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 Author  Topic: SF 1/C Walden Richard Fannin, PT 60 RON 2 and RON 3(2)
  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: Nov 13, 2015 - 5:41pm
All;
As you know Pat Fannin(PT Splinter RON 2 and RON 3(2)), recently posted here on the forum. I have found as much as I can for Pat on his Dad, SF 1/C Walden Richard Fannin, who was a member of Lennie Thom's crew on PT 60.

When this letter was written, on Sept. 1st, 1943, PT 59, PT 60, and PT 61, were being converted to Gunboats with the assistance of the, sub tender, USS Argonne(AG 31) and her onboard metal shops. While this was going on, and by reading this letter, the PT crews were integrated into the Argonne's duty sections. This was just as a simple thanks for the work they were doing on the three PT Boats. This is still a common thanks even in today's Navy, I have done it on several occasions.
What really amazes me in this letter, and is true and pure JFK, is that JFK as a LT. took Fannin's wristwatch to the Argonne, to get it fixed. In the meantime Fannin wrote this letter home to his young wife back in Ohio.
Classic JFK and Classic PT Ideology: "look out for you men, because they will look out for you".

Homer Edwards that is mentioned in the letter, from Ohio State was a local Ironton, Ohio boy, who later became an attorney in their hometown. He was Lennie Thoms roommate at Ohio State.

Pat said "Our family knew him well & my dad knew him from High School days".

With Pat's Permission;
Here is a letter that Pat's Dad wrote to his Mom on Sept. 1st, 1943.









Enjoy!
Take care,
TED

P.S. PT 59 was not complete until 6 October 1943 and moved up towards Rendova on 8 October 1943. The other two boats were completed later on in the month, and moved up accordingly.




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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: Nov 13, 2015 - 8:32pm
Thanks for posting that Ted and also the background. I feel like I just stepped back in time.
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: Nov 14, 2015 - 11:16am
Great letter.

Charlie

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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: Nov 16, 2015 - 7:12am
Ted: The 60 boat was at Lambu Cove, Vella La Vella on Dec 14, 1943 when we had the fuel dock fire which took the lives of Chief Connor and Joe Mitchell BM/2c. The 60 boat was trapped in the cove with the rest of our Squadron 19 boats during the fire. We were berthed in the mangrove bushes along the bank with the 60 alongside when the fire started. The 60 boat came to Lambu after the 59 left. They had left a few days before the fire occurred. I guess Fannin was aboard the 60 at that time.

C. J. Willis

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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: Nov 16, 2015 - 6:22pm
C.J.
Thanks for sharing, yes Fannin was there. The documentation that I found has his transfer from RON 3(2) to MTBSTC on 2 April 1944, so this is when he left PT 60.

About the fire on 14 December 1943, I found the after action report for 12/13 December 1943( the night before the fire ), PT 60( with LCDR Van Ness as OTC onboard PT 60), was on patrol with PT 239(ENS Fredrick A. DeVoe) for a barge sweep to North Torau Bay in the vicinity of Redman Island. they engaged 2 barges, later in patrol the were joined by PT 249 and PT 253, then the 4 boats engaged 3 barges and slugged it out, all PT's received numerous hits, but nobody was wounded. PT 60 received automatic weapons fire that hit the forward 40mm splinter shield.
Then of course PT 239 was a victim of the refueling fire the next day,
Take care,
TED


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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: Nov 17, 2015 - 10:08am
Ted the night before the fire (Dec 13 &14), according to Mr. Raney's diary we were on patrol to Bougainville. Our 19th patrol. Truly beautiful night. Full moon. Before coming home to Lambu Cove we shot up 3 beached barges. He said it was a pretty sight seeing the tracers ricoheting off the barges. Do you have an account of this action?

C. J. Willis

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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: Nov 17, 2015 - 4:05pm
C.J.
No I only have PT 235, 236, 238. and 241 departing Lambu at 1820 on 13 December 1943 for Patrol and returning at 0700 on 14 December. Is this a typo and it is actually your PT 242?
However, with re-reading the documents about the fire, as per ENS Ray C. Robinson's statement, I noticed that it mentions ENS. Raymond Sopher as third officer on PT 60.
Take care,
TED


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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: Nov 17, 2015 - 5:41pm
I know we were on patrol the night before the fire. We had been up all night and our crew was all sacked out asleep on the boat at the berth when the fire started about 14:30. The explosion of the fuel barrels woke us up. We wound them up and backed out into the cove and laid too and watched the fire. Mr. Raney had us keep the deck of the boat wet because embers were flying around. Barrels of gasoline would split open and float out burning toward our boat. We got the carbines out and shot them full of holes but that only made it worse because burning gasoline then spread out over the water. I tell you 500 barrels of burning 100 octane was a real sight to see. I will never forget it.

C. J. Willis

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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: Nov 17, 2015 - 6:27pm
C.J.
I sent you an email at your AOL account.
Take care,
TED


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