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 Author  Topic: Visibility the night the 109 was sunk?
PeterTareBuilder2

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of PeterTareBuilder2  Posted on: Sep 8, 2014 - 1:43pm
Hello there.

I'm having a discussion with someone regarding the loss of the 109.

I stated that there was virtually no visibility that night as it was pitch black. Here is his reply:

"Peter may never have been in salt water. The jelly fish light up the area like a stadium. Hara seems to say you could see a log on the water ten miles away. PT 109 was dead in the water when it was hit."

Therefore I came back here to get the scoop again from those who are in the know about the actual visibility that night. That's because I think his claim of "ten miles" is just so much El Toro Poo Poo.

Cheers from PeterTareBuilder

"Give me a fast boat for we want to get out of harm's way too."

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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: Sep 8, 2014 - 2:25pm
El Toro Poo Poo.

If I remember correctly, the records of the exact astronomical and meterological conditions of that particular night (August 1-2, 1943) in the New Georgia island group area have been researched and posted online by someone before (can't remember who or where), and it was determined it was a completely moonless night, with low, heavy cloud cover and little to no starlight.

Dick Keresey, skipper of the 105 and also on patrol in Blackett Straight that night wrote, in "PT 105," "It was a particulary dark night -- no moon and heavy cloud cover...I couldn't see...because the night was so dark, with a heavy cloud cover, no moon..."

The (supposed) phosphorescence of "jellyfish in the water" wouldn't have had the slightest effect on visibilty, and the night was described by the PT sailors that were on patrol that night as so dark one couldn't tell where the sky met the sea.

The first indication that the crew of the 109 had of the Amagiri, highballing along at 35 knots, was her phosphorenscent bow wave -- the "bone in her teeth," -- coming out of the surrounding darkness, and by the time she was Identified as a Japanese DD (and not another PT) it was too late.


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PeterTareBuilder2

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of PeterTareBuilder2  Posted on: Sep 8, 2014 - 2:29pm
Ahoy there Drew.

Thanks as that confirms my beliefs that were based on Donovan's book and what I read in various posts on this forum over the years I've been privileged to be a member.

Cheers from PeterTareBuilder

"Give me a fast boat for we want to get out of harm's way too."

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Frank Andruss

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank Andruss   Send Email To Frank Andruss Posted on: Sep 8, 2014 - 3:25pm
I have 14 page hand written letter from a Sailor who was on PT-162 that night. In his letter he states that it was a very black night, and how they had lost track of PT-109 because they just could not see her due to the very black night.


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John Sullivan

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of John Sullivan   Send Email To John Sullivan Posted on: Sep 8, 2014 - 5:23pm
Hellow again Frank. I have tried to contact Bill Doyle on my computer with no results./the g mail i have for did not work for me,l outa OLE jwsullivan


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Frank Andruss

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank Andruss   Send Email To Frank Andruss Posted on: Sep 8, 2014 - 7:46pm
John call me, 413 789-1938. I am home most days , I will help you get in touch with him.


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David Waples

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Waples  Posted on: Sep 8, 2014 - 8:15pm
Drew has it right. Every account I've read including the most recent book "Into The Dark Water" concurs that visibility was very poor. That combined with the time required to power up a PT left the 109 with no chance. There's no doubt that the crew saw it coming there was just nothing they could do about it in the seconds they had. Even Kennedy's detractors acknowledge that he did it the right way. I trust the accounts of the vets who were there as opposed to know it alls that know nothing.

See a log in the water at 10 miles? What a ridiculous statement.
Dave

David Waples

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29navy

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of 29navy  Posted on: Sep 9, 2014 - 4:50am
Not to mention, when standing on a PT boat, you can only see about 3-4 miles in any direction. From a destroyer's bridge, about 10 miles or so.

Charlie

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Patrick Matthews

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Sep 11, 2014 - 8:13am
I have only experienced "pitch dark" once when outdoors. It was a camping trip in the desert in Utah, far from any towns. Moonless night and overcast... absolutely eerie, I actually couldn't see someone right in front of me.

For a city boy, this was an "eye opening" experience!



Patrick Matthews
Matthews Model Marine
http://matthewsmodelmarine.wordpress.com/

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