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 Author  Topic: PT BOAT WAKE
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: Dec 20, 2007 - 1:34pm
The most amazing thing when we see the picture of an Elco, Higgins, or Huckins boat, is that wonderful and powerful wake. Caused by those powerful Packard Marine Engines, the boats look so Beautiful kicking out a ton of Ocean Spray and Foam. This of course was not a good thing when operating in the Ocean at night. Many a time, Jap Float Planes would watch these wakes and drop Daisey Cutters on the boats, which would cause plenty of destruction. Being a Skipper on these boats at night must have been one tough chore.

Elco Engineers worked thruout the War, trying to cut down on the wake caused by the Engines, with not much success. Seems to me that a boat that relies on speed, and stealth operating a night could have been made to cut down on the wake. Of course we know that when patrolling at night, the boats are muffled down and were mainly running on the Center screw. Being deeper in the water then the port and starboard screws, this would produce less wake. Do the patrol boats of today have the same problems I wonder, and why could the Engineers at Elco or the other boat builders not fix the problem. I suppose this wake was sacrificed for speed and the boats ability to turn on a dime, features that probably far outweighed the boats wake problems. In any event, I certainly love seeing the powerful wakes the boats produced while running at Flank speed.............


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CJ Willis

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of CJ Willis  Posted on: Dec 21, 2007 - 12:55pm
Frank: We hated patroling on moonlight nights because the float planes could pick up our wake. The patrol area between New Britain and New Ireland near the Rabaul air field was the worst. We were bombed several times fortunately all missed. It is impossible to see planes at night unless they are directly between you and the moon so our guns were useless.Our radar could pick them up so we knew they were up there. The best defense was to go full speed and zig zag and hope for the best. One night we were bombed three times while Mr. McLane, our skipper, raced zig zagging to get into a rain cloud about 5 miles away.
One morning just before daylight, we had completed our patrol for the night and had just pushed the engines up getting underway back to Green Island base. I had laid down for a nap on my life jacket up on the bow of the boat. All of a sudden a bomb exploded justoff our starboard bow. It was really close- sprayed water all over the boat - got me wet. We were really caught by surprise. We never did see the plane even on radar. Of course could not hear it over our engines. I guess he spotted our wake just as we reved up. Anyway I never did get back to my nap that morning.

C. J. Willis

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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: Dec 21, 2007 - 1:23pm
C.J.

That must certainly cause all hands on board to be pretty nervous during patrol. Running at Flank speed was a very good tactic to avoid those dam planes, which seemed to cause more problems for the PT Boats then the surface craft did. Many PT Boat Crew were injured in this way, as I know of several instances told to me by former Skippers.

I guess there was no real way to avoid this problem. One of the things that I could not understand was the many constant clashes with our own planes. I know at night it is hard to identify objects on the water, but why some of these Pilots could not learn the outline of a PT BOAT, or at least identify the target before taking passes at our boats is a mystery to me. Sometimes our own gunners would have to open up these planes, just to keep from being chewed up. Did you ever come across any of our planes firing at you guys or ships doing the same. Again, thanks so much for sharing this wonderful History and have a very MERRY MERRY CHRISMAS..........


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  EARL RICHMOND

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of EARL RICHMOND  Posted on: Dec 24, 2007 - 10:12am
HI FRANK IN REGARDS TO OUR OWN PLANES FIRING AT US YOU MIGHT CHECK THE PT108 LITTLE DUCK SITE,I HAVE AN ACTION REPORT OF AN INCIDENT SUCH AS THIS POSTED IN IT.
ALSO, WE TRIED TO REMEDY THE PROBLEM BY HAVING FLYERS TAKE A PATROL WITH US SO THEY COUL BECOME FAMILIAR WITH THE BOATS AND THEIR OPERATIONS.THAT SEEMED TO HELP SOME WITH THE M ISCOMMUNICATIONS.IT SEEMS ONE OF THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS WAS THE PILOTS AND.OR THE BOATS HAD THE WRONG RECOGNITION SIGNALS FOR THE DAY.IF EITHER GAVE THE WRONG SIGNAL THE COULD BECOME "DEAD DUCKS". HAVE A NICE HOLIDAY ALL YOU PT BOATERS FRIENDS AND FAMILIES OUT THERE\
EARL PT108 RON 5

earl richmond

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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: Dec 24, 2007 - 1:02pm
Earl

Thanks so much for your response, which certainly makes since. Too bad so many Sailors and Airmen suffered the price of those miscue's. First time I ever heard that PT Boats had our own guys up in the Air to see what the PT Boats looked like on the water. That was a good idea, which certainly would help the Pilot's. Merry Christmas to you Earl. Hope you have a wonderful New year as well.............


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