PT Boat Forum


Moderated by: Dick, Jeff D

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

Prev Page | Next Page | Page: 4 of 11

Back to Topic Index Page 49 | Replies: 109 | Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

 Author  Topic: Pure bilge (oxymoronic, isn't it?)
David Waples

TOP BOSS
  

    
Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Waples  Posted on: Oct 5, 2014 - 9:37pm
For those of you keeping track of Garth's rant, here's his latest misinformation.

"With all due respect to NAT GEO and Dr. Ballard, this is bilge: First, location: No other PT (patrol torpedo) boat was lost in the search area. Plus, the location of the find is consistent with historical accounts of the PT-109 bow's drift. (The stern, or rear, sank at impact.) ...
PT-166 sank two weeks previously in the same general area.
Also, neither the book or the broadcast mentioned ANYTHING about finding anything but the torpedo tube. Where were/are the other three tubes, the 50s?, the 20mm?, the 37mm M3? The engines? The gas tanks? Other metallic artifacts? A debris field?
Just one torpedo tube? And that guy looking at the monitor, organismically screaming, "That's a Mark 8 tube with a Mark 18 torpedo from PT-109!" Come on!"

I'll only speak to the references to Dr. Ballard's work. In the book they identified with sonar a target that was rectangular in shape about 23' by 40'. This was not discussed in depth in the original release video. I've pointed this out already. There were no other significant sonar targets in the area. Surrounding the tube was a lot of debris. The assumption was that most of the debris is buried under sand. It's a war grave and they were not authorized to do any excavating or recovery by the US Navy.

Yesterday I pulled out the video and watched it from beginning to end. The historian observing the video states that they have a torpedo tube with a Mark VIII torpedo. He never says anything about a Mark VIII tube with a Mark 18 torpedo from PT-109. In fact if you go back and review the video Garth posted in his previous rant the historian is very clear and it doesn't match what Garth states.

The historians had records of the disposition of every PT Boat. There is no mention of PT-166. They targeted their search area based on what was known about the Tokyo Express, the observations of the coast watchers, and the locations of the islands the crew swam to. Not to mention Mr. Keresey who joined the team.

I found the book and the video very interesting. Particularly the information about the coast watchers and their network. I would suggest reading and watching the original video and ignoring the rants on the Facebook PT Boat Special Interest site and Garth's rants. I think Dr. Ballard and his team did very well with what they had to work with. You be the judge.
Dave

David Waples

Total Posts: 1583 | Joined: Jan 2, 2007 - 9:55pm | IP Logged

Jeff D

Moderator
  

    
Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: Oct 6, 2014 - 7:54am
This is the same guy that hears things others can't right? That gets angry when others won't accept his questionable guesswork as fact? His response to others not hearing: Screw it. I am all-too aware of those "men" on that forum think of me, and no matter what I say is right in their minds, or what pass for minds on that forum. So, screw it.. A man will admit he was mistaken. I did like the way he paraphrased Al's pure bilge title though.

I didn't mean to start another 109 rehash but I have found it very interesting. Thanks David Buck for Barney Ross's story, I hadn't heard it before.

EDIT: I took my childish name calling out.



Total Posts: 1773 | Joined: Dec 21, 2006 - 1:30am | IP Logged

Frank Andruss

TOP BOSS
  

    
Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank Andruss   Send Email To Frank Andruss Posted on: Oct 6, 2014 - 11:25am
You can certainly make up your own mind without anyone's ranting and raving. My own thought's here, is this team went out to look for signs of PT-109, and simply they found a Torpedo Tube. That is all, and to me at least one torpedo tube does not mean they found anything associated with PT-109. I have stated before on this board that certainly the engines represent the heaviest part of the boat by far, and if they would come across those, it would no doubt ( in my mind at least) raise eyebrows as to a possible find. Engines have nomenclatures on them, and if they could find one of those, it would tell you plenty. Finding a piece of something in an area that was so congested with other boat traffic doesn't mean they found PT-109. To me, I would need more evidence then that.


