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

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 Author  Topic: Proper knot for securing/lashing 37mm to 109 deck
  David Waples


Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Waples  Posted on: May 24, 2010 - 4:58am
You're all probably thinking I'm crazy but I have to ask this question....

The 109 at the time of her sinking had a 37mm temporarily secured to the deck. It was strapped over the axles to some planks, but Donovan's book says that it was also lashed. It is often modeled and drawn as ropes securing the 37mm to the toe rails. I've attached an example of another modelers work. I think this looks pretty good but...

I'm wondering if there are any veterans or Bosun's Mates who might have some thoughts on how a 37mm would be properly lashed to the deck to secure it while in transit?


David Waples

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Drew Cook


Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Drew Cook  Posted on: May 24, 2010 - 9:40am

For what its worth (this is seperate to your specific question), I've always envisioned the 109's 37mm position and lashings to be much like they've often been drawn and modeled, with the gun's axles tied -- "lashed" -- to the 2"x 8" planks, and the ends of the gun's spread trail legs just forward of the two deck vents, but with one addition to the gun's bracing.

I've always thought a length of coconut log, lashed across the ends of the trail legs just forward of those deck vents, was a part of the bracing. The log would have further braced the rearward travel of the gun during recoil.

The coconut log reference comes from Richard Tregaskis's book "John F. Kennedy: War Hero" (Dell Publishing, 1962), which was a republished edition of his Random House Landmark book "John F. Kennedy and PT-109" (1962).

Tregaskis wrote "...on the bow, where Starkey and other crewmembers had rigged the old 37-mm. fieldpiece with two-by-eights and coconut logs to brace it..." The coconut log also shows up as part of the gun's brace in the "PT 109" movie. We all know the movie isn't 100% accurate, but do I think that coconut log brace probably came from some source on the real event.

The oft-modeled multiple lines fom the gun out to the toe rails on the foredeck, as in the model pictured on this thread, would seem to be a reasonable guess as to how the gun was lashed to the deck to keep it from toppling overboard with the rocking of the boat -- but has always seemed pretty sloppy to me (which of course is neither here nor there, practicality and expediency ruling). Donovan did write in his book that the gun was "lashed to the planks" and that the planks were "lashed to the deck," so...

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