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 Author  Topic: LET'S GO ON A PATROL
earl

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of earl  Posted on: Dec 13, 2006 - 6:53am
WE USUALLY STARTED OUT ON PATROL BETWEEN 3 AND 4 PM.WE HAD MUSTER AND INDOCTRINATION AS TO WHERE WE WERE GOING,WHAT WE WERE GOING TO DO AND WHAT TO DO IF WE WERE GOING TO ABANDON SHIP.THE SKIPPER WOULD "LITE OFF" THE ENGINES ONE AT A TIME.YOU WOULD HEAR EACH ENGINESET OFF WITH A CLOUD OF SMOKE.WE BACKED OUT OF A BERTH-PUSHED AWAY FROM A PIER OR WENT FORWARD FROM A BUOY.WE SLOWLY EXITED THE LAGOON TO THE OUTER SEA.THEN THE SKIPPER OPENED HER UP.IF THE SEA WAS CALM WE WOULD GLIDE THRU THE WATER WITH THE ROOSTER TAIL HIGH.ALL YOU COULD HEAR WERE THE ENGINES ROARING.IF THE SEAS WERE ROUGH THE WAVES CAME UP OVER THE BOW,WE WENT UP OUT OF THE WATER BETWEENWAVES OR WENT BOW FIRST DOWN INTO THE NEXT WAVE.THE FINE DROPS OF WATER STUNG LIKE LITTLE BEES ACROSS YOUR FACE AND CHEST.WE TRAVELED AROUND 150 MILES OR SO A NIGHT.WHEN WE CAME TO THE ISLAND JUST AFTER DARK,WE WERE TO PATROL THE SKIPPER DEADENED THE ENGINES BY CLOSING THE ENGINE MUFFLERS AND DECREASING OUR SPEED.WE SLOWLY TRAVELLED ALON G THE LENGTH OF THE ISLAND. BACK AND FORTH ALL NIGHT.SOMETIMES, ON A VERY DARK NIGHTS.WE COULDNT SEE OUR HANDS IN FRONT OF OUR FACE ON A REAL DARK NIGHT BUT YOU COULD MANEUVER AND SEE ANYTHING LIT UP ON THE BEACH. ON A VERY BRIGHT MOONLIT NITE WE WERE AT A DISADVANTAGE,THEY COULD SPOT US EASIER. WE WERE ALWAYS AT BATTLE STATIONS WHEN WE WERE ON PATROL.ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN.A PLANE COULD COME INTO SIGHT,A SHIP WOULD SHOW UP ON THE HORIZON,EVEN MAYBE ,UNLIKELY,A SUB COULD BE AROUND.WE NEVER KNEW BUT ALWAYS HAD TO BE READY.WE HAD ORDERS TO KEEP OUR EYES AND BINOLCULARS ALWAYS UP. WE WATCHED FOR ANY KIND OF LIGHT OR SOMETHING UNUSUAL.SOMETIMES WE WOULD SEE A TRUCK LIGHT AND WOULD PLAY CAT AND MOUSE.WE WERE THE CAT.IF THE DRIVER SAW OR HEARD US HE WOULD CUT HIS LIGHTS.WE WOULD TRY AND WAIT IT OUT AND FOLLOW ONWARD OR REVERSE TO TRY AND CATCH HIM IF HE TURNED HIS LIGHTS BACK ON.IF HE DID WE HAD HIM AND OPENED FIRE.SOMETIMES WE GOT LUCKY.ONCE WE OPENED UP THE SHORE BATTERIES WOULD OPEN UP ON US AND WE HAD TO GET OUT OF THERE.JUST BEFORE DAWN WE LEFT STATION,OPENED HER UP AND HEADED FOR HOME BASE.WE WE GOT BACK TO BASE WE WOULD FIRST REFUEL AND THEN GO TO OUR BUOY,ETC AND CLEAN UP TO GET READY FOR THE NEXT PATROL.ONE THING THOUGH ,IT SEEMED THAT THE SUN WOULD USUALLY SET ASTERN OF US.WHEN IT CAME TO THE HORIZON IT WAS ONE OF THE MUST BEAUTIFUL THINGS YOU EVER SAW.IT WAS THE SAME WHEN THE SUN CAME UP.THE WHOLE SKY WAS ALL KINDS OF ORANGE COLORS.THIS WAS ONE OF THE USUAL AVERAGE QUIET PATROLS.WHEN WE WENT ON PATROL WITH OTHER BOATS WE WERE,SOMETIMES,SECTION LEADER(FIRST BOAT).SOMETIMES WE CARRIED NATIVES AND THEIR CANOES TO DROP THEM OFF FOR SCOUTING AND PICK THEM UP A COUPLE NIGHTS LATER,IF THEY DIDN'T GET CAUGHT.WE WOULD TAKE THEM BACK TO BASE AND GIVE INFO AS TO WHAT THEY SAW OR HEARD.OTHER TIMES WE TOOK DEMOLITION CREWS OUT FOR SPECIAL DUTY.DUE TO US BEING UNDER FRIENDLY FIRE AT TIMES, WE TOOK OUT MARINE PILOTS SO THEY COULD FAMILIARIZE THEMSELVES WITH THE BOATS AND INDENTIFY US EASIER.SOMETIMES WE WENT OUR FOR SPECIAL PATROLS.OTHER PATROLS WERE ,SOMETIMES,MORE EXCITING.

earl richmond

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

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: Dec 13, 2006 - 11:25am
Earl: I know I speak for many people on the site when I say thanks so much for sharing your experiences aboard the boats. You and the others are making a valuable contribution to the history of these fine vessels.

