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 Author  Topic: PT 59
Jimbo Melanson

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: May 29, 2017 - 4:09pm
let it rest in peace

Jimbo

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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: Jun 15, 2020 - 4:49pm
Because of recent interest of PT 59, I’m trying to update this old post that David Buck first posted in January of 2016.

Some of you have probably recently received an email link of a newspaper article from one or more individuals, regarding a boat presumed to be PT 59. This was an article concerning the removal of the remains of PT 59 by the New York Time on June 6, 2020.
Article Link

Prior to the publishing of the article, I had on June 1, 2020 received a request to download the Elco 77’ blueprints copied from microfilm. Originally this microfilm was provided me by Al Ross, and I had scanned all the engineering frames to .pdf files. Later after sending him the download link, I receive another email from the same individual realizing that particular set of microfilm was horribly produced by the Navy and many of the pages of engineering are exceptionally hard to interpret. In this email he had described why he was interested in the drawings, as he was overseeing the removal of a boat haul submerged in 3 to 6 feet of mud for many decades. They believed it to be PT 59 and he was interested in finding proof (engineering) of the items being brought up from the site as actually being components of PT 59. It appears the New York MTA was requiring them to salvage and save any and all parts recovered - in the name of history, just in case it actually was Kennedy’s last boat.

Directly below are some excerts (blue) from his communications with myself and Ted Walther. I brought Ted in on the conversations because of his own research some time back and my thought he had relevant information to share with the company.



1.) Good Afternoon:
Thank you for sharing this information. I am trying to acquire information related to the ELCO 77 PT Boats in particular The PT 59. I am a Marine Superintendent for Walsh Construction working on the installation of a Floodwall in New York City. Recently while conducting a routine inspection our divers encountered an obstruction that was suspected of being the PT 59. The vessel was reportedly abandoned and sank alongside the seawall at the 207th Street Rail maintenance facility in 1976.

We have been tasked with removing the remains of the boat from the bottom of the Harlem River. Further investigation by the divers revealed that the boat was in an advanced state of decay. Much of the material that has recovered to date has been literally been removed by hand as it is no longer fastened or joined to a structural member. There is also a lot of evidence that the hull had been modified and repaired over the years.

The MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority), has asked us to recover and retain any materials that may be used in a future display due to the PT 59’s association with President Kennedy.
 
To Date: We have recovered :
3 Rudders that appear to be original.
2 Propeller Shafts that appear more bronze than Monel
1 Propeller ( Not Original)
Misc. Propeller Struts which appear to be original.

Deteriorated wood hull elements showing signs of Decay and Marine Borer damage.

I have a question concerning the shafts, Where the original shafts one piece?
The 2 recovered shafts each have a coupler joining the sections. The couplers themselves are not of the same design.

Thank You for your efforts in gathering and preserving this information.

2.) Good Morning:
Thank you for quick response. To answer your question concerning the wood pieces of the boat, we have been instructed by the MTA to hold the material on site and not to dispose of any of the debris.

We were not surprised when we found the boat as it is part of the local lore , although some folks were telling us that its finial resting place was elsewhere in the Harlem River.

The remaining hull was covered by 3 to 6 feet of mud, when we surveyed the boat using stakes to determine the length and width. We came up with overall length of 77’, which is probably accurate to within 2’ +/-.

We are trying to move in a systematic method from stern to bow, as to not cause too much disruption to the local environment.  We have encountered one deteriorated tank that we suspect was utilized for diesel fuel.
Thank you
- end of email conversations.


Below are two Coast Guard Document I have, they appear to be the only remaining document available, that is, according to the Coast Guard.

Document 1
jDaY3.jpg

Document 2

jDl0T.jpg

I’ve attached these photos supplied to me by NARA and Chip Marshall some 15 to 20 years ago.

Photo: Kennedy Library, the National Archives & Records Administration:
Photo 3
jDxEt.jpg

Photo Enlarged Areas: Photos 4 thru 6
jDUhH.jpg

jDIAw.jpg

jDRIs.jpg

Photos from Chip Marshall: Photos 7 thur 13

jDS2y.jpg

jD857.jpg

jD2GJ.jpg

jDvMM.jpg

jDkH4.jpg

jDPYg.jpg

jY7E8.jpg

Photos from Chip Marshall: Photos 14 thru 18

jYjRO.jpg

jYZXo.jpg

jYQHA.jpg

jYGAi.jpg

jY4hk.jpg

Photos from Ted Walther: Photos 19 thru 20

jYwGI.jpg

jYb5n.jpg


When I hear further reports I will pass them on.
Dick . . .


