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 Author  Topic: December 28th,1943
CJ Willis

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of CJ Willis  Posted on: Jan 1, 2015 - 9:09am
At this time of year I am reminded of that date. PT242 and PT247 were patrolling the southern end of Bougainville. At a little after midnight we got pips on the radar about a mile away. We went roaring to the site. There we encountered 4 Jap barges about 2-3 miles off shore. We were at General Quarters so we made a port side run at the barges. We opened up with all our guns on two of the barges. The 247 was behind us firing at one of the barges. The barges started returning our fire. (I can tell you that you can draw up to a pretty small target when them tracer start coming back at you) The barge I was concentrating on caught fire and started blazing. Some our bigger guns were also firing at the same barge. I could see Japs jumping off the barge into the water. As we finished our pass to circle around and reload. I saw smoke and a smouldering fire at our port rear torpedo. I jumped out of my turret and John Grace our torpedoman had already fired the air charge but the torpedo was wedged in the tube. Mr. Raney ,skipper, sent me to the lazerette to get a bucket with a rope on the bail and started dipping water to put the fire out. We were really lucky that the TNT didn't explode because torpedoes were detonated by a small charge of fulminate-mercury to set off the TNT. Evidently the Jap shell was wasn't large enough to set it off. Ron 19 was patrolling out of Treasury with Ron 9 at the time. We arrived at the base next morning Commander Kelly and our Squadron Commander Smith were both at the dock. Kelly congratulated us on good shooting and Smith said all you boys should get on your knees and thank God that the torpedo didn't explode. PT 242 and PT247 were credited with sinking two barges and a possible third. One barge escaped and got away to the beach. We were sent that day back down to Tulagi to get repaired and new Mark 13 torpedoes.

C. J. Willis

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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: Jan 1, 2015 - 9:18am
I love listening to your stories C.J., and I have the photo's that you sent to me, showing the repair of that Torpedo head, which is in one of my books. These are times you can never forget, and although all of us love these boats on this forum, sometimes we forget that they were instruments of death and destruction, and sometimes our boys were injured and killed in these battles. Thanks C.J., HAPPY NEW YEAR..........


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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: Jan 1, 2015 - 1:21pm
C.J.;
I bet you guys were watching your wristwatches all the way back to base. Great story Keep them coming!
Take care,
TED


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Andy Small

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Andy Small   Send Email To Andy Small Posted on: Jan 1, 2015 - 2:36pm
Great Story CJ! and thanks for loaning your photos to Frank for his book. That's a great shot on page 79!

- Andy

Not sure if you've seen the after action report for that night. Incredible! You all were in good with the Lord that night
photo
photo
photo
photo



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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: Jan 1, 2015 - 5:25pm



Andy: I have never seen these action reports and did not know they even existed. They are much more detailed than my recollection of the events that night. I would like to have copies if available for my PT 242 files. Thanks for showing them here.

C. J. Willis

Total Posts: 464 | Joined: Nov 5, 2006 - 5:02pm | IP Logged

Andy Small

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Andy Small   Send Email To Andy Small Posted on: Jan 1, 2015 - 7:13pm
CJ, My pleasure! Send me an email (traintroll(at)cox.net) and I'll send you a PDF file of the report.

Cheers,
Andy


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Jeff D

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: Jan 2, 2015 - 12:35am
Wow CJ, that was some luck. "TNT smoldering on deck"... Thanks for sharing the story, it is a great start for a new year. And thank you too Andy for the official report.



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earl

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of earl  Posted on: Jan 4, 2015 - 6:26pm
good post c j. happy nw year my friend earl

earl richmond

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Will Day

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Will Day   Send Email To Will Day Posted on: Jan 4, 2015 - 9:36pm
Happy New Year, Earl.....

Will

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Michael Vorrasi

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Michael Vorrasi  Posted on: Jan 5, 2015 - 9:17am
Awesome thread and story, CJ. A couple of observations in the report. Times in the report are referred to as "Love" which is an obsolete term i am not familiar with. We might use Zulu Time or UTC. What was it? Local time (L for Love?)

Last item (#3 on the last page) refers to the 37mm on 242 that jammed. Says it is not an M4 type. Was it perhaps the rare 37MM gun that looked like a smaller 40MM Bofors?

Mike

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