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 Author  Topic: Aft Crew Quarters on 78" Higgins?
Steve Wilson

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Steve Wilson  Posted on: Mar 21, 2015 - 12:03pm
I noticed on the very cool graphic of PT 658 by Eric Baker it shows a hatch for the aft crew quarters. Was there really a rear crew quarters? I do not believe I have ever seen a picture showing this area. My uncle was a MoMM on PT 475 and it would make sense for the motor guys to bunk near the engines. Anyone have any info?

Steve Wilson

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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: Mar 21, 2015 - 4:41pm
You might try viewing the PT 658 Walk-Thru video on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=PT+658 It has been some time since I last watched it; but I believe that he walks you thru the area in question. And if not, you'll still enjoy the tour

Rick Schaefer
Splinter PT 63

TM2c John E Mirus
Solomon Islands
Dec 43 - Jan 45

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Steve Wilson

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Steve Wilson  Posted on: Mar 21, 2015 - 8:23pm
Thanks for the link, Rick. I have watched pretty much all the PT 658 videos but I have only seen as far back as the engine room. They did point out a mystery panel at the back of the engine room, but never have seen what is on the other side. I can't imagine having much room back there, but maybe enough for a couple of guys to bunk. Seems like it would be very LOUD in there, though.

Steve Wilson

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  Jerry Gilmartin

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jerry Gilmartin   Send Email To Jerry Gilmartin Posted on: Mar 22, 2015 - 8:46am
Hello Steve and Rick,
Yes the PT625 Class of the 78 foot Higgins boats had an Aft Crews Quarters that sleeps 4. It has 2 berths outboard with Oval Holes cut in Bulkhead, and two canvas "Pipe Racks" that fold down inboard. They also had separate Wooden Footlockers (custom designed and built by Higgins) to stow their belongings. I always thought that the 4 man gun crew for the 40mm Bofors would naturally stay down there, since it was directly beneath their weapon, but I found out from talking to veterans who served on these boats that usually the junior "new guys" would be the ones who had to stay back there, since all the good spots up forward had already been taken by the more senior crewmen.
As for the "secret door" in the Engineroom Aft Bulkhead, that was something we added during our last repair period for ease of access and was not on any wartime Higgins PT Boats. It leads into the Aft Gas Tank Room. From there you can enter the Aft Crews Quarters as well. We use the empty space in what was the Aft Gas Tank room as a storage room for Damage Control Equipment, battery chargers, and an air compressor.
One more thing, in addition to the Aft Crews Quarters, there is room to sleep 2 more sailors in the Lazarette (Rudder Room) outboard on the very aft corners. In this way you have enough bunks to sleep 14 enlisted men and 2 officers on board the PT625 class of boat. I think the Higgins PT450 class was also laid out in a similar fashion.

I hope this helps.
Jerry

Jerry Gilmartin
PT658 Crewman
Portland OR

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Steve Wilson

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Steve Wilson  Posted on: Mar 22, 2015 - 10:32am
Thank you Jerry for the info. It makes sense the new guys would bunk back there. Not much advantage for the MoMMs to bunk back there since there is no direct access to the engine room, Hope to make it up your way someday to check out your marvelous boat.

Steve Wilson

Total Posts: 27 | Joined: Feb 2, 2015 - 12:28am | IP Logged

CJ Willis

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of CJ Willis  Posted on: Mar 23, 2015 - 11:12am
Steve: After we added more guns and added more men we had a crew of twelve men and two officers. 4 guys had bunks in the lazerette but they never slept in them. Too hot in the Solomons. We all slept on cots under the bow tarp and the tarp aft of the radar mast. A few nights we had to go below during heavy rain storms. We stored our seabags and gear in our bunks..

C. J. Willis

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Steve Wilson

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Steve Wilson  Posted on: Mar 23, 2015 - 2:02pm
Thanks CJ!
Nothing like sleeping in the fresh air. Probably a little more headroom on the cots also. My uncle was in Ron 32 / PT 475 and was in the Solomons in December. Bet it was hot.

Steve Wilson

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  Jerry Gilmartin

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jerry Gilmartin   Send Email To Jerry Gilmartin Posted on: Mar 24, 2015 - 2:03pm
Hey Steve,
I am curious about your Original Post, You said "I noticed on the very cool graphic of PT 658 by Eric Baker it shows a hatch for the aft crew quarters." So where is this Eric Baker Graphic? I have never seen it. Were you referring to the ones done by our own webmaster Dick Washichek? If there is actually one by Eric Baker could you tell me how I might get a copy and in touch with Mr Baker? Thanks Jerry

Jerry Gilmartin
PT658 Crewman
Portland OR

Total Posts: 1226 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 11:16pm | IP Logged

Dick

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Dick   Send Email To Dick Posted on: Mar 24, 2015 - 4:49pm

Here is a graphical view of the storage room progress and the addition of bunks in the Rudder Room.


 photo 1-Higgins_Aft_Crew.jpg




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Steve Wilson

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Steve Wilson  Posted on: Mar 24, 2015 - 5:45pm
Thank you for the great graphics, Dick. I had not seen anything like that before. That makes everything very clear! What a wonderful forum.

Steve Wilson

Total Posts: 27 | Joined: Feb 2, 2015 - 12:28am | IP Logged

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