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Lew Zee

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Lew Zee   Send Email To Lew Zee Posted on: Jun 15, 2020 - 7:25pm
Is it possible the Mariners' Museum in Virginia would have any interest in the 59 remains (some/all)? They have a large collection and resources for preservation like they are doing with the U.S.S. Monitor.

Lew

Lew Zee

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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: Jun 16, 2020 - 4:39am
Now THAT'S a gunboat! Barges didn't stand a chance. Thanks Dick.


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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: Jun 16, 2020 - 9:39am

Here is an informative video link from ABC 7 NY.
https://abc7ny.com/wwii-world-war-two-ii-pt-59/6248927/




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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: Jun 16, 2020 - 9:48am
Lew;
I went to The Mariners Museum last year (its only 30 miles from my house)and spoke with one of the Chief curators, I was in search of their collection of memorabilia from Glenville S. Tremaine, Chief designer and later Works Manager at ELCO. I asked if they would be interested in getting a PT, he said while they would be, they are pretty strapped for $$, and they have a had enough job maintaining what they have, so it would go on the back burner, which is not a good idea, for wooden boats. All surviving PT Boats need to be restored NOW, especially PT 48 and the 3 surviving 80' ELCO's (PT 486, PT 615 and PT 766), before they are lost to time.
Take care,
TED


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Scott C

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Scott C   Send Email To Scott C Posted on: Jun 16, 2020 - 1:04pm
this message is for C.J Willis, My name is scott campbell, my Father was Arthur Campbell MoMM1c. with Ron 20 boat 248. It would be great if I could talk with you. from what I have read on the forum you have been many of the same places that he was. if I could call you let me know or you can call me at 724-658-4250. I live in the eastern time zone. thanks for considering my request. scott .

Scott Campbell 2nd gen,PT 248
Ron 20

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Randy Willis

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Randy Willis  Posted on: Jul 7, 2020 - 9:11pm
To Scott C: CJ Willis is alive and well, now 95 years young and hunkered down in his assisted living bunker due to COVID where I, his son, can only communicate with him by texting or yelling up at him on his 2nd floor balcony. He no longer can use his computer to be active on this site and sadly due to his deafness (maybe due to to the twin 50's he fired) a phone conversation would not be possible. I do know a lot about his PT experience and will relate that the unfortunate killing of the 109 crew member Albert by the Japanese prisoner in October 1943 was fresh on everyone's mind when he joined the 242 around the 1st of November at its base in Vella La Vella. His crew was told by their officers that they were not picking up any enemy from the water and two months later when the 242 and 243 sank two Japanese barges off the coast of Bougainville they did not search for survivors. For the first two weeks or so after he joined the 242 it berthed at night at Vella La Vella next to the 59 boat still skippered by John Kennedy. One of the crew of the 59 who had been on the 109 was going home on leave and gave him his .45 cal pistol which CJ carried throughout his PT deployment.
He and I had the wonderful experience of going out to Portland a few years ago to ride on the 658 down to the Oswego Boat Show and kudos to Jerry Gillmartin for all he did for us. To see him and the other PT veterans on that boat was memorable. I also accompanied him to Washington D.C. on an Honor Flight and while that was a great experience it did not compare to seeing him in the port side gun turret of the 658 with the rumble of those three Packard engines down below.

Randy Willis

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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: Jul 8, 2020 - 8:18am
Thank you very much for the update Randy. I am happy to hear that he is being well taken care of during this crisis. I really miss his posting here...



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Scott C

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Scott C   Send Email To Scott C Posted on: Jul 8, 2020 - 12:35pm
Thank you Randy. I took a ride on PT305 in New Orleans last fall, had a great time, gave me just a taste of the power and speed of those great boats. Good to hear your father is doing well. My father passed at 94 in 2016. must have been something in the air in the S. Pacific to help their longevity. If you are interested I have written up the stories I could remember dad told of his PT days. if you e-mail me i'll send them to you. you can get my email from my profile. unfortunately I don't know the details of where they took place. tanks again Scott

Scott Campbell 2nd gen,PT 248
Ron 20

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