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 Author  Topic: Life raft for the PT-157 (model)
TheBridge

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TheBridge  Posted on: Jan 20, 2011 - 9:23am
Just when I thought the model building was complete on the PT-157...

Interesting always how you can talk to a PT crewman and about you think is a rather trivial detail (yes, as modelers will do that) and get a whole other angle about the detail...like this one...

I spoke to Welford West (PT-157 Torpedo man, plank crew) last year and said that one the RON Commander (not CMDR Kelley) saw Sam Koury (PT-157 Radio man, plank crew) dozing in the raft while on duty. The crew was tired but the commander was a book breed guy who looked to enforce the rules. Anyway, Welford told me that not too long after that while on mission Sam, who was supplying ammo to Welford on the 30mm (foredeck)gun, was killed in night action when a 30 or 40mm cal shell from Japanese shore fire hit Sam who then slumped over the raft.. The bullet went right through Sam's hips causing an obvious mortal wound. They could only give Sam morphine and he died at 2:00am. So the raft has a history for the crew of the 157.

Back to the model....I went to check the location of the raft on the foredeck (I had the raft glued to the foredeck with rubber cement until now) and went to the invaluable combo of the Dick Washichek ELCO blueprint collection and Jeff Davidson index to these drawings and found that the raft is really a bit more complex (in model making terms) that I was aware of. The raft I had (originally from a Dumas kit construction) was wrong in its size and had no details.The actual raft had many buckles, straps and interior netting (which makes the 'floor' of raft) and sits on 6 deck-mounted cradles and strapped/roped into place. So what is shown here is another scratch built detail for the PT-157. (I'll add the details to the book I have assembled about the building of the model)

The deck locations the raft drawing mounting didn't quite jive with what is seen the 'White Plains' photos (which shows most of the PT-150 series being shipped out on the deck of the WHITE PLAINS). As has frequently been the case most of blueprints of any detail you choose seem to be posted dated to the dates of production of the early ELCO PTs.

Anyway...I looked at the 'White Plains' photos and others and conclude that raft for the 157 was located on the PT's center-line and mid-point between the edges of the forward and aft deck hatches on the foredeck (which is shown in the last two photos about where it will be however it is not yet glued in place).

Bridge










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Dick

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Dick   Send Email To Dick Posted on: Jan 20, 2011 - 11:38am

Bridge - - - Very impressive!

Dick . . .


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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: Jan 20, 2011 - 7:16pm
Nice job Bridge. Curious, did the original Raft on PT-157 contain the survival gear and water barell and will you make these items...............


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TheBridge

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TheBridge  Posted on: Jan 21, 2011 - 7:35am
Hi Frank,

This photos (July 1943) shows the raft and what appears to be gun covers tossed in the raft. This photo was by USMC photographer taken shortly after the 157 had sunk a Japanese destroyer (with torpedoes). It may be that the crew hastily took off the gun covers and tossed them there just in case the photographer wanted to take other shots around the boat that morning. (the USMC reporter (Sam Stavisky)and photographer (Jerry Sarno) did go out with the 157 that morning). Maybe I'll call Welford West and try and jog his memory

Do you have photos or drawing details of the water-barrel/survival gear?




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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: Jan 21, 2011 - 12:02pm
Jerry Gilmartin had posted some shots on that very subject as did I on the message board sometime back, showing photo's of the raft with survvl gear inside................


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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: Jan 21, 2011 - 12:05pm
The photos are under September 22, under 1942 Balsa Life Raft. Maybe you can get something from that............


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Drew Cook

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Drew Cook  Posted on: Jan 21, 2011 - 4:43pm
Hey Bridge,

Have you learned at what time the 157 was painted green?

The Ron 9 boats in the color film footage taken at Rendova that was posted here some months ago showed them as being gray.


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TheBridge

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TheBridge  Posted on: Jan 21, 2011 - 5:13pm
Drew,

That was one of the early questions I posed to Welford West (plank crew, torpedo man, PT-157]. Here is his comments from my notes....

Welford West (Torpedo man for PT-157) said that the PTs were dry docked soon after arrival in Talagi, the main home base for PT operations, and there assigned paint crews (not the PT boat crews!) painted the PTs the color schemes (usually green as we know).

Welford West (now 89-years old) actually went to a local Home Depot and picked out the closest shade of green, that he says he clearly recalls, from the paint sample cards and told me what it was (he chose two shades...one was the original shade after it was when it had it green paint job put on and second was the shade that it quickly faded to after if was weather worn. I had to repaint the PT-157 model to lighten it up to more closely match what he chose. UGH!

I also noted from B/W photos...

Looking at the PT-157 photo around the 'aces 'n' eights' logo on the front of the Chart house, these areas appear to have been masked off during their repainting.

I've looked at a number of 'color' photos and film shot in the Pacific (most appear to be home movies level stuff). I've noted (to myself) that the mountains in the background (which are common in the films) are frequently a blue hue. I would think they should be a jungle green. If you color corrected the film the boats that were green would be more apparent.
But let me stop there as I am no color shift expert.

Bridge


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Drew Cook

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Drew Cook  Posted on: Jan 22, 2011 - 12:34pm
Thanks, Bridge....

You've done a wonderful job on your model, it looks really great!


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TheBridge

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TheBridge  Posted on: Jan 26, 2011 - 6:01am
I spoke to Bud Liebenow (Skipper of the 157) yesterday and he doesn't recall that they EVER moved the raft from its [deck] cradle the whole time he was the skipper of the 157. Therefore he does not recall if their raft had a drop down rope cage or a simple rope web floor or even any floor for that matter because they never unleashed the raft...ever!

He does recall that in the instances where a dingy was needed for a mission (such as taking coast watchers to/from shore or the night they picked up the 109 crew) they would simply slip it, upside down, right over the raft (which again was strapped into its cradles bolted to the deck).

Bridge


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