Total Posts: 3964 | Joined: Feb 9, 2007 - 11:41am | IP Logged

  Jerry Gilmartin

TOP BOSS
  

    
Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jerry Gilmartin   Send Email To Jerry Gilmartin Posted on: Oct 6, 2014 - 7:05pm
I pretty much feel the same way that Frank does. I guess you can call me a "skeptic" concerning Dr. Ballards Torpedo Tube being deemed as "the PT109". There seemed to be a lot of pressure on him to find SOMETHING, so the explorers just took the first crumbs and "called it good". I would personally liked to have seen a little more concrete evidence of engines and other items, and if that is not possible, at least dig a couple of scoopfuls of dirt to see what is attached to that torpedo tube, just for the sake of positive identification. If we are to believe the accounts, the "war grave" portion of the boat would have been the aft section, where the motor mac (Marney) was standing watch and the gunners mate (Kirksey) aft gun turret was. The torpedo tube was attached to the front part wasn't it? That part had no bodies inside of it since it floated for several hours, so why the reluctance to dig? I never understood that.
Thanks for listening.
Jerry

Jerry Gilmartin
PT658 Crewman
Portland OR

Total Posts: 1216 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 11:16pm | IP Logged

Drew Cook

TOP BOSS
  

    
Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Drew Cook  Posted on: Oct 6, 2014 - 7:33pm
Jerry,

At the time of the collision, Marney was in the forward (starboard) turret next to the cockpit, and Kirksey had been last seen on deck near the starboard aft torpedo tube.

I never understood, and don't agree, with the "war grave" stance, either. From my viewing of the documentary and reading of the book, the reason Ballard's exploration didn't dig deeper around the torpedo tube seemed to be a combination of the depth (1,300 feet), the current, and the inadequacies of their diving robot -- it really wasn't set up for excavation.

Personally, I'm convinced Ballard probably found a torpedo tube and torpedo from the 109. What's left under the tube was (is) buried under the sand.

The only question I've ever had about the authenticity of the tube is the absence of the half-a-dozen or so bracing "rings" around the tube -- they don't show up in Ballard's photos.


Total Posts: 1241 | Joined: Oct 19, 2006 - 10:44am | IP Logged

David Waples

TOP BOSS
  

    
Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Waples  Posted on: Oct 6, 2014 - 7:57pm
Wow, we've done a fine job of hijacking Al's review and turning it into another PT-109 discussion.

While we would all love to know that this was 100% confirmed PT-109 we're not going to get that. Dr. Ballard expressed concern that they would not find anything due to the sand covering up the remains of the boat. There is technology that could be taken out there now that would look into the sand and tell us what is there. Maybe someday that will happen but don't hold your breath. That part of the world is littered with WWII wreckage and the under water graves of many many sailors. Frankly the engine and the tube could be miles apart and it would be a monumental effort to locate them and probably still want not be conclusive. It's just not practical. Furthermore the US Navy considers these war graves and they are very serious about people not disturbing them. Whatever is left of PT-109 is buried or consumed by the ocean.

That said the Ballard expedition did their research to determine what boats were lost in this area and it's likely they found a piece of it. Garth in his rant states that PT-166 was sunk in this vicinity. It didn't take much effort on my part to discover that PT-166 was sunk off of Munda Point by the Army Air Corp. Munda point is not even close to where PT-109 was struck. Munda Point is on the southern side of New Georgia from where the Tokyo Express operated that night. Also the 109 was stuck well north of Vonavona and Kohinggo Islands which separate New Georgia from the location of the 109 sinking. We can be very sure that this tube didn't come off PT-166.

I'm not 100% convinced myself but given the evidence I think it is highly likely that this came off the 109 boat. This uncertainty is acknowledged in the film and in the book. In my opinion this effort, given what they had to work with was well done. Why Garth chose to attack this effort is beyond me. It's mean spirited, self serving, and not well researched on his part.

Dave

David Waples

Total Posts: 1583 | Joined: Jan 2, 2007 - 9:55pm | IP Logged

  Jerry Gilmartin

TOP BOSS
  

    
Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jerry Gilmartin   Send Email To Jerry Gilmartin Posted on: Oct 6, 2014 - 9:02pm
Thanks Drew on the correction, I never knew their last believed locations were up on the deck. Even still, the front half would not have had any bodies since the crew was floating on it for several hours before abandoning it. So I think several people agree on the validity of determining the front half to be a "war grave" or not.. Isnt the USS Arizona also considered a war grave? Yet, the Navy has given special permission to allow limited penetration into the wreck for historical documentation and identification purposes. I have seen proof of this on documentary films. So the idea of digging a little dirt from around the torpedo tube is not out of the realm of possibility if you look at it in the same light as the permission given to explore the USS Arizona. I guess we will never know! Take care. Jerry

Jerry Gilmartin
PT658 Crewman
Portland OR

Total Posts: 1216 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 11:16pm | IP Logged

David Buck

TOP BOSS
  

    
Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Buck   Send Email To David Buck Posted on: Oct 7, 2014 - 11:54pm
Jeff, A little light banter as they say

Here is a little more from Barney Ross but in a different direction so,

"We had these two coconut logs to brace the legs of the 37mm cannon. I'd say the logs were 8-9 feet long, about 10-12" in diameter. I think we had just tied them down, I'm not sure... When we swam to shore we used one coconut log."

