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 Author  Topic: PT Sailors
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: Nov 22, 2022 - 5:47am
Certainly over the years as having these PT men as my friends, I got to learn a great deal about them. Being on a small boat brought about a serious closeness with one another. They depended on each other for so much in the war zone, from their very life's one minute to togetherness for a photo and some quiet time next. They had to deal with a shortage of good food, although some cooks could whip up some tasty meals at times. They drank warm water and dealt with heat and humidity, to cold and driving rain. They dealt with endless boredom on countless patrols which at any time could be shattered by being chased by Capital ships, bombed and strafed by planes, or hit by shore batteries. They chased and destroyed hundreds of Jap Barges, carried countless messages, and saved downed flyers. One must remember that these guys were young and full of life, with an attitude that nothing could hurt them, that is until they tasted that first horror of being shot at, as they watched glowing balls coming at them very slow and then whizzing by at lighting speed, boy that was close!!. A newcomer to the boat hiding behind what he thought was armor to find it was only mahogany plywood that he thought was protecting him. They were out there right on the deck with no protection except for those Packard Marine Engines that could get them out of harms way, and a smoke generator that could provide a blanket of white billowing smoke to hide them. Their boats could operate in 4 feet of water another feature that provided them protection from chasing Destroyers. They were brothers one in all and all for one. They looked out for one another, laughed, cried, wrote home to Mom and Dad, and as above took time to take a photo of one another. The begged and borrowed for food, played cards, and if lucky someone had a portable record player they could listen to music that always reminded them of the good times waiting back home. They forged ahead always thinking that another day brought them life and one step closer to the war being over. They were a special breed of fighting men, fighting their war on the Ocean in the dark of the night, always at the ready to open up with a twin .50 caliber machine gun, or a well placed torpedo that could spell death to the enemy. I love these guys and have dedicated my life to them, to me they will always be my heroes members of THE MOSQUITO FLEET!!

pueTn.jpg


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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: Nov 22, 2022 - 9:42pm
PT 361 tied up with other RON 27 boats at the coaling tower in Subic Bay in late 1944 to early 1945 - definitely prior to the invasion of Corregidor on 02/15/45. I have several pictures taken at or near the coaling tower, but not this one. Thanks for sharing it, Frank.

The picture below is probably from the same photo session and shows an even more relaxed example of the comraderies among crew members. Left to right are Dusty O'Neil, Curly Albright. Tom Flint and Chuck Vucich. O'Neil and Vucich are in the foreground of Frank's picture and are wearing the same 'uniform of the day' in both pictures. It's too late to try to match up anyone else yet tonight!

By the way the picture hosting service used here routinely gives notices that these are "Not family safe pictures", probably due to too many sailors in their skivvies.

puDbZ.jpg

Randy McConnell (Randall J. McConnell III)

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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: Nov 23, 2022 - 5:20am
Thanks Randy, photos such as these that are taken in the warm zones of the Pacific show people the way the PT SAILOR dressed when taking the time to relax. The Officer by the way, in my photo to the left looking pretty muscular was the 361's XO Victor Kodis and a good friend of mine before making his final patrol.


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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: Nov 25, 2022 - 2:44pm
I agree with Frank so much. I had the privilege of having a father, Arthur J. Campbell who served on PT 248 as a MoMM1c, and also knowing his best friend Ralph Christensen, who also served on 248 as a MoMM1c. My only regret was not getting them together and recording their stories before they passed. I did type up the stories I remembered. They were true heroes humble yet strong in conviction. May their memory live on in us and our future generations.

Scott Campbell 2nd gen,PT 248
Ron 20

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DougdeM

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of DougdeM  Posted on: Nov 26, 2022 - 5:59am
Hi Scott - I was fortunate to hold a reunion of my dad's PT195 crew mates in 1992. My dad passed in 1981 and I needed to meet the men with whom he served. Through letters of condolences and from Ron 12 Historian, Sam Goddess, I was able to connect with 10 of the guys who served with my dad. It was an unforgettable weekend in which stories were told and tears shed. I had asked each of the guys to write down some of their memories and, along with the stories they shared at the reunion, I compiled a 30 plus page history of PT 195. I'm sure that their experiences paralleled that of your dad's. Some of the stories were about close calls they experienced; scary moments that but for the grace of God could have resulted in casualties, however most of what they shared were about the antics of men confined to close quarters that still brought smiles to their faces. For most at the reunion it was the first time they had seen each other since the war ended in 1945 however they picked up like they had last seen each other yesterday. They were indeed the Greatest Generation.

Doug deMarrais
2nd Generation PT195 - Ron 12


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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 26, 2022 - 8:43am
Doug;
I am so glad to hear you got connect with Sam and some RON 12 guys, they were great men! In 2000, I am not sure who contacted Sam, maybe it was our XO CDR (SEAL) Greg Strausser, I don’t know, but Sam and Bill Costello had a RON 12 reunion in Virginia, and they were all invited to my Command, Special Boat Unit 20, they spent the day at they command sharing sea stories and just enjoying the day. We then took them out for a ride on Chesapeake Bay on our 82 foot MKVSOC’s. They gave us all copies of the RON 12 Commissioning program. They were absolutely blown away, underway, on our boats, you could actually see the years leave their face and they were on a PT again and it was 1942-1945 again.
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: Nov 26, 2022 - 12:24pm
Hi Doug, Yes most of the stories I heard were the jokes pulled. It was not until my dad died that I found out his boat the 248 was in an ambush when the 247 boat was sank. It was a miracle any boats escaped. the 247 was the only one sank, with only one officer killed, all other crew was picked up. My son once asked him if he was in any battles? His only reply was that there were "serious times".

Scott Campbell 2nd gen,PT 248
Ron 20

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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: Nov 28, 2022 - 12:07pm
Thanks guys for keeping their memories alive.


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DougdeM

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of DougdeM  Posted on: Nov 28, 2022 - 3:59pm
Hi Ted - the Veteran's Day following the PT 195 reunion in 1992, Sam was the guest speaker for a school-wide assembly at the school where I was a history teacher. He gave a wonderful presentation to 700 students. He was.a great guy. Thanks for sharing your "boat ride" in 2000. Would have loved to see the years taken off the faces of those great Americans. Doug


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DougdeM

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of DougdeM  Posted on: Nov 28, 2022 - 4:08pm
Hi Scott - what a "cool cast of characters" that served on PT Boats. To describe incidents of close calls only as "some serious moments" - incredible what these guys went through. It wasn't until the reunion in '92 that I learned that my dad's boat was part of the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Jim Murray, the quartermaster said you could hear the change in the crew's pockets rattling - that's how "serious" it was. Have a great Holiday. Doug


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