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 Author  Topic: Ship's lantern/light/blinker on The Boat That Must Not Be Named
William Doyle

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of William Doyle  Posted on: Jul 22, 2015 - 12:24pm
I am doing the very last fact checking on my book on the 109. My editor asked me what exactly is the "ship's lantern" that John Hersey in his 1943 New Yorker article wrote Kennedy swam out into Ferguson Passage with on the night of August 2/3 1943. Do you think this is different from the blinker device, which PT 157 skipper William "Bud" Liebenow just told me was battery powered and could be hand-held. Liebenow can't remember any details about a "ship's lantern," which Hersey wrote was "a heavy battery affair, ten inches by ten inches" that Kennedy floated out in the kapok.
In the same article, Hersey writes that Kennedy had Mauer "blink a light" on the wreckage after the crash so the survivors could find it.
Do you think they are one in the same -- the "ship's lantern" = "a light" = the blinker device?
Thank you!


William Doyle

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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: Jul 22, 2015 - 1:24pm
it would be what they called a battle lantern. Should look something like this:

http://dondiegovega.deviantart.com/art/Navy-Battle-Lantern-284120380


Charlie

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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: Jul 22, 2015 - 3:04pm
Bill,

Charlie's right - the photo he posted is of a Navy battle lantern, the exact same type JFK and then Barney Ross carried into Blackett Straight to try to signal passing PTs. That example has an additional (mildly radioactive) luminous button affixed to the front of the handle, not usually seen on battle lanterns.

The light Mauer blinked to attract survivors after the ramming may have been a tubular ship's signal (blinker) light, different from the battle lantern.

Both a blinker signal light - used, I believe to send Morse code signals - and a battle lantern can be seen to good effect in the movie "PT 109."


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William Doyle

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of William Doyle  Posted on: Jul 22, 2015 - 3:34pm
Superb -- and fascinating, as usual on this forum. Thanks a million.

William Doyle

Total Posts: 57 | Joined: Jan 5, 2015 - 10:20am | IP Logged


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