Most models and depictions of the 109 show these logs as 8x2-8x4 planks, I have read other members of the 109s crew also stated that they were logs as well.

Sorry have to add that he also said that it had the wheels on it, that one might put the cat among the pigeons!

Any ideas?

I am not meaning to create any more storms but mealy a question to ask if this has been picked up by you or others.


Sometimes it pays to read what people who were there have to say, better than guessing at what may have happened. My way of looking at it.

On Ballad while I think he did a good job with the limited amount of resources he had, maybe he could have shown a lot more of the video at the wreck site, as it is the limited amount they did show and the manner in which it was interpreted has raised more questions than it answered. I think this is why this topic keeps being a rather hot one, as many people still feel that the boat is still out there somewhere, and the manner in which she went down only adds to the mystic.(and to poke a few holes for fun, what colour was she, did she or did she not have her mast, why was she travelling at 10 knots? Oh and have a look at this one, in the short video a few pages back in the CGI shot at first there is a shot of the destroyer approaching the 109 from the PORT FOREQUARTER??? I thought she was hit on the Starboard side, oops, next shot shows the destroyer on her Starboard Forequarter. Sooo If they can't get that right well says it all does't it).

A"hhhh well all in good fun.

Just my two cents worth.

Ta Jeff.

D.buck

Total Posts: 332 | Joined: May 4, 2008 - 2:59am | IP Logged

Drew Cook

TOP BOSS
  

    
Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Drew Cook  Posted on: Oct 8, 2014 - 7:43am
"Coconut logs?"...hmmm...interesting...

For what it's worth, in the film "PT 109," the spread trail legs of the 37 millimeter gun on the foredeck is shown braced across their rears with... a coconut log!

I've long ascribed to this depiction as being correct, although most modelers don't include the log across the ends of the trail legs in their versions of what the boat looked like on it's final patrol.

As to the "wheels on" theory on the 37 mm gun, John Hersey's original article "Survival" in The New Yorker magazine of June 17th, 1944 -- the very first account of the PT 109 "saga" -- the gun is described as having "the wheels still on," or words to that effect. Richard Tregaskis, in his 1962 book "John F. Kennedy: War Hero" (a republished and expanded version of his previously published "John F. Kennedy and PT-109") also stated the 37 mm was "still mounted on tires" when it was secured to the 109's foredeck, but...

Robert J. Donovan's exhaustively researched (interviews with all the surviving crew members) 1961 book "PT 109 - John F. Kennedy In World War II" stated the 37 mm "the wheels of which had been removed" was "placed...in position with its axles resting on on the ("two-by-eight") planks, so...?

Personally, since Barney Ross was present on the set of the film (as a crusty CPO who gets a bucket of cosmoline solvent dumped on his head by Cliff Robertson as JFK) and several members of the real crew visited the set, I'm going with the wheels-off, mounted on 2" x 8" planks, coconut log brace across the rear of the trail legs theory.


Total Posts: 1241 | Joined: Oct 19, 2006 - 10:44am | IP Logged

Jeff D

Moderator
  

    
Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: Oct 8, 2014 - 8:46am
Is that the article that quoted JFK (?) as saying the 37mm was hanging off the bow by a chain? I found that interesting but can't remember details, they are on my other computer. I think it was from a New Yorker article. Hm, Pat has some nice tiny 3D printed chains...



Total Posts: 1773 | Joined: Dec 21, 2006 - 1:30am | IP Logged

Prev Page | Next Page

Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 8 9 10 11


Lock Topic

 

Forum Legend

New Member

Reply to topic

More than 25 posts | Full Member

Reply to topic with quoted message

More than 50 posts | Advanced Member

Edit Message

More than 150 posts | MASTER

View profile

More than 300 posts | TOP BOSS

Email member