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Will Day


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Just reading this new book by Allan Lawrence. Highly recommended....


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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Allan   Send Email To Allan Posted on: Nov 21, 2014 - 10:10am
To All:

Just a note regarding my newly released book titled "Deadly PT Boat Patrols." I received just last night a copy of a review of my book done by the Naval Historical Foundation. I have copied it below.

"Posted on November 19, 2014 by Admin

"By Allan L. Lawrence, Self-Published, Ellington, CT (2014)
"Reviewed by Nathan D. Wells

"The strategic impact that the U.S. Navy exercised during the Second World War, especially in the Pacific Theater of Operations, is well known. The combination of aircraft carrier battle groups and amphibious task forces proved a war-winning combination. The U.S. Navy was also involved in other, smaller endeavors such as Patrol-Torpedo (PT) Boat operations. PT boats were used in both the Pacific and European theaters, they fought a much more close-quarters type of war than their larger contemporaries. As they were constructed out of wood, their service was in many ways a return to the days of wooden ships and iron men. Usually associated with the service of future President John F. Kennedy, or the TV series McHales Navy, they provided yeoman service in often brutal fighting at point blank range. Allan Lawrence Jr.s father and namesake served on one such PT Boat, and this volume serves as a chronicle of both the unit as a whole and the
senior Lawrence. The project began by tracking his fathers personal sidearm, which gives insight into the close proximity of the fighting, as well as a personal relationship to the narrative.

"Allan Lawrence, Sr. had an adventurous career at sea well before he set foot on a PT Boat. Like many during the Great Depression, he sought work where he could. In 1934, he signed on with the Atlantic and Caribbean Steam Navigation Company. For the remainder of that decade, he crisscrossed the globe on multiple ships. One of these ships ironically took part in the rescue operation for a sinking Japanese fishing vessel. In 1940, he joined the Naval Reserve militia and saw service on patrol craft and a destroyer in waters that would soon be favorite hunting grounds for German U-Boats. With the opening of hostilities, Lawrence transferred to the Motor Torpedo Squadron Base and Training Center (MTSBTC) at Melville, RI. Around the same time, the Pacific Theater was being divided into two operational theaters: the Central Pacific Area under Admiral Chester Nimitz and the Southwest Pacific Area under General Douglas MacArthur.

"While the SWPA contained hundreds of miles of coastline and many islands, there were no major naval units initially assigned to it. The first naval force stationed in the area was Naval Division Seventeen, and in particular Task Force 50.1, a PT Boat force. As the authors father would soon find out, operating as a semi-autonomous naval force under army jurisdiction made an already complicated zone of operation that much more difficult. The issue of maintenance facilities and spare parts for the hard-riding PT Boats was a constant source of tension. While nominally assigned just six boats, the division was often down to two or three crafts. They once had no boats serviceable for action!

"While the SWPA was under Army command, it was also an international affair. General MacArthurs headquarters were in Australia. That nation contributed mightily to the effort in the theater. One of the criticisms that MacArthur has come under fire for is how he often downplayed the vital role that Australian forces had in securing victory. Much the same could be said of those Marines and sailors in the SWPA. The main role for Task Force 50.1 was to interdict Japanese reinforcements arriving in the battle area via barge. The boats quickly replaced half of their torpedoes with additional heavy machine guns and set to work.

"Along with destroying the landing craft, Task Force 50.1 crews were tasked with the unsettling job of liquidating any Japanese in the water within a mile from shore. Most Japanese at this stage in the war were unwilling to surrender, so all PT Boat crewmen were issued a sidearm. The US Navy had actually contracted Colt to produce 1,591 M1911 automatic pistols for PT Boat crews. The authors father brought his issued sidearm back to the United States. The boats usually operated at night because the Japanese often had air superiority initially. The dark would help mask the direction that they were approaching from. They were mostly used for lightening hit-and-run attacks. They also helped serve a mopping-up function in one well-known battle. The Battle of the Bismarck Sea (March 2-4, 1943) is best known as a sort of payback for Pearl Harbor. Aircraft of the U.S. Fifth Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) attacked a large Japanese convoy carrying troops to Lae, New Guinea; causing heavy damage. This was the case during daylight hours; but once the sunset, the area became a PT Boat hunting ground. The crews referred to the battle simply as The Lae Convoy Job.

"Allan Lawrence Sr. was eventually medically evacuated from the area as a result of the effects of malaria. He was later assigned to the MTSBTC Melville fire department, quickly appointed as chief. He later became Chief Fire Inspector and Captain of the Newport Naval Base Fire Department, eventually serving as a police officer in Tiverton, RI. His son followed a similar path, serving in both the Hartford and Ellington, CT fire departments.

"This is a fine book overall. The major criticism that I have is that additional detailed maps would have been helpful. My grandfather served in PT Boat squadrons during the war, which strengthened my interest in naval history. It is understandable why the younger Lawrence sought to research his fathers service. I recommend the volume to anyone interested in PT Boats, or the U.S. Navys smaller role in the Second World War.

"Nathan D. Wells is an adjunct instructor of History at Quincy College in Quincy, MA.

"Allan L. Lawrence, Deadly PT Boat Patrols, A History: Task Group 50.1 New Guinea 1942-43. (Self-Published, Ellington, CT, 2014.) Pp. 417."

There is also a great review on Amazon posted by a Lieutenant Commander.
The book is 8.5 X 11 format in both soft cover and hard cover "library binding", 54 chapters, 417 pages, 470+ indexed names, 200+ photos, 6 maps and 251 endnotes. It covers the New Guinea action at Milne Bay, Base 4, Tufi and Morobe. It is available on E-bay, Amazon or directly through me.

The book has been accepted into the Naval Historical Foundation and is acclaimed by 4-Star ADM. Bruce DeMars. Capt. James Patton, USN (Ret) wrote the Foreword.

There are pictures of the book along with a few interior photos as posted on this Forum on June 6 and later. Please forgive me for saying so, but I worked on this for seven years, getting the names and facts straight. $49 soft bound, $59 hard bound. A bit expensive, but research and production costs were significant. No PT Boat book has ever been written with this much detail. It will keep a reader's interest.

Allan Lawrence

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  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: Nov 22, 2014 - 9:23am
Great review, no need to apologize for the price, it seems as though the book's reviews make the book an excellent choice for someone's library. I too hope to get the book in the very near future and I never complain about the cost as long as what is inside is good, and from the sounds of it, this book i good..................

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Allan   Send Email To Allan Posted on: May 24, 2015 - 6:20pm
Forum Members:

I was invited by the administration of Battleship Cove in Fall River to do a book signing for my book "Deadly PT Boat Patrols- A History: Task Group 50.1 New Guinea 1942-43" yesterday as part of their programming for Memorial Day Weekend. The entire weekend was/is free admission to all military personnel. The activity was fairly constant throughout. I was unexpectedly joined by James H. Patton, Capt, USN (Ret.) who actually wrote the Foreword for my book. He was very entertaining and engaging and offered his signature, also, to those who wanted it (and they each did). The Staff was very accomodating and it was considered a success by all. I would do it again if asked. They are now selling my book in their Gift Shop.

I am please by how the book has been received. It is very different from anything out there, past or present. A few board members have purchased the book and Will Day has recommended it here. There are several reviews available on eBay and Amazon. Barnes & Noble will soon be next.


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