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 Author  Topic: PT Boat Generic Crew
rickas

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of rickas   Send Email To rickas Posted on: Dec 29, 2013 - 12:00pm
What was the standard crew assignment for a boat in the Solomons circa 1943-45? My father in law tells me it varied 12-15, and on his boats only, 1 Officer.

Thanx for your time; I'm trying to learn some of the basics.

Also, Thanks to Jack Duncan and Alyce at PTBOATS.org I've read At Close Quarters and PT 109. Both were extremely enlightening to someone who only knew PTs' thru McHales Navy What should I read next? Especially so I can learn more of generic PT experiences. Thank you.

Rick Schaefer
Splinter PT 63
Solomon Islands
Dec 43 - Jan 45

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  Jerry N Gilmartin

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jerry N Gilmartin  Posted on: Dec 29, 2013 - 1:00pm
Hi Rick,
From speaking to several WW2 PT Boat veterans, and reading numerous deck logs of various PT Boats it kind of depends upon what boat and how many weapons they had mounted. Generally speaking, there were 2 officers the CO and the XO. Then there were enough enlisted men to operate all the weapons and supply them with enough Loaders. Add to that about 3 Motor Macs for the engines. Also you would have at least one Quartermaster or Radio Man. You would often have at least 12 enlisted, and sometimes as many as 14 or even 16, depending upon the weapons loadout.

Battle stations may look like the following:
1 CO=Helmsman
1 XO= Assistant Helm (Operate torpedo launchers)
2 50 cal gunners
1 50 cal loader (not on all boats)
1 37mm gunner
1 37mm loader
2 20mm gunners
2 20mm loaders (maybe some as double duty?)
3-4 40mm gun crew (Pointer, Trainer, First Loader, Second Loader)
2 torpedo men to assist in torpedo launching (or Double duty?)
1 MoMM operator in engine room (Off shift manning guns)
1 Navigator in Chart house
1 Radio Operator in Chart House
__
20

See how it all adds up?
Jerry


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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: Dec 29, 2013 - 7:02pm
I was always under the general impression it was fairly standard to have two officers and ten enlisted men on the early PTs.


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  Jerry N Gilmartin

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jerry N Gilmartin  Posted on: Dec 29, 2013 - 8:04pm
Hi Drew,
I have heard that as well, except he was specifying 1943-45 which would not be early war time period. I think the 77foot Elcos had just what you say, (about 10). If you are talking about an 80 footElco,, it would be most likely more than 10. Just to clarify.


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TED WALTHER

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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: Dec 29, 2013 - 9:29pm
Rick;
In addition to what Jerry has written, it must be remembered PT crews were always in a fluid state, while most crews remained together for the most part guys were always coming and going, especially on the boats that had been out there awhile,(ie: lower numbered boats). To illustrate this, for example: LT Roger Jones was Skipper of PT 163 RON 10 , In November 1943, he was the first replacement officer to report to RON 10, he trained as Exec and then replaced the first Skipper of PT 163(LT Edward Kruse), when he(Kruse) was due to rotate home in February 1944. During this time also weapons on these boats were upgraded and more crew were needed, but some were required to do double duty(as Jerry mentioned) Here is what Roger Jones recorded in his biography:
PT 163 crew numbers
4/15/1944 3 Officers and 14 Enlisted crew
5/16/ 1944 3 Officers and 12 Enlisted crew
5/17-5/30/1944 3Officers and 15 Enlisted crew
6/1/1944 4 Officers and 13 Enlisted crew(1 Officer U/I then to PT 170 as Skipper. PT163 Exec became Skipper of PT 171)
9/1/1944 2 Officers and 14 Enlisted crew
12/1/1944 2 Officers and 16 Enlisted crew

*****A little off topic, but still shows the fluctuating crew numbers
He then rotated back to Melville as Instructor/Skipper of PT 316 RON 4, where he had 14 enlisted crew(split into Port and Starboard crews, 7 in each). FEB- APR 1945
Then he was assigned to RON 41 as Skipper of PT 603, this Squadron was destined to head to Pacific but they were finishing training in Miami and the war ended before they were shipped.
PT 603 Crew numbers
July 1945 - January 1946 3 Officers and 14 Enlisted crew
(Exec Officer U/I then to PT 602 as Skipper).
Hope this helps a little.
Take care,
TED




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rickas

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of rickas   Send Email To rickas Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 - 7:38am
"See how it all adds up?
Jerry"

I do see. So the real answer to "standard crew" is "It Depends". Boat, armament, mission, training all had a part in determining the compliment. Thank you all.

Rick Schaefer
Splinter PT 63
Solomon Islands
Dec 43 - Jan 45

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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: Dec 30, 2013 - 1:09pm
Jerry, you're right, he did say 1943-45!

I fixated on my own favorite PT "era," that of the early boats at Guadalcanal, the Russells, and Rendova from late '42 through the summer of '43.

Those mid and late-war boats obviously needed more guys for the additional guns and radar (duh).!


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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: Dec 30, 2013 - 2:31pm
Rick: Our crew on PT 242 started patrols on Nov. 1st 1943 the time of the invasion of Bougainville and we were relieved from the boat About Dec 1st 1944. (13 months) We started with 2 officers and 11 men. We added two twin fify's on the bow in addition to the 37mm already on the bow in Feb 1944. At that time we added three men (2gunners and another motormac) which made our crew two officers and 14 men. We also had a cook which Jerry does not mention. He acted as a loader on the 37 at general quarters. We never had more than two officers. At general quarters we never had loaders for any of our twin fiftys only for the 20 mm, 37mm and 40 mm.

C. J. Willis

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JBG327

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of JBG327  Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 - 5:08pm
What does 1 officer U/I mean?


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TED WALTHER

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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: Dec 30, 2013 - 6:49pm
Quote:

What does 1 officer U/I mean?





It means 1 Officer Under Instruction. Explanation: This was an officer newly arrived to the Squadron(usually from the states as a replacement officer), who was slotted to take command of another boat, he would be assigned to a experienced and area familiar crew for X number of patrols, this allowed him to gain local operational knowledge. Once he was deemed "qualified" he would go to his own assigned boat.
Hope this helps.
Take care,
TED


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