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 Author  Topic: Welford West
TheBridge

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TheBridge  Posted on: Mar 31, 2024 - 3:15pm
Ted,

You asked about Welford on an earlier post.

Short story…Welford father was a fishermen of the coast of Virginia. Welford often went along which is where he got his sea legs and knowledge of boatsmanship (including how to run a lead line which becomes important quality nobody else in Rendova had and became a critical skill due the 157 having navigate very shallow, coral bottomed waters between numerous small islands to execute the 109 rescue mission. Welford was standing on the bow with the lead line
giving direction to Skipper Liebenow at the wheel).

Welford told me he was working on a torpedo factory around Yorktown VA when Pearl Harbor was attacked. He went to his boss to say he wanted to join the USN. His boss wrote a letter recommending him to be at a rank befitting his experience which Welford used when he enlisted. All this combined to make him a natural as a torpedo man on PT boats. He was the right man in the right place at the right time.

Welford served on the 157 as a plank crewman (late ‘42). The exploits of their getting to the PTO and the missions is what the ‘First-Up’ book covers. Also a good name for a mini-series :-).

Welford served in the Pacific on the 157 (the whole time for almost a year! This was unheard of as you were only suppose to serve for 6-months due to the wear and tear on a body bouncing around on sea waves in an 80-foot boat. Well, Welford said he
never missed a mission his entire time until one day he felt bad. He couldn’t describe really; just bad. He was sent to see ‘Doc’. Doc looked him over, he said, and told him to lie down at which time Doc gave him a shot (likely B12?). He said he never before or since had such a restful sleep. When he finally woke there we’re orders on his chest saying he was being shipped home. That was April ‘44.

Welford was transferred to Melville and did torpedo training to new PT recruits. There was a Goodyear facility nearby that made the rubber liners for fuels tanks for fighter planes which is where his future wife, Rita, was working at the time.

That’s the quick bio on Welford West of the 157.

P.S. Welford’s grandson, whom I met, was inspired by his granddad’s stories of the missions while aboard the 157 and became a Navy Seal (now retired)


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TheBridge

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TheBridge  Posted on: Apr 1, 2024 - 7:06am
Sorry, the above was suppose to be posted in the thread about a possible PT mini-series and was in answer to a question posed by Ted Walther


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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: Apr 4, 2024 - 9:48am
Thanks Bridge,
I PM’ed you about his grandson, please respond via my email.
Take care,
TED


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