PT Boat Forum


Moderated by: Dick, Jeff D

The PT Boat Forum ª PT Boats of WWII ª  PT Boats - General

Page: 1 of 1

Back to Topic Index Page 198 | Replies: 5

 Author  Topic: From A Veteran, To Veterans
Jeff D

Moderator
  

    
Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: Apr 21, 2009 - 1:45pm
Jeff here, the following was sent to me and I asked for permission to post here. While I welcome and deem it an honor to post stories on my site, also contact HQ here so they can preserve the history too. For probably longer than I or my site will be around.

OPEN LETTER TO ALL ORIGINAL PT BOATERS

AND ALYCE GUTHRIE, TOO

Splinters and now even Slivers are standing the watch as we old coots who crewed the Mosquito Fleet disappear over the horizon in ever-growing numbers.

Retired Master Chief Gunners Mate Jack Duncan here. I was in one of the old Rons, Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 5. I rode "Mosquito Boats" from Tulagi and Iron Bottom Sound all the way to Mios Woendi in the Dutch East Indies. That was back in 1943 to 1945. I was the torpedoman on the PT-103, the first of the Elco 80-footers; then the PT-62, an Elco 77-footer; and finally the PT-318. Ron 5 was decommissioned on February 15, 1945, at Mios Woendi and her remaining seven boats were transferred to other Rons.

I joined Ron 5 as a barely 18-year-old Torpedoman Third Class and left it as a Torpedoman Second Class. Im proud to have been promoted to Petty Officer Third Class before turning eighteen. The "Mate" was added to the rating of Torpedoman years later around 1947 or about the time a SecNav took away our right-arm-rating badges or "crows."

I served much later as Command Master Chief of Coastal River Squadron ONE with collateral duty as Assistant Officer-in-Charge of variously the PTF-21, the PTF-22 and the PTF-26. This was a Reserve component assignment attached to an active Fleet unit as part of Special Warfare, Pacific. That service was from 1972 to 1976. I laid undisputed claim to be the only WW II PT Boater to serve in the Nam-era PTFs. The "F" stood for Fast.

By now, my aging contemporaries should be wondering about a torpedoman becoming a gunners mate. That was simple. On my return Stateside after a too-long first tour, I volunteered for a school in Florida mostly because it seemed like something different from riding little green boats. Besides, being a California boy, I had never been to Florida.

So, off to Fort Pierce and the Amphibious Base I went for a brief school before returning post haste to the Western Pacific (WestPac) as an Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) Swimmer - a Navy frogman. There are no torpedoes in UDT, subsequently named SEALs, so I changed my rating to Gunners Mate. The end of the conflict found me assigned to the Philippine Sea Frontier as a Navy policeman in war-ravaged Manila until 1946.

Well, I chose to stay in the USNR, was recalled to active duty four more times for a total of 18 years on active duty. I returned to WestPac several times - as a Special Warfare Reservist - back to the Philippines repeatedly, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Formosa Straits, even to Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. I was able to add Midway Island, Wake Island, Kwajalein, Eniwetok, Guam and Saipan to places visited and earned more ribbons during a couple of more wars. Remember the term "fruit salad?" They also hung on my chest the Trident or Budweiser or Flying Pickle Fork gold pin of a Navy SEAL in addition to the Combat Craft device and the large badge of a Command Master Chief. Cripes, I looked like a Russian General with a port list!

It was a great "part-time" career ending with a final tour of active duty as Pacific Fleet Subject Matter in Counter-Terrorism that led to a civilian teaching job at the Fleet Training Center in San Diego after retirement at age 60. I quit that paying job to become an unpaid rifle coach for Navy ROTC and JROTC units for 13 years, staying in uniform off and on for a total of 56 years.

I still stay active as the Arizona State Junior Co-Director for the Civilian Marksmanship Program mentoring to almost sixty JROTC rifle teams in three states assisted by my wife, Marlene. I also volunteer as a presenter for the Joe Foss Institute, giving addresses to students throughout Arizona, again helped out by Marlene. But, we old PT Boaters all know that we won WW II single-handedly. Our boats destroyed the entire Imperial Japanese Navy and we will always be the greatest - just ask us.

