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 Author  Topic: Asking for help
defontesjim

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: May 5, 2015 - 2:06pm
Sirs,

I am in a search to identify information pertaining to my father's PT Boat service. He is in failing health as as most of the surviving WW2 veterans, and his memory is not good. At times however, mention of his service on the boats brings a smile to his face and fleeting memories which I would like to know more of in an effort to stimulate his thoughts.

My father is John Donald DeFontes. He enlisted in Baltimore and achieved rank of Boatswains Mate 2nd class on his separation from service. He recalls being at Milne Bay, and Fergusson Island which I believe indicates service in Ron 7 or Ron 8. I also know he was rather young and he says his boat commander "took him under his wing" because he was only 17 and told him never to leave his side.

I know this is a very long shot, but any information that is held would be appreciated before he is gone.

Splinter Only,
Jim deFontes
defontesjim@gmail.com




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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: May 6, 2015 - 6:34am
Hey Jim,

The only John D. DeFontes that shows up on the searchable part of the Navy Muster reports shows him on the USS General Harry H Taylor (APA-145) in June 1944 going from San Francisco to Edur,Biho, as a passenger.

I don't see his name on the Ron 7 or 8 muster reports.

I'll continue to look.

Charlie

Charlie

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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: May 6, 2015 - 9:52am
My records I have him as a CPO/ 3 serving with Rons 8 and 11. I can do some more digging, if you would like. You can also have Charlie do some more digging as well. You can contact me at mosquitofleet@comcast.net


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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: May 6, 2015 - 10:36am
Jim, what time frame are we talking about?



Charlie

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defontesjim

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: May 6, 2015 - 2:51pm
I am in your debt.

Here's what I know as fact because I have some of my father's papers. I have a training course certificate dated May14 of 1945 showing completion of the course for Coxswain, and CPO 3.

He was discharged in March of 1946 at Bainbridge Maryland.

I have a photocopy of his discharge papers which is very, very hard to read.
I can make out just bits and pieces that may mean something to you.

Stations served on: "COM(?) SEVENTH FLT (R/D EDUR)"

US Navy Base 717

US Naval Caretaker Unit M/B

US Naval Base 717

Navy 617

Awards : Pacific Theater Ribbon -American (Thunder?) Ribbon - Victory Medal.

As I understand things Base 717 and 617 were located at Milne Bay and the designations served more like a zip code for mail than anything else.

Perhaps it is the fog of advancing years but he has said his skipper was called "Shelly".

That's all that I know. My father did not talk about his service when my brother and I were younger, but he is extremely proud of it now. We'd like to learn all that we can and I most sincerely appreciate your help

Jim deFontes
defontesjim@gmail.com




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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: May 6, 2015 - 4:12pm
Milne Bay was a part of Papua New Guinea, PT bases in that area, that I am aware were Base 6, Kana Kopa, and an engine overhaul base called Ladava. I was not able to locate any other information on him to date, sorry about that.......................


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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: May 7, 2015 - 6:54am
Thanks Jim. I see Base 717 in Milne Bay. 617 shows as being in Camaguey, Cuba. Probably stopped there on his way back to Bainbridge.

Based on the listing of assignments, I'm not really sure if he was in PTs.

Still looking.



Charlie

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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: May 9, 2015 - 2:05pm
OK, got most of his history:

John Donald DeFontes
Enlisted 4-14-1944
On USS General Harry H Taylor (APA-145) June 1944 for transport.
Arrived ComServ7thFlt (RB EDUR) on ??
Transferred to Naval Supply Depot Milne Bay (167) on July 17, 1944 as Seaman 2nd
Changed rate to Seaman 1st on Sept 1, 1944
Changed rate to Coxswain on July 1 1, 1945
Transferred to Navy Base Milne Bay (717) on Aug 2, 1945.
Transferred to Caretaker Unit, Milne Bay on Nov 3, 1945
Transferred back to Navy Base 717 on Nov 11, 1945
Changed Rate from COX (T) to BM2(T) on Jan 1, 1946 (T stands for Temporary)
Transferred to PSC Bainbridge, MD on Feb 6, 1946 for discharge.

So it doesn't look like he was in PT boats. He may have been on some boat in support of the Supply Depot but not one big enough to require a separate muster report of administration.

I think the 617 on his discharge is a typo and should be 167 for the supply depot at Milne Bay.

Charlie

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