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 Author  Topic: MTB RON 30 Cherbourg November 1944
Stoney

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Stoney  Posted on: Feb 16, 2017 - 8:18am
Hello. I'm researching a rescue that PT boats from this squadron took part in on November 23rd, 1944.

The liberty ship William D Burnham was torpedoed (twice) as they approached Cherbourg on that date.

Per the squadron's War Diary: PT's 456 and 461 at 1620 were underway from Cherbourg, France, by orders of CTG 125.2, Cherbourg, to rescue survivors of SS Burnham. At 1628 PT 456 sustained a bad vibration in port engine and were forced to return to harbor, where they moored at 1735. PT 461 continued on to position 494600 N, 011500 W, which they reached at 1720 an took 44 men and officers and two dead men aboard. AT 1910 PT 461 landed the survivors at pier in Cherbourg Harbor.

I'd like to identify at least the boat commander, if not the entire crew of PT-461, nicknamed Summa.

I found a list of the squadron's officers, and the six boat commanders (Cunningham, Lyell, Mooney, Tomski, Moulin & Andersen), but the list does not note which man commanded which PT. Did commanders stick with a single PT, or did they switch off depending on their schedules and the PT's availability? Appears to have been quite a few maintenance issues, accidents and build quality issues from the War Diary. Other action reports seem to link Tomski to 457, Moulin to 459 and Cunningham to 460 when they had tangled with some German R-Boats.

I saw that Jerry Gilmartin had provided some photos of PT-461 to Navsource.org, here: http://www.navsource.org/archives/12/05461.htm which led me to this forum. The pictures included close-ups of the boat with her crew, but the men were not identified.

Can anyone assist? It may also be nice to include one or more of those photos on my site once I write Burnham's story, if I can get permission.

Please let me know. Thank you.




Eric Stone
www.ssarkansan.com

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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: Feb 16, 2017 - 11:38am
Eric;
Here is another photo of PT 461 Crew.


PT 461 RON 30 CREW
LT. WOODS CO
LTjg. S.E. SYD GARNER XO/LATER CO
EDWARD J. BUELMAN
LAWRENCE B. KEEL Jr.
FRANK McMICHAEL
MARTIN
McLEAN
FOLEY
EARL CLIFFORD DODS
PAUL DARROUGH
DECKER

Note: The reason why the crewmembers last names only show, is because there are two or more PT Boaters listed in the back of Knights Of The Sea, with the same last name. Only looking at the PT 461 Log books at the National Achieves, will reveal the exact ranks and names.
Take care,
TED


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Stoney

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Stoney  Posted on: Feb 16, 2017 - 1:01pm
Ted,

Thanks a lot for the quick response. The six names I listed were noted as being "as of September 1st" (I assume 1944), so perhaps Woods was a new addition. I do see a Lt. H.E. Wood (no "s") ,USNR listed as Squadron Operations Officer.

Ensign S.F. Garner was listed as one of 14 Boat Officers.

Did the photo come from the book 'Knights of the Sea' and did they note a date the picture was taken? I'd like to track down rights in case I can use it.

Must have been overflowing with all those "guests".

Thanks again.

Eric Stone
www.ssarkansan.com

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Jim Keohane

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jim Keohane  Posted on: Feb 16, 2017 - 5:26pm
Hello all from a new member
The RON 30 message caught my eye because my Dad, William Keohane, was an electrician's mate assigned to RON 6 and then RON 30.

I don't know when the picture of the crew was taken but the December 31, 1944 Muster Rolls for MTB RON 30 list the following men:
Decker Jr, Joseph (n); GM2c
Foley, Jerome L;. TM2c
Martin, Harry A; QM2c
Martin, Raymond F; MoMM2c
McLean, Robert F; RM2c

There was also a Martin, Sanford F; GM1c who was transferred out of RON 30 on October 1, 1944.

Hopefully this will help.




Jim

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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: Feb 16, 2017 - 7:06pm
Eric;
Yes it was from Knights of the Sea, so I suggest you contact PT Boats Inc, for a 8x10 copy. That would be LT. Henry E. Wood, USNR then.

Jim;
Thanks alot for filling in the other guys. the photo was taken sometime between July-December 1944. What boat was your Dad on? Was it PT 459? If so the boat is currently in Kingston NY awaiting restoration.
Take care,
TED


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Jim Keohane

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jim Keohane  Posted on: Feb 17, 2017 - 4:37am
Ted,

As an electrician, he would have worked on all of the RON 30 boats. He was not assigned to a specific boat. I have seen pictures of PT 459 at Kingston, NY.


Jim

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Don Millman

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Don Millman   Send Email To Don Millman Posted on: Feb 17, 2017 - 8:02am
Since 456 is mentioned in the post, I will try to summit this photo of her with her deck loaded.



Don Millman
Oriental, NC

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Stoney

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Stoney  Posted on: Feb 17, 2017 - 10:03am
Jim, Ted & Don,

Thank you for the additional details.

Don, do you have a source for the PT-456 photo?

Might be nice to include as well since it has so many men on deck (I count 29). Must have been pretty packed with another 15 plus two bodies.

Luckily the weather was fairly mild for the coast of France in late November. The Germans noted the wind at 3-4 and Seas at 3.

There is a nice shot of PT-458 at speed during this time period on Navsource.org: http://www.navsource.org/archives/12/05458.htm

I imagine that was what the outbound trip looked like.

Hope it's not a stupid question, but it looks like there were cradles for 4 torpedoes, but the few photos seem to show 2. Any idea if this was standard for the time/location? Most of the squadrons PT's seemed to be delegated to harbor escorts/pilots for Cherbourg and Le Havre at this time due to submerged wrecks and most of the German surface fleet had been neutralized. I'm wondering if they would have bothered to carry any torpedoes, or as SOP they always carried them.

Eric Stone
www.ssarkansan.com

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Don Millman

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Don Millman   Send Email To Don Millman Posted on: Feb 17, 2017 - 11:08am
Eric,
Sorry, the original source of the photo is unknown to me. I purchased a group of PT topic photos at an estate sale some years ago. I am assuming that the photos were copies of originals made for a veteran reunion at some time in the past.

I have scanned the photos and uploaded them to Photobucket, and can be seen at this link.................

http://s426.photobucket.com/user/Millman48/library/PT%20Boat%20Photos?sort=3&page=1


There is a lot of Portland England, "Tent City",Ron 34, and D-day shots in the grouping.

Don

Don Millman
Oriental, NC

Total Posts: 35 | Joined: Jan 28, 2009 - 8:29am | IP Logged

  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: Feb 18, 2017 - 6:46pm
Quote:

Hope it's not a stupid question, but it looks like there were cradles for 4 torpedoes, but the few photos seem to show 2. Any idea if this was standard for the time/location? Most of the squadrons PT's seemed to be delegated to harbor escorts/pilots for Cherbourg and Le Havre at this time due to submerged wrecks and most of the German surface fleet had been neutralized. I'm wondering if they would have bothered to carry any torpedoes, or as SOP they always carried them.




Eric;
There were several reasons that there are only two torpedoes 1.They took off the two torpedoes to decrease the weight(Many Pacific boats did this in 1945). 2. They didn't feel it was necessary to carry four. 3. Torpedo shortage.(by 1944 this wasn't really an issue).
During there Cherbourg time, RON 30 was doing some testing with Acoustic mines. Also RON 30 was only a six boat squadron, so RON 34 and 35 were primary, and RON 30 and 2(2) were delegated to other duties, after the invasion phase.
Take care,
TED


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