a steward identified as Oneal J. Joshua, half in and half out of the hatch just forward of an 80-foot Elco's charthouse, pours a cup of "Navy mud" (coffee) for a squatting PT officer identified as J.T. Lovvorn.

On page 121, two stewards identified as Shell and Golden are pictured standing side by side.


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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 23, 2006 - 12:59pm
Drew is absolutely right about the picture on pg. 92 of KNOTS. Joshua sure looks like a crewmember in that shot.

Will

Will

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Glenn Knoblock

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Glenn Knoblock  Posted on: Oct 24, 2006 - 3:19pm
Gentlemen,

Thanks all for your reply and the info regarding pictures. I have copies of many African-American PT boat photos from PT Boats, Inc., but have yet to find any evidence these men served on the boats on the high seas. I hope some evidence that they did comes to light, but I'm afraid Frank is right...due to the segregation that then existed in the Navy, blacks typically served in support services and it is unlikely that they were actually assigned to a PT boat as a regular crew member. Still, I hold out a very small hope that perhaps someone served as a last minute crew replacement. So far, during the course of my research, the smallest ships that African Americans have been found to serve on are PCs and SCs, though even their presence in these crews are few and far between. However, my research into Navy and PT casualties continues and we'll see if something turns up. In the meantime, keep the replies and comments coming...recollections from PT boat vets and their families are most welcome.
Best, Glenn


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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 24, 2006 - 4:07pm
For what it's worth, Joshua is carried on the official roster of those having served with the PTs.....

Will

Will

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Dick

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Dick   Send Email To Dick Posted on: Oct 25, 2006 - 12:12am
In William Breuer's "Devil Boats" there is a group photo of the Davis's Raiders. In this photo an African American PT crewmember is shown as part of the raider's group. The raiders were part of Lt. Comdr N. Burt Davis's Squadron 24. Pages 195-197 describe the photo's mission (using PT 338 as transportation) but does not detail individual members, just a short account of the raid on a tiny island off of Leyte.

I have posted this photo as well as the two earlier posted mentions of photos from Knights of the Sea. Please use the below link:

http://www.ptboats.org/posted/photos-01.html

All the best,
Dick



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Glenn Knoblock

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Glenn Knoblock  Posted on: Oct 25, 2006 - 6:32pm
Dick...Thanks for the reply and the photos. This is not a photo I've seen before and it certainly appears as if the black man in this photo was a crew-member. Does anyone out there know the specifics of the Davis Raiders. and its participants...Frank?

Best, Glenn


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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 26, 2006 - 10:06am
Glen: Davis's Raiders were a group of fifteen volunteers from Lt. Cdr. Burt Davis's MTBRon 24 who conducted small-scale raids behind Japanes lines during the retaking of the Philippines.

Will

Will

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