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

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 Author  Topic: Macarthur, the Landing, and PT Boats (PT 326)

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Sep 13, 2013 - 11:53am
I work for the Estate of Howard Terry, who was Captain of the 326 boat in the fall of 1944. Mr Terry used to tell the story of how he and his boat took a bunch of Hollywood people to shore when MacArthur made his dramatic return to the Philippines. He used to laugh and say there was a perfectly good place to land but that MacArthur chose to land the way he did for the cameras.He also said you never saw such a crowd of people as there was on that beach. In trying to write the story down I am getting confused about the timing. The sources say MacArthur waded ashore on October 20. I don't show Squadron 21 as a whole coming in to Leyte until October 21. The At Close Quarters book shows photos of MacArthur going on to PT 525 and coming ashore at Tacloban but it shows that date as Oct 24.One of the War Diaries for the Squadron does show a MacArthur pickup on Oct 24, which is the day before the Battle of Surigao Strait. Mr. Terry's action report for that battle is preserved along with his commander, C.T. Gleason.Anybody have any ideas on the MacArthur thing? My current theories are (1) that PT-326 got there on the 20th and witnessed the original landing, (2) that PT-326 got there on the 20th and winessed a recreation of the landing for the cameras (which apparently did happen), or possibly (3) what Mr Terry remembered was the event on the 24th, when it does seem the PT Boats definitely took the general ashore.

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Sep 13, 2013 - 4:55pm
In the theory part I meant to say that maybe they got there on the 21st and witnessed a recreation. There are some accounts that do suggest that happened.

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Roy Forbes


Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Roy Forbes  Posted on: Sep 13, 2013 - 8:11pm
Welcome aboard Cotham. I don't talk much about Doug but sure would love to see any photos you might have posted somewhere or possibly could scan and post here. I built a 5 foot model of the 326 boat back in 1975 which is on display in Newberry Hall at Battleship Cove, MA. Sure would have liked to talk with Howard way back then when photos of the boats were few and far between.

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Sep 17, 2013 - 1:36pm
Just to report in what I have found out, it turns out that the PTs got in to Leyte on October 21, 1944. Gen MacArthur first waded ashore on Oct 20 but there was only one still photographer present. So the next day he had a bunch of movie people put ashore and did it again for the newsreels. It is undoubtedly that incident that Mr Terry remembered and described when he said he landed the "Hollywood people" on a packed beach. There is a Life Magazine article called "MacArthur Returns and Returns" that goes through this. Apparently, MacArthur returned as many as six separate times and you can actually track it by seeing the different people in each picture. I had never heard the story behind the famous first picture but it is funny.Apparently when MacArthur got to the point where he was going ashore the guy in charge of the beach landings didn't have time or space to give him so MacArthur got mad and waded ashore. That had not been his original intention. But when the first pictures came back with this stern expression (he was mad at the navy guy who said no) and the wading, MacArthur's people loved it and so he embraced it and recreated that all the other times.

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