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 Author  Topic: Duties Between Patrols
Mark Kiene

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Mark Kiene  Posted on: Feb 21, 2007 - 4:50pm
I would like to know if some PT Boat Veterans could answer some
questions about what you did between patrols. Did you do your own
maintenance on your pt boat? What was life like on base or tied up
next to a tender?

Thanks,
Mark Kiene PT 369 Crewkin


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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: Feb 23, 2007 - 4:23pm
Mark:

Although certainly not old enough to have been on a PT BOAT, I have had many conversations over the years with PT veterans who have schooled me as to what was being done between patrols. The long endless hours of a patrol could certainly strain anyone, especially at night. While on Patrol Crewmembers would stand their watches 4 hours on and four hours off. Coming into base or tied up to a Tender the jobs were pretty much the same. Gunners mates and Motor macs had endless jobs after patrols. The gunners mates would strip the guns checking any problems from the night before that came up. Salt water had a horrible effect on metal parts so they had to be cleaned and greased. I had even heard that ammo that was exposed to the salt water was sometimes thrown away and new ammo would be ready to go for the next patrol.

Motor macs had probably the toughest jobs on the boat. Heat in the small engine room could easily reach 120 degrees and those throbbing engines made for some deaf men today. The job was hard enough while on patrol keeping the engines running, watching instrument panels, making sure the engines did not get to hot,and waching for engine commands from the bridge. After a patrol was no picnic as these guys had to fine tune these tempermental engines, checking any signs from the previous patrol of possible problems, filling and checking fluids,gapping spark plugs,always looking to add more speed. Hot dirty work as when the boat was not running no air came into the Engine room area. Sometimes overhauls on the engines would require tons of hard work.

Torpedoman, Quartermasters, Skippers and XO's although this is not intended to sound the way it is going too, had the least to do after a patrol. Torpedoman, if the boat fired a fish or two might have a MK-13 lowered onto the boat from a tenders crane, and quartermasters would check radar and radio units making sure they were operational for the next patrol. I know someone will correct me here, so please do because I am not always right and continue to learn as we all do. Rest assured though, PT Boat life was not all glamorus as the papers might have shown. It was tough gut wrenching work and the boats needed much care to operate properly in the Salt Waters. Being a Crewmember on a PT Boat was no easy task.


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Marty Johnson

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Feb 23, 2007 - 4:46pm
I concur with Frank, as I too am not a vet but have read and talked with the vets. In reading "PT 105" there are some details of what the crew did while laying in. The officers always met and debriefed but did have a bit of luxury with a bit of real booze (or so I gathered). Apparently, a little home brew was on tap in below decks also.
I know one vet told me of working on the engines on the 168 and saying that my Dad, the XO wasn't afraid to come down and help and get his hands dirty. Dad was also commended for being good at hull repairs, having been high school wood shop teacher and a pretty good carpenter.
I would guess one of the most onerous tasks would be refueling from those big 55 gal. drums.
Any vets out there care to wade in.

Marty

Marty Johnson
2nd Generation
PT 168 RON 10
In Memory of LT(JG) Martin A. Johnson

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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: Feb 24, 2007 - 6:51am
HI AGAIN AS COOK ON THE BOAT I HAD A LOT TO DO WHEN BETWEEN PATROLS. I HAD TO MAKE SURE GALLEY WAS CLEAN,BILGES WERE CLEAN,FIND OUT WHO WAS GOING ON PATROLL WITH US,GO TO BEACH GALLEY TO GET FOOD SUPPLIES FOR THE PATROL AND ALSO FOR STOCKING UP FOR IN BETWEEN.MAKING UP CHOW LISTS WAS NOT TOO HARD AS WE ONLY WERE ABLE TO GET A FEW KIINDS OF FOOD SUPPLIES.I ALSO HAD TO GET CLEANING SUPPLIES.IT WAS VERY HARD TO MAKE A VARIETY OF MEALS FOR THE MEN AS I ONLY ABLE TO GET CERTAIN FOODS FROM THE BEACH. GALLEY.THEY KEPT THE BEST AND THE BOATS GOT THE REST.I ALSO HAD TO MAKE ARRANGEMENTS FOR WHAT THE CREW HAD FOR SNACKS WHILE ON PATROL.WE HAD SANDWICHES,COFFEE AND CANNED FRUIT.AS LONG AS WE WERE NOT ON gq THE MEN COULD GO DOWN INTO THE GALLEY AND GET SOMETHING TO EAT.ALL THIS WHILE IN BETWEEN COOKING,CLEANING STANDING WATCHES AND GQ. NOT TOO MUCH TIME TO REST IN BETWEEN. PATROLS.

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: Feb 24, 2007 - 7:37am
Earl

Thanks for that great update on your duties and I certainly apologize for forgetting one of the most important guys on the boat, the COOK. After all you guys certainly had little to work with and keeping those mouths fed was a chore in itself. In talking with a few guys, some cooks liked to make ice creme using powdered milk and mashed Bannana's in ice trays. One guy on the 374 boat traded his drink chit in exchange for his share of the ice creme. Lets not forget that cooks sometimes made the best gunners on the boats as well. Being below in a small galley was no fun in the hot humid air of the pacific, and trying to dish up different meals for the crew was tough work. My hats off to the Cooks................


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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: Feb 24, 2007 - 12:51pm
Routines varied depending on what base we were operating from. We patroled from Green longer than any place. When we returned to the base after patrol. We would stop at the dock and drop off the Skipper for the intelligence meeting. The Exec would then take the boat to the fuel dock and get in line to be refueled. The boats were always kept full of fuel when at the berth or at the tie-up bouy. As gunner my job was to clean my twin 50 turret guns. Whether fired or not they had to stripped and re-oiled to remove the salt spray. (The gun covers were always removed when we left base). If we had fired the guns the barrels had to be removed and most of the time replaced because they would get very hot when fired especially if not fired in bursts of 10-15 rounds each. I would check the 50 cal. ammo cans in the turrets - refill and check for corroded ammo. If not too badly corroded, would clean with a wire brush. Tried to be through by lunch time to catch the personnel boat to noon chow. When back from lunch we would put up the tarps on the bow and midship to get out of the sun. We would set up cots and try to get some sleep because we had been up all night and there was always the possibility of going back out again that night. If not on the list of boats to go out. We would catch the chow boat for supper come back to the boat and hit the sack for good. The next day we would make breakfast chow, return to the boat for clean-up. We had buckets with ropes attached to dip water from over the side to wash and scrub down the deck. About every couple of weeks we would remove the floor boards in the crews quarters and lazzerette and clean the bilges sometimes with lye. There were many other chores - repairing and spliceing eyes in the tie up ropes - keeping the crews quarters, lazzerette and rope lockers straightened up and in order. Occassionally we would be inspected by the Squadron C.O. and we really had to have it in shape then. We had a meticulous Exec. Mr. Raney who could always find something for us to do but he did respect our need for sleep. The Motormacs were always busy in the engine room with maintenance and repairs on the engines and the generator. It seemed the generator was always on the fritz. They kept the bilges in the engine room clean. We did have some free time. Bob Pratt , our quartermaster, and I liked to swim and would swim off the boat about every day. We had a great crew and we all worked together and would help out where needed. I realize now that it was a young mans game.

C. J. Willis

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