Will

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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: Dec 13, 2006 - 11:56am
Earl:
Thanks so much for the written action report. Most of us who never had the chance to set foot on a PT BOAT are now green with envie just thinking about it.

One can only imagine some of the hardships you and the other PT BOATERS had to endure, espically in the hot climate of the Pacific. Many times I sat and listened to those who told me of the poor food, warm water, boiling sun, back breaking work, tension, tropical ailments, and so many other hardships. I look at a PT BOAT and see a racing greyhound and a thing of pure beauty. Sometimes one forgets about all you guys went thru, not to mention the Base Force guys and those serving on the Tenders.

Can you just imagine being a Motor-Mac for instance and being in an enclosed space with three throbbing engines. Hot, Hot, Hot is the three words that come to mind. Keeping them fine tuned was endless work. I bet it must have been 120 to 140 degrees in that hot space. How those guys did that is a marvel to me. Gunners Mates never seemed to sleep. The job they had , outside of the Engineers was a never ending one. Come in from Patrol and strip all weapons down, replace any worn parts, file shells, or replace them from being exposed to the salt water. How much did one sleep?

I guess I could go one and on, but one thing is for sure, you guys that served on PT Boats, Bases, and Tenders will always be my HEROES.


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Alan Curtis

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Dec 13, 2006 - 5:34pm
Thanks Earl, what a privilege it is to hear from someone who was there. I have many questions but will only start with a few, where were you stationed?
What type of information did you use to determine where to go each night? You mention that the skipper would shut down the mufflers on the engines to run quietly, how quite was this? I have quite a bit of water experience and sound really carries well over water, so my question is , could you really run around almost unheard?

Thanks for your service and your information contribution, neither of these can ever be replaced.

Alan Curtis

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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: Dec 14, 2006 - 6:03am
THANK YOU, EARL. ACTION REPORTS,LOGS, RECORDS AND HISTORY BOOKS ALL LACK THE PERSONAL REFLECTIONS OF THE
PEOPLE INVOLVED IN 'JUST DOING THEIR JOBS'. SADLY THIS ASPECT OF HISTORY SELDOM COMES TO LIGHT. WHAT PEOPLE WERE DOING, THINKING, SEEING, HEARING OR SAYING AT THE TIME, TO ME, GIVES THE DRY AND IMPERSONAL A MUCH NEEDED
HUMAN ASPECT. THIS INFORMATION IS INVALUABLE. SADLY, MOST IS LOST TO TIME. WE NEED TO FILL THIS GAP AND GET MORE.

Steve Tuhy

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earl

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of earl  Posted on: Dec 14, 2006 - 6:10am
ALAN BEFORE I BOARDED PT 108 @ EMIRAU ISLAND I WAS ASSIGNED TO BASE FORCES ON DIFFERENT ISLANDS.I WENT FROM NEW CALEDONIA,THRU GUADALCANAL,TO TULAGI, GREEN ISLAND,RENDOVA,TREASURY,STERLING AND EMIRAU.I WAS A COOK AND ASSIGNED TO WORKING IN THE GALLEYS.
INFO WAS SENT TO AND GATHERED BY THE BASE OFFICERS.THEY I ASSUME,IN TURN,DECIDED WHERE TO SEND THE PATROLS TO AND WHAT TO DO WHEN WE GOT THERE.INFO WAS GATHERED BY INTELLIGENCE, NATIVE SCOUTS, SHORE"WATCHERS" AND RECONISENCE FLIGHTS.ALSO GATHERED BY BOATS ON PATROL AS TO WHAT WAS SEEN.IY WAS ALL PUT TOGETHER AND THEN FORWARDED TO BOAT CAPTAINS WHO CARRIED OUT THE ORDERS.
EACH ENGINE HAD AN EXHAUST AND EACH EXHAUST HAD A MUFFLER OR BAFFLE ON IT.WHEN THE BAFFLES WERE CLOSED THE ENGINE SOUNDS WENT FROM A LOUD CHURNING "ROAR" TO A SORT OF LOUD HUM .YOU COULD STILL HEAR THE NOISE BUT,ACCORDING TO THE WEATHER,DUSTANCE FROM THE BEACH AND SEA CONDITIONS AND WIND THE NOISE LEVEL WAS DETERMINED.I GUESS ,AT TIMES, IT COULD BE HEARD FROM THE BEACH BUT NOT AS PRONOUNCED.EVEN SO,K IF IT WAS VERY DARK YOU COULD NOT SEE US ANYHOW EXCEPT FOR THE PHOSFOURESCENCE IN THE WATER, WHICH WE COULD SEE BY LOOKING DOWN INTO THE WATER.THIS IS A ;LITTLE HARD TO EXPLAIN SINCE WE WERE THE SENDERS IOF THE SOUNDS AND NOT THE RECEIVERS.SOUND DOES CARRY WELL OVER THE WATER BUT,AS EXAMPLE, IF YOU APPLIED MUFFLERS TO A SPEEDBOAT IT WOULD CUT DOWN THE NOISE.YOU ALSO HAVE TO REMEMBER WE ALSO CUT OUR SPEED DOWN AT THE SAME TIME. HOPE THIS EXPLAINS A LITTLE.BY SLOWING DOWN,ETC WE ALSO LOWERED THE HEIGHT OF OUR "ROOSTER TAIL"I DO NOT KNOW HOW "TIGHT" THE BAFFLES WERE SHUT.I ASSUME YOU HAD TO ALLOW FOR "BACK UP" INTO THE ENGINES.I WAS NOT AN ENGINEER SO I GUESS THE BEST ANSWER WOULD COME FROM THEM ABOUT THIS.

earl richmond

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