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 Author  Topic: Man overboard?
PeterTareBuilder

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of PeterTareBuilder  Posted on: Oct 31, 2009 - 11:14am
Hi there.

I have often wondered given that PT boats operated at night, frequently in less than calm waters and were often engaged in violent evasive maneuvering, and also since there were not any stanchions and railings at the boat edge, did many men fall overboard? If so, how were they recovered if the boat was evading enemy fire or vessels or aircraft?

Just curious.

Cheers from Peter

"Give me a faster PT boat for I'd like to get out of harm's way!"

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EARL RICHMOND

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of EARL RICHMOND  Posted on: Oct 31, 2009 - 11:40am
i don,t know if there was a set rule for this situation but the scuttlebut was that if you were "on station"or engaging the enemy he was left behind but that it was up to skippers discretion as to what he felt was the decision to pick him up or leave him.if you were just cruising you picked him up.if he went over on station you reported it on return to base and they would send boat or pby plane to try and locate him.it seemed the situation and location at the time decided what to do.if i am wrong please feel free to correct me. earl

earl richmond

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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 31, 2009 - 2:45pm
It should be noted that more often then not the boats on patrol would be muffled down to roughly 7 or 8 knots. Any violent manuvers happened very quickly without warning, as the boats operated in the dark of night. Crewmembers on deck instinctively held on to gun mounts, gun stops, day room railings, or whatever else was in easy grasp. Remember that those Packard Marine Engines could not just be thrown into high speed, as running at slower speeds tended to clog up the Carbs, which is why the Skipper would sometimes move away from the patrol area and run the engines at a higher RPM.

For those off watch, I am almost certain they dozed off but were never really into a deep sleep. I could be wrong here, and I am sure those who were there will correct me. I have talked to many guys who say they slept but the slightest noise or higher movement by the boat woke them up. I would think that at high speed while running from a Destroyer or Shore Batteries, you are holding on pretty tight. Its the guys below decks that would have a problem, not seeing or knowing which way the boat was going to turn. Thats a good question: What was it like at high speeds in the charthouse, or Engine Room and not seeing where you are going.

I would hate to fall into the Ocean on a top speeding PT BOAT, because if no one sees you, the noise of the boat would certainly drown out your cries for help, and by the time anyone noticed you were missing, the boat could be a long way from you. I have never heard of any boat losing crewmembers for the reason of a high speed manuver causing someone to fall overboard, but that does not mean it never haoppened........


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TGConnelly

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Nov 1, 2009 - 8:54am
To Frank,

Dude, .... your email address has fatal errors, just a FYI.

Garth


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CJ Willis

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of CJ Willis  Posted on: Nov 1, 2009 - 10:08am
Frank: I can only recall two "man over board" occurances in Ron 19. I am sure there were more. One happened on our 242 boat. as we were leaving for patrol from Vella La Vella. We had just cleared the entrance to Lambu Lambu Cove. It was one of those totally black nights. One of our crewmen (I can't recall which one now) was on the bow and was coming to the stern. On Higgins boats the deck is pretty narrow on each side around the gun turrets. There was a rail attached to the gun turret to hold on to but he missed grabbing the rail and went into the drink. We were going slow, just starting to rev them up. He yelled as he went in. We stopped turned the search light on. He had on a life jacket and swam to the boat - climbed the rope ladder back on the boat. He was fine - just got wet.
The other incident was on the 235 while they were idling on patrol off the Buka area. A.J. Nugon their skipper had the call of mother nature. There was a squadron rule that no one go below deck on patrol. He took the Scot tissue back to the stern. He was hanging over the stern holding on to the smoke generator - lost his grip and fell in. They turned the light on and fished him out. They were lucky though because it was in a hot spot for shore batteries.
Frank, when underway in heavy seas, you didn't dare go on the bow because it was much rougher the further forward on the boat and on the bow there was nothing to hold on to except the 37mm. up near the nose. Underway in really rough seas we would stand behind the cockpit and hold on to the radar mast. In really rough seas you have to stand with your knees flexed to take the shock. No way can you sit down. There was also some protection behind the cockpit from the salt water spray coming over the bow. Mid ship the torpedos were good barriers from falling over the side.
Like I have said before - it was strictly a young man's war.





C. J. Willis

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BobPic

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Nov 1, 2009 - 10:48am
The current posts give a pretty picture of the overboard situation, depended on circumstances, crew opinions and rules. Everyone feared falling overboard sometime. Even though the pictures of PTs at the factory had cable railings or safety restraints, I never saw one overseas. The Navy rule said the safety of the boat and crew meant you never tried to pick up anyone under fire or in other immediate danger. But our crew had our own policy (which the skipper pretended not know about) that rescue at all costs was the rule. The greatest fear was that someone would simply come up missing. We had a torpedoeman who fell overboard several times but it was never under fire.


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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: Nov 2, 2009 - 6:24am
Great input from all of you guys who actually Rode The Boats. THANKS!

Will

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EARL RICHMOND

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of EARL RICHMOND  Posted on: Nov 2, 2009 - 7:44am
just a thought. even with all of the above we still got a big thrill out of riding the bullnose. you would sit on the bow astraddle the bullnose and hold on to ir for dear life.i only did it tywice but will never forget the experience of :"riding the bullnose" .the other thing we sdid was diving off the top of a drydock into basicallty"shallow"water. only did that once and it took me three times to finally get the nerve to let go the walkwat chain and dive down,.it also took a little push from one of the guys.man,if you hit that water and didnm,t arch your back whenm you hit the waterto come out of the dive when you hit the water you were done for.that coral bottom is nasty. earl

earl richmond

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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: Nov 2, 2009 - 9:28am
Ah the things one does when one is young. As you get a bit older and wiser you would never try that sort of thing. Although I must admit, I would have loved to ride the bullnose. What a thrill that must have been, although falling off would jst about kill you............


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CJ Willis

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of CJ Willis  Posted on: Nov 2, 2009 - 1:16pm
Hi Earl: I loved to ride the bull nose with my 45 in hand - Uncle Sam furnishing the ammo and shoot at those flying fish as they were scared out of the water. I fired many a round at them but to my knowledge never hit one. You had to be quick on the trigger. I only did that in calm seas though, never in rough water.

C. J. Willis

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