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 Author  Topic: MTB Ron 18 Info?
wpriest

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of wpriest  Posted on: Oct 3, 2022 - 11:35am
I'm a newbie and trying to find any and all info and pictures of RON 18. My great uncle Leonard C. Wolfe (651-70-74) served with them from the commissioning in March 1943 until he was evacuated on the USS Solace in April 1944.

My mother (his niece) wrote to him during the war and kept many of his letters. She used to tell stories of her Uncle Leonard (unfortunately my sister in law trashed the letters when my mom sold her home 20 yrs ago). One thing that stands out was my mother said Uncle Leonard (he passed 2 years before I was born) was written up in a book "Commander Swift's Diary". I've never found the book but doing a search on Ancestry military site I was able to get some info on his record--enlisted in Oct 1942 -assigned to RON 18 at it's commissioning in March 1943 with LCMD Swift as commanding officer. Leonard was 44 years old when he enlisted and 46 at his discharge. My mom said Leonard couldn't swim but I don't see how he could get thru training. He ended up as a MoMM1/c. I'm not sure of his injuries but he ended up back at the MTB Training center for a few months before being admitted to Newport Naval Hospital and finally discharged in Feb. 1945.

Is there a source for more detailed records besides the the muster rolls that I found?

Thanks and I'll post a picture of Leonard in uniform as soon as I get my scanner up and running.
Bill P


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Joe Reese

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Joe Reese  Posted on: Oct 3, 2022 - 2:11pm
Hi Bill,

Bearing in mind that I too am a newby, here are about 2 1/2 pages of war diaries and act reps for MTB RON 18. I am posting this before I've had the opportunity to peruse them, but from what I have seen from other squadrons, these will tell you about their assignments, incoming and outgoing communications and equipment issues, as well as details on certain engagements, but they rarely mention names except for the boat officers. Occasionally, though, they will name someone who is killed or injured, or does something notable during the action. They're usually relatively short but a pretty interesting read.

https://preview.catalog.archives.gov/search?availableOnline=true&page=2&q=%22MTB%20RON%2018%22

This is the search page, using the new beta version of the national archives catalog. I just did another post about the beta and looking at search results in the old system, but this should give you the clickable links for each result. If you search separately, I would suggest using quotes "MTB RON 18" so it doesn't bury you in similarities.

According to Haze Gray & Underway, MTBRON 18 consisted of the following boats.

PT 103-105,147,148,362-371

Of these navsource.org has a few pictures, but not too much.

103-105 were transferred to 18 after your uncle had gone, so won't be of much use. 147, 148, 363, 364 367, 368, 371 have blurry, tiny, or no pics. 365, 366, and 369 have a few crew pics you might like to look at, to see if you recognize him. Some are labeled, but his name didn't jump out at me, though I only scanned quickly. 370 has a pretty distant crew pic, but you might be able to save it and zoom in to see if you recognize him.

Unfortunately, I have not had any luck finding boat crews as yet. I see that you already have the muster rolls for the squadron, and the war diaries and act reps are about as far as I've been able to uncover on the archives.
From seeing discussion between some of the other forum members, who are far more knowledgeable than me, boat crews would be in the deck logs, where are either not yet digitized or possibly gone altogether.

I would imagine, once they see this, they will have considerably more info for you than I do, but I hope the war diaries and the possibility of a pic will be of some help for now. This site has a rather large gallery as well, so you may wish to search for the various squadron boats there as well.


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Joe Reese

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Joe Reese  Posted on: Oct 3, 2022 - 2:19pm
Something I've noticed just as I'm starting to sift through these war diaries is that they list boats not listed on hazegray.org. When I look up 325, for example, from the first search result, on navsource.org, it only talks about MTB RON 21.

There is evidently some mismatch between the sources, so you will likely get some more boats to look at. I will try to read these as I am able, but it may be a bit. If I hit on something that may interest you, I'll post it.


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Joe Reese

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Joe Reese  Posted on: Oct 3, 2022 - 3:06pm
Well, that's one mystery solved. My apologies. I should have seen that coming.

pf7y4.jpg


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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: Oct 5, 2022 - 8:13am
Hey Bill, Welcome aboard.

There really isn't much more than the muster reports online to track someone's "navy career". And you probably won't find much more information from his service record. Except in your case, since he went through the medical route and was discharged, there should be some information in his record.

Only other option for getting info is to pull the deck log for the boat he was on and the Squadron log book. Unfortunately, the RON 18 log is not at the Archives and the only deck logs for the boats in that squadron that are available are from 1945.

In searching through other muster reports, it looks like he enlisted on May 10, 1942, in Philadelphia. I can't tell where he went to boot camp, but he was at the Training Center in Newport, RI before he went to the MTBSTC. Possibly boot camp and A School.

I did see that he was at the MTBSTC from December 5, 1942 through February 4, 1943 (Class 9-42). He was a 2nd class Machinist's Mate when he got there.

Question for you, was he a mechanic before he went into the Navy?


I can dig through and search for other dates if you'd like.


Charlie

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wpriest

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of wpriest  Posted on: Oct 8, 2022 - 3:10pm
I would like to thank you both for providing me some greater insight into my grand uncles exploits. From PA military compensation records Leonard enlisted in Philadelphia on Oct 5, 1942.

I'm not sure how he started out as MM2/C. My mom said he went to Carnegie Tech for mechanical engineering-but I have no records to support this. Various sources have him working as a truck driver, steel worker and a department store manager. He worked for a valve company in Philadelphia when he enlisted.

I'll keep searching

Thanks again,
Bill


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PRJM3

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of PRJM3   Send Email To PRJM3 Posted on: Oct 8, 2022 - 9:45pm
Bill,

It probably won't add anything to your pursuit of your great uncle's naval history, but Carnegie Institute of Technology (commonly known as Carnegie Tech) was in Pittsburgh, PA. In 1967 it merged with Mellon Institute and today is known as Carnegie Mellon University. The steel mills in Pittsburgh were at or near their peak in the immediate pre-war years and he could have worked there while attending Carnegie Tech, but there were also steel mills closer to Philadelphia that your great uncle could have worked at.

My father got into PT boats through a Navy recruitment program at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh where he was attending law school, but that was a bit later in the war than your great uncle's service. Dad never worked in the Pittsburgh steel mills (I did), but during high school and college he did work at a P&LE Railroad (Pittsburgh and Lake Erie) freight depot.

Randy McConnell (Randall J. McConnell III)

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Joe Reese

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Joe Reese  Posted on: Oct 9, 2022 - 12:06pm
Hi all,

Not sure if this is a source conflict or if I'm just reading it wrong, but the muster roll for MTB RON 18 seems to show him enlisting on October 5, 1942 and then beginning with the squadron upon its commissioning on May 27, 1943.
(Bottom pg 12)

Transfer on April 22, 1944 to USS Solace for the US Naval Hospital, Mobile #9.
(pg 113, #7)

Is this the same muster roll you found? I'm still learning how to figure them out, so I'm kind of behind the 8 ball on this.

https://catalog.archives.gov/id/191068006


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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: Oct 9, 2022 - 4:20pm
You are correct on his enlistment date. I misread the 10/5/1942 date as 5/10/1942.



Charlie

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Joe Reese

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Joe Reese  Posted on: Oct 9, 2022 - 5:14pm
Ah, thank you. I still have to get the hang of these. I fight with British and American dates at work, and it makes my head spin around.


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