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 Author  Topic: Ron 8 & PT 120
Tim Reidy

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Tim Reidy  Posted on: Jun 4, 2024 - 6:42pm
My grandfather Lt. (Jg) William T. Shine, Jr. served in Ron 8 from November 1943-October 1944. Records show he was officially assigned to PT 120 in February 44 and At Close Quarters mentions his involvement in a sub sinking in early April 44. Any information on him, PT 120 or Ron 8 during this time period especially pictures would be great appreciated. Thanks!


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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 5, 2024 - 4:30am
Tim a few photos of PT-120 I have in my files

24785108_1604047549652394_3916501348321781713_o.jpg
146102232_3769894143067713_4174997062453237022_n.jpg
273480013_4907054226018360_1830464695876094123_n.jpg
271317456_4783805505009900_3223908685591645299_n.jpg


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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: Jun 5, 2024 - 11:04am

Frank . . .
Nice images. The four images show the different configuration a typical PT boat went through during the war - very interesting.

Thanks Frank.

Dick . . . .


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Tim Reidy

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Tim Reidy  Posted on: Jun 5, 2024 - 5:20pm
Thanks for sharing Frank! I've seen a few of these on The Mosquito Fleet Facebook group and even have an original print of the last one you posted. The man sitting on the bow kinda looks like my grandfather, but not sure why he wouldn't be at helm as the Lt. Also, the first one is a new one to me hard to tell it is PT 120 but really cool! Do you know the story behind it? Looks like Natives maybe? I've seen the picture of the crew, but grandpa is not in that one. I believe I've seen mention before that picture is from fall/winter of 44 with Bob Allen (?) as Captain which would have been just after Grandpa was sent home to MTBSTC. Last questions, I've seen many mention to the Skade picture collection on here and on the Monsquito Fleet FB group as well as Haze & Grey, is there anywhere to see the whole collection and what is his story or connection to Ron 8?


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  Jerry Gilmartin

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jerry Gilmartin   Send Email To Jerry Gilmartin Posted on: Jun 6, 2024 - 1:30am
Hi Tim,
I posted most all of the RON8 Bill Skade collection to the internet. He was the Skipper of PT625 of RON43 and PT143 of RON8. When Bill had his 90th birthday, his daughter arranged for a family reunion birthday party on board PT658. We took him and his wife and all of his sons and daughters and their kids on the boat and then had birthday cupcakes after the trip. All of this was about 14 years ago, on September 15, 2011. I have about 50 photos of various RON8 boats, with the vast majority being of his own boat, PT143. I can post some more here if you like, or email them to you. Possibly you could spot a random photo of your Dad?
Jerry PT658 crew

Bill-on-PT658.png
Bill-Skade-family.jpg
Bill-Skade-RON8-PT143-at-the-helm.jpg

PT114-Bill-Skade-RON8-captured-Japs-on-bow1.jpg
PT114129143120-Bill-Skade-RON8-nested-boats.jpg
PT114PT120-PT352-Alvin-Hansen-being-stripped-at-Samar.jpg
PT143-Bill-Skade-RON8-crew-photo-Pete-August-lower-right-XO.jpg
PT143-Skade-Family.jpg
PT188-Art-Kuesel-Bill-Skade-photo-RON8.jpg



Jerry Gilmartin
PT658 Crewman
Portland OR

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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 6, 2024 - 4:33am
Jerry I remember when you sent these photos from the Skade collection to me. They are such a nice collection of photos.


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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: Jun 6, 2024 - 2:19pm
Tim . . . .

Not much but -

Copied from Page 188 of the “Knights of the Sea” - a PT Boats Inc. publication.