All is well in the desert and life is good even though my own children reside afar in Tennessee and Oregon, I stay in touch with many old shipmates on the computer. I know that our triple digit heat sounds too hot to breathe for most of you guys, but here in the desert with the humidity usually in the lower single digits "its a dry heat." Air conditioning makes the cars cool, the house cool, shady patios make the outside livable and besides old bones relish the warmth.

Let us all know what you are doing, how you are doing and what you are planning. We geezers need to stay in touch - those of us who remain. And, above all, write down your memories of those days or speak into a tape recorder or allow some of the younger generation to interview you, drawing out those almost forgotten memories of yesteryear. When we go on our last patrol, the history of those times will go with us unless we do that - before its too late.

Check the website, www.pt103.com, or have a grandkid do it for you for ideas to write down. It aint braggin, its history.

Regards,
Jack Duncan
3941 Lunar Dr.
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86406
dryfrog@npgcable.com



Total Posts: 2193 | Joined: Dec 21, 2006 - 1:30am | IP Logged

Jeff D

Moderator
  

    
Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: Apr 21, 2009 - 2:10pm
He also sent an image:




Total Posts: 2193 | Joined: Dec 21, 2006 - 1:30am | IP Logged

  TED WALTHER

TOP BOSS
  

    
Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TED WALTHER   Send Email To TED WALTHER Posted on: Apr 21, 2009 - 7:30pm
Jeff;
I believe Rush Alexander had a a son or nephew that posted his photos somewhere. I remember seeing several photos of PT 62 crew at Emirau.
Looking at Jack's history we have alot of people in common, GMMC (SWCC) Jim Gray USN(Ret)for instance, at COSRIVRON ONE(PTF-24), SBU 13, SBS 1. Does Jack have any more photos of 103, 62, and 318 that show the boat? Ask him what UDT he was in, I have a someone who lived near me on the Eastern Shore from UDT 25, his name is Paul Aspas
TAKE CARE,
TED


Total Posts: 3003 | Joined: Oct 16, 2006 - 7:42am | IP Logged

Jeff D

Moderator
  

    
Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: Apr 22, 2009 - 3:11am
You are good Ted, this was a note in his e-mail:

Picture acquired from Rush Alexander, Dixon, California, circa 2005

You should shoot him an e-mail, it's at the bottom of his message. He mentioned that cameras were forbidden, particularly in the early stages of the war, and that fairly recently several pictures were stolen along with his wallet...



Total Posts: 2193 | Joined: Dec 21, 2006 - 1:30am | IP Logged

earl

MASTER
  

    
Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of earl  Posted on: Apr 22, 2009 - 11:38am
hi guys mt grandson bradley is apparently going to be the one to carry on my pt boat info.he is a young man that happens tyo be interested in the "boats" and myself.
TED I LIVE ON THE SHORE TOO.MAYNE WE ARE CLOPSE BY.IF YOU CARE TO LET ME KNOW WHERE YOU CAN E MAIL ME AT PT108EARL@AOL.COM EARL PT 108 RON 5

earl richmond

Total Posts: 197 | Joined: Oct 18, 2006 - 12:13pm | IP Logged

Jeff D

Moderator
  

    
Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: Apr 22, 2009 - 4:01pm
Great Earl, fill his ears up!

My Grandfather died when I was six, he never did get over a mustard gassing in World War I. I wish I could have known him better, I'm told I'm a lot like him. I do have what is supposed to be his Army issued pocket knife, a green handled Boy Scout knife. Have you ever heard of that?



Total Posts: 2193 | Joined: Dec 21, 2006 - 1:30am | IP Logged


Lock Topic

 

Forum Legend

New Member

Reply to topic

More than 25 posts | Full Member

Reply to topic with quoted message

More than 50 posts | Advanced Member

Edit Message

More than 150 posts | MASTER

View profile

More than 300 posts | TOP BOSS

Email member