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 Author  Topic: Blacks in the PT Boat Service
Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Jun 24, 2007 - 1:21pm
I know we had this conversation before on the message board, but here goes. Today while I was setting up my PT BOAT EXHIBIT in Springfield a women stopped by the Gallery to tell me her Dad served on a PT Boat. As she was black, I had informed her that it was highly unlikely he was a Crewmember on a boat, but possibly served on a Tender or even the Base Force. As Whites and Blacks were segregated in those days, the Navy did not allow Blacks to move up in rank. Most held positions as Stewards or Cooks on Capital Ships. I know this changed as the War progressed, but I am not sure of the year.

She then produced 2 copies of an article that had appeared in the Springfield Newspapers. His name was Desso Dee Bryant, who had earlier served on the USS CALIFORNIA ( Lost at Pearl Harbor ) and he was the Light Weight Fleet Champion. He was in 5 major Battles while in the Navy and went on to say that he was now serving on a PT BOAT. The article also said how he was being sent back to Melville to await another engagement. It also went on to say how he attended the MTBSTC completing the 4 month course. Can anyone shed light as to Blacks attending the School. Did Blacks serve as crewmwmbers on PT Boats other then Davis's Raiders. Seems to be some confusion here, which has never really been cleared up. Could the article in the paper be true? Do any of you former Crewmembers recall any Blacks on other boats. I have heard of them being attached to Base Force Personel and possibly Tenders. Any help here would be great as I promised to get some information back to this women, who is the daughter of Mr.Byrant. By the way, what is the web site for her to get some information on her dad. Thanks Folks. By the way the Exhibit is about 95% completed. I should have things wrapped up by next weekend. The curator of the Museum stopped in today and was really taken back by the Exhibit. He thought it was just Beautiful. Wish I had that same room in my House. Things could stay up all the time.


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Will Day

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Will Day   Send Email To Will Day Posted on: Jun 25, 2007 - 8:07am
Frank: I have at least one pic somewhere of a black crewmember aboard one of the boats. I'll send it to you if I can find it......

Will

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Ray Wilbur

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Jun 25, 2007 - 9:10am
Frank, I beleive she can information from the National Archives.
http://www.archives.gov/index.html Also, the VA.
http://www.va.gov/

Ray

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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: Jun 25, 2007 - 11:18am
Frank:
In Squadron 19 we had 5 Steward Mates that cooked and served officers mess. They were part of the base force and never were crew mwmbers. I am positive that there were no black boat crew members in the Solomons. I was in both Squadrons 19 and 23 also saw many crews from other Squadrons which we were operating with. The only blacks I saw were on the base. I was in the Philippines at Base 17 but never was a crew member on a boat there. So I can't say about the later Squadrons.

C. J. Willis

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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Jun 26, 2007 - 12:12am
thank you guys for your information. I will attempt to find out what squadron he may have been with. I do not believe any blacks went thru melville training, but you never know what took place later in the war. i will keep digging.


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Wayne Traxel

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Wayne Traxel   Send Email To Wayne Traxel Posted on: Jun 26, 2007 - 5:56am
Hello Frank,

I have three pictures of Ron 21's PT 331 that have a black crew member on board.

Contact me at waylin1@att.net and I'll email them to you.

Wayne Traxel

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victorkchun

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Mar 20, 2009 - 10:00pm
Hi Wayne,
I understand you have a picture of Ron 21 PT 331 that shows a black crew member on board. Can you please post it on the message board?
Victor

Victor K Chun

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victorkchun

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Mar 20, 2009 - 10:01pm
Hi Wayne,
I understand you have a picture of Ron 21 PT 331 that shows a black crew member on board. Can you please post it on the message board?
Victor

Victor K Chun

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  Wayne Traxel

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Wayne Traxel   Send Email To Wayne Traxel Posted on: Mar 21, 2009 - 2:34pm
Hello Victor,

I received these photos in 2001 from Gerry Keuhn, Widow of Walter Keuhn MoMM 1c of PT-331. Had these photos for some time before I noticed the Black man among the crew.

When this post came up in 2007 I believe a gentleman writing a book on the subject made inquiries to this message board and I emailed copies of these photos to him and never heard from him again. I also emailed these pictures to Frank Andruss.

Franks take on these pictures I found to be more probable. In many instances the local natives helped crews load supplies on the boats.








Hope this helps

Wayne Traxel

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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: Mar 21, 2009 - 5:05pm

Wayne . . .

Great post, thanks for posting images.

Dick . . .


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