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 Author  Topic: Depth Charge Incident
  Frank Andruss


Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank Andruss   Send Email To Frank Andruss Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 - 2:19pm
I know I am opening up another can of worms here,so here goes. I received Russ Hamachek's book, Hot, Straight and True as a gift, but just never had the chance to start reading it. Well, I have now finished the book, and there is one chapter called PT-109-Re-Echo. It deals with the 109 incident about the depth charge going through the deck. As I recall, most of us thought, "How could this happen', well let me explain. According to Bob Johnson, an ordinance officer, assigned to Ron 8, who was riding PT-48 one night, their boat as you know was taking on water. Kennedy grabbed a pump from a Destroyer, to keep the flooding to a minimum.

Al Cluster, who was riding with PT-48 and Johnson decided to ride with Kennedy back to the Russells. Cluster asked Kennedy to take the wheel, as he was not too familiar with the 80-footers in rough water. Bob Johnson explains, that the boat hit a high crest and slammed with tremendous force onto an oncoming wave. The torpedo tubes at that time were not cranked out, and the boat plowing into the wave snapped the firing pin, causing the torpedo to start and exit the tube, ramming into the depth charge. Lenny Thom stuffed rags into the exposed arming impeller. Pressure built up in the tube high enough to move the torpedo and the depth charge, pushing the rack and depth charge through the deck. So, from this account, the depth charge was not knocked into the air as some of us thought. I wanted to share this with you guys

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Drew Cook


Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Drew Cook  Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 - 3:07pm

Thanks, but...

This account is identical to what I've always read about how and why the incident occurred, particularly in Richard Tregaskis's book "John F. Kennedy: War Hero" (1962).

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TED WALTHER   Send Email To TED WALTHER Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 - 6:35pm
I am with Drew on this one, I nevever thought the depth charge went trough the air, it was jammed through the deck, probably with the rack still attached.

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