E. DOUGLAS COCHRAN, Lt., Ron 4, 8. Born 5-7-21 , Corinth, MS, entered Navy V-7 program while ajunior at Vanderbilt Univ. Upon graduation in 1943, attended Midshipman School at Northwestern Univ. (Abbott Hall) in Chicago. After being commissioned, volunteered for PTs and received training at MTBSTC at Melville, then assigned to the South Pacific. Arrived at Kana Kopa, Milne Bay, New Guinea in Feb. , 1944, where was assigned to Ron 8 which was at Dreger Harbor. Upon arriving at Dreger and being assigned to the 120 Boat as executive officer, Rons 8 and 7 departed for Rein Bay, ew Britain and patrolled the Japanese stronghold at Rabaul. From Rein Bay, the squadrons were transferred to Aitape and patrolled the coast off Wewak in order to prevent running of Japanese barges. . . . . .

During this time, relieved Lt. (jg) Bill Shine, who was transferred to stateside, as CO. After Aitape.

. . . . . E. DOUGLAS COCHRAN, Lt. (continued) participated in the invasion of Hollandia . From Hollandia to Mios Woendi, Biak to Leyte in the Philippines. Under constant Kamikaze attacks, sailed through the Mindanao and Sulu seas to the landing of Mindoro then on to Zamboanga. Reassigned to MTBSTC in Sept., 1945 as CO of a Ron 4 boat.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Copied from Page 505 of the Knights of the Sea” - a PT Boats Inc. publication.
Listing “The PT Boaters Roster”

SHINE,WilliamT..Jr.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Also thanks and gret stuff, Jerry and Frank

Dick . . . . .


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Tim Reidy

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Tim Reidy  Posted on: Jun 12, 2024 - 6:23pm
Thanks for sharing all these details Frank, Jerry & Dick! I was able to find a a great condition copy of Knights of the Sea online and have come across many fascinating bios such as the one you copied on Douglas Cochran that mentions my grandfather. The bio for Skade also confirms he came on board to 143 around the time grandpa left Ron 8 so most of the pictures, if not all of them, would have been after his time but still so neat. I have some great ones that I need to scan and share with the message board. I also purchased a copy of Charles Jone's book on the MTBSTC and what a fascinating and detailed account.


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  Jerry Gilmartin

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jerry Gilmartin   Send Email To Jerry Gilmartin Posted on: Jun 13, 2024 - 2:43pm
Hey Tim,
I found this story by Fred Brown who posted it on the old website called "Peter Tare" created for ex-PT Boat officers. It is called "The Mosquito bit the Dragon" and he was a Motor Mac 1/c on board PT120 when he wrote the story. It seems to be an account of the battle of Surigao Straights during the invasion of the Philippines.


THE MOSQUITO BIT THE DRAGON
Fred Brown
This is a story submitted to us by Fred Brown's son (also Fred), who found this story tucked away in his father bible nearly 22 years after his father had passed away. It gives us a good look at what it felt like from an enlisted man's point of view to wait in ambush for an enemy hundreds of times your size. Our thanks to Fred and his father for this little piece of history. At the time of the writing Fred Sr. was serving in RON 8, on P.T. 120. Anyone who wishes to contact Fred Sr.'s son may do so at FRED2319@AOL.COM

An eyewitness account of one phase of the second Philipine Sea-battle.
October twenty-fourth of nineteen forty-four was no different to me than any of the other hectic days following the entry of the United States forces into the Philippines. Days of fighting had left all of us, who had engaged in the invasion, haggard worn and fatigued. Yet this day was to add something still to American Naval history. It was to add something to my conscious mind which I never shall forget.
About noon, of this day, I knew something big, of a local nature, was about to happen. Hurried preparations for getting underway were being made by all Torpedo boats that were in operating condition. Around three in the afternoon our boat, with three others, pulled away from our mooring, going down the channel and out of San Pedro bay at wide open throttle.
When we were well underway our boat Captain gathered the crew in a group to explain, " a gigantic naval battle between the American and Imperial Japanese Navy was in progress." Part of the Japanese fleet is coming through a strait for which we are now traveling." "It is to be our duty to delay, hamper, harass, and destroy, if possible, any of those enemy ships." " Our fleet will be in back of us." " We are to be the advance guard." " After all offensive armament has been used, we have permission to return individually to our base." Then it was, I realized what commander Bulkley had meant, by, " We are expendable." Reflection of the job ahead left me a little cold. Involuntarily I could not help but feel that the odds were hopelessly set against us. A P.T. against a cruiser or battleship. Speeding across a flawlessly calm sea, in the evening cool, I reflected upon many things. The life behind me. I thought first of my wife and children, and of how they would miss me if the night ended disastrously. I thought of my future*-- so many things I had left undone - so many joys so many dreams and pleasures that I wished yet to fulfil once again. I looked at the distant sunset. The sun sinking behind those beautiful mountain peaks left an aura of deep purples, and blues that etched itself deeply in my mind. All this beauty, perhaps never again to be seen by these mortal eyes of mine. Reflection along this line only saddened me, so with deep determination to never again take so much of life for granted I looked ahead into the grey, and ominously forbidding channel which was the Surigao straits. I reasoned with myself about the very matter of my being here, about to use my resources and wits against the enemy. Had I not trained for almost three years for this moment? Was'nt this the very reason for which I had joined the service? Was I not a better man than the mentally inferior Jap? This was to be my test. How would it tell on me? At least I resolved not to be a coward. I would do all possible to do my duty, thoroughly and well. So reasoning, I finished with a prayer. A prayer that forces of Christianity might this night emerge victorious over the evil forces of Shintoism, a prayer that God Almighty would in his wrath destroy totally, this enemy, a prayer that our bullets would fly straight and true to the very hearts of these evil ones. Lastly I prayed, that I might survive. A calmness then pervaded me. I was ready. I felt sure I was only representative of all the rest of the men our boat or in our force and that dark, cavernous channel, the words taught me as a youth, and that to this day remains, of all penned words read by me, my greatest spiritual inspirations, the twenty-third Psalm, intoned itself into my conscience, " Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I wilt fear no evil. For thou art with me." How beautifully reassuring seemed this phrase. Feeling thus, I knew silently, surely that God was to be with us that night.
The night was moonlit though clouded, and when the moonlight broke through the clouds, everything on the surface of the sea became visible for many miles. A plane flew over about ten o'clock. It was a light scouting plane, and we didn't fire because we could not tell, because of the darkness, whether it was friend of foe. We sat there waiting-waiting with engines running, alert for the enemy. The mosquito fleet waiting to send their stingers of death into an ambushed enemy. About midnight a signal from the direction of the enemies intended approach was received by us. It was twenty miles away, moving in fast. Galvanized into action, we awaited our orders. The Skippers orders to me were. " Brown, you stand by forward torpedo, and if it doesn't go properly, brace yourself and shove like blue blazes." My duty was of the nature involving mere mechanical simplicity, yet I marvelled at the devastation which most certainly would become an actuality, at a given order, and slight muscular reaction on my part. Death was to surge forward at the flexing of a muscle. I visualized other boats, other men standing as I, awaiting only that order-Fire! - sending tons and tons of steel hurtling at terrific speed, towards the bowels of the approaching enemy ships. We were all ready, with men at each torpedo station, men at their guns or controls. The enemy was to engage us within the hour. It was one o'clock of the morning of the twenty-fifth. A few miles away, a rocket bursts-a Jap rocket? There followed a burst of forty millimeter shells. Finally a Jap searchlight flashed on, followed by withering fire from the batteries of a Jap destroyer. It was aimed at the P. T. boat, etched so plainly in the searchlights beam. We knew those boys were catching hell alright, but orders kept us standing. More P. T. boats darted in and out of the beam, laying smoke and firing at that fearsome searchlight, helping their buddies beat that destroyer down. Soon searchlights flashed everywhere. (Later we were to know it was the Jap cruisers). More P. T. s were caught in the beams. Then over radio the uncoded message came. " Who is the Skipper of the P. T. - - - ? " Soon the answer came, " Mr. -- - - is the Skipper, why?" Then a Jap, jamming our wave length said, " well Mr. -- - -, this is to inform you that you are going to hell tonight." Mr. - - - - answered as only an American can, " that's right Tojo. You little yellow blinkety-blank. Im going to hell, because war is really hell, and I am all set to go to war right now." What admiration we all felt for the speaker of that little phrase. Then a Jap ship received a hit. It probably received a brace of torpedoes in her side. Suddenly her lights go out-darkness for a moment. Then a beam suddenly sweeps us. I dreaded this moment. Intuitively I shrank away from that light, and I was temporarily paralyzed with fear. I wondered if this was how one felt just before death struck. That searchlight seemed to burn right through me. It seemed I could reach out and touch it, yet it was three miles away. A brace of shells, ( probably eight inch ) hit the beach, back and to the left of us. The second volley came closer. I recall the Skipper saying, cockily, " they will never hit us with that markmanship. The beam left us as suddenly as it came. Streaking across the sky came a salvo of big, white, fiery shells, probably from our own battlewagons, headed directly for those searchlighted positions. A terrific concussion followed. A Jap cruiser was hit- hit directly and burning fiercly. Another salvo slashed across the sky, hitting another ship. The Japanese were now paying for the folly of having turned on those searchlights. The little yellow men had realized too late that the main job of the P. T. boats was to goad them into exposing their positions. The P. Ts , neatly, unerringly had performed their duty. Our reward was, an immediate grandstand seat, where we could safely watch from the sidelines, one of the greatest shows ever accomplished in Naval history. I compared it all to a big football game. The P. Ts. had accepted the kickoff. Now Uncle Sammy's first string backfield was set to bust that line. The Japs decided to reverse the field. They had planned to advance through our lines for a glorious touchdown. They now decided to fall back for a punt. Plainly, they had decided to run for it. As each Jap ship swung around in column formation, shells poured into them. A whole salvo hit a wounded, burning ship. Surely that brace of shells must have hit their powder magazine. Terrific explosions followed. The sky seemed lighted as if by a million rockets, illuminating more Jap ships. It made more and bigger targets for our fleets guns. More hits followed. The Jap fought feebly back, throwing his shells into the darkness. Hitting a nothing, he became confused, and tried only to escape total, horrible annihilation. A Jap destroyer passed us, not three hundred yards away. Smoke from the burning ships lay between us. Four PTs were sitting there, with torpedoes aimed on target, awaiting only the order to fire- stingers of death which would send that destroyer sky high. Again there was some slight confusion on the radio. There was some doubt as to the ships identification. Since our own destroyers were taking up the chase there was the possibility of it being our own. P. T. Skippers were begging, " please let us fire? " You could hear the tears in their throats, strangling them. But no confirmation was given. The Japs few remaining ships were seen fleeing away to the southwest. Salvo after furious salvo of our big shells, from our battle-wagons were chasing after them. I stood there, mouth agape, thinking of the hugely magnificent sight. A salvo arching high across the sky, followed by one at a lower angle, meeting over their target and dropping together. We witnessed hit after hit, flash after flash. I could only marvel at the precision of our gunners, and the fire controls calculation. It left me aghast to think of a ship firing their missiles twenty or more miles, hitting a moving target. Seemingly it was an impossibility. Yet they did it time after time. It staggered the imagination.
The Japanese had sent two battleships, four cruisers, seventeen destroyers down through those narrow straits. The morning found them limping away, confused and defeated with only one battleship, one cruiser, and two destroyers-all hit badly.
So the Japanese Imperial Navy had come to hurl us off of our newly won hold in the Philipines? He had only been successful in setting his own stage for the witnessing, by all peoples the world over, of the defeat and utter demolishment of a valuable part of their so necessary fleet. What shame their leaders must have felt. Our loss was very, very slight. What a glorious victory it was for us, I reflected.
Now I knew with certainty born of good American confidence, that God had really been with us during that night.

Story by:
Frederick W. Brown MOMMlC
M.T.B. RON. 21 P.T. 330
P. S. At the time I wrote this story I was attached to P. T. RON. 8 P. T. 120


Jerry Gilmartin
PT658 Crewman
Portland OR

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