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 Author  Topic: PT-154 Ron 9
Nathaniel Smith

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Nathaniel Smith   Send Email To Nathaniel Smith Posted on: Jan 19, 2008 - 7:02am
My father, Lt. (jg.) Hamlin D. Smith, was the skipper of PT-154 until wounded on the night of Nov13/14 1943 off Shortland Island in the Solomons. I am working on a project to give him in his last years. He is 88. Does anyone have pictures of him, his boat, etc. to share. it is so hard to get good information from a combat vet but his children and grand children would appreciate any and all help you can give.

natsmith

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Pat Rogers

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Pat Rogers  Posted on: Apr 15, 2008 - 3:00pm
This is Pat Rogers, Radioