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 Author  Topic: They Were Expendable......boots?
Roy Forbes

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Roy Forbes  Posted on: Nov 22, 2012 - 6:56pm
I just recently picked up a black and white photo from They Were Expendable with John Wayne and Robert Montgomery standing together next to the starboard 50 cal which raised a few questions. The most obvious was Brick wearing boots. I didn't think this was Navy issue and could be a costume department oversight?

Next were the throttles on the port side of the wheel. I read that the later boats had the throttles repositioned to the right side allowing access by both men on the bridge. I think the boats used in the movie were all 600 something boats. However, I have seen a bunch of late war boats with the throttles in either location. I thought the repositioning was a standard change that was made to all the later boats. Was there any rhyme or reason to what appears to be this lack of standardization?


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29navy

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of 29navy  Posted on: Nov 22, 2012 - 7:23pm
The boats used for the movie were PTs 98, 100, 101, 102, 139, 141, and 315.

As far as boots (and uniforms in general), you can't judge uniforms by what you see in the movies. They'll go with what they have, what the actor wants to wear, what the director likes and what the set and costume directors like.

Charlie

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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 22, 2012 - 9:31pm
In all fairness, the movie was made in 1945, so it is most likely the outfits worn were in fact some Navy issue items. Navy Visor Caps can be seen, as well as web belts, Navy issue knifes, boondockers, caps, dungarees, and other items too numerous to mention. Just like in the real PT Navy where these guys found fatigue hats, sneakers, and other items to their liking, you can see the same type items in the movie.

Montgomery who was no green recruit, did his own piloting in parts of the movie, where Elco's were used, and other Navy Skippers or Executive officers were used to pilot the Huckins boats. John Wayne actually did pilot one of the boats in some filming, which lead him to purchase a PT BOAT for his own personnel use. He liked the boats. I think the wardrobe of the men in the film was just about spot on to the real PT Boat guys, and to answer your question Roy, the throttles were to the far port side of the helm on the early boats, than moved over for better ease of operation.


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Roy Forbes

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Roy Forbes  Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 - 2:12pm
Thank you both for your input. I had seen a photo in the May 2011 issue of All Hands showing PT 609 being brought to DC for the movie and that didnt seem to make sense with the movie being filmed in Florida. However, using such a late boat did make sense thinking all the older boats were pretty beat up by then. As for the throttles, I have seen photos of boats in the upper 500s with those throttles still being put on on the port side and boats down in the 400s with them on the right. I was just wondering what happened to any standardization.

I did not know John Wayne purchased one of the boats. Now how cool is that!! Frank, do you know which boat is was and what happened to it?


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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: Nov 23, 2012 - 2:45pm
Frank,

Never heard that John Wayne bought a PT boat, in all the years of my Duke fandom.

Wayne did purchase an old converted minesweeper in 1962, for $100,000 and change, and named it the "Wild Goose," and I believe he had it for the rest of his life. He had the overheads torn out and raised, to accomodate his 6'4" frame.

As for the boots Robert Montgomery is sometimes seen wearing in "They Were Expendable," they were very similar to the medium-height plain-toed work boots Andy Griffith used to wear as Sheriff Taylor on the old "Andy Griffith Show."




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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 23, 2012 - 4:11pm
Drew

My mistake on the PT BOAT that Wayne purchased. I had it that he bought one of the boats after the movie and just before selling it, had the engines redone. In going through my records, it was the Wild Goose, but was not a PT BOAT. Sorry about that mistake.


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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 9, 2013 - 12:43pm
For what its worth...

I found out what style of boots Robert Montgomery (and Andy Griffith, on his old TV show) wore as "Brick" in some shots in the movie "They Were Expendable."

They're called Wellingtons (or more specifically, "ranch" or "western" Wellingtons).


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Jonathan Eno

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Jan 9, 2013 - 4:55pm
Nelson Rockefellor was, together with his brother Laurence, another fan of PT's.
Growing up here we always were having Nelson's "PT" boat pointed out to us when we went by it on the water.
Turns out, according to documentation from the Rockefellor Family Archives, that he bought a 72' HDML, an ex RN Lend Lease motor launch. He subsequently lenghtened it 10', so it's line were very PT looking. H e bought the boat for $10.00 in 1946.
Jonathan


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