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Frank J Andruss Sr


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So much discussion lately on the Blacks in the PT Navy, it certainly gets one to thinking. I believe it wasn't until 1942 that President Roosevelt ordered the US Navy and the Marines to enlist blacks into these Units. It was the Coast Guard that took the first 150 Black Volunteers in 1942. More then 5000 blacks served in the Coast Guard with 965 being Petty or Warrant Officers.

Although Blacks could enlist in the Navy, many never bothered to get into front line service as they were restricted in 1942 to Shore installations and Harbor Craft. They could not serve on Combat Ships except as Stewards or Laborers.

These rules changed, but it was the White Officers that kept the blacks from advancing in those days. As far as blacks in the PT Service serving on the boats, my research although brief gives a thumbs down to any blacks serving as Crewmembers on the boats. As far as the Raiders of Ron 24, many rules for blacks were relaxed by 1944/45 and they were were shipped to the Pacific with many going to the Seabees Units. It was possible that this lone black Navy man was assigned to Ron 24 as Base personel and offered to volunteer. It is my belief that he did not serve on any PT Boat. Although ruled were relaxed, it is highly unlikely that Navy Brass would allow the white crews to mix with blacks on any Squadron Boat. Unless someone can prove me wrong, I stick by my statements on this issue. The photograph of the black man pouring coffee while perched in the open hatch of a PT Boat was a setup shot to show whites and blacks working together in the War Zone and to also show blacks as mess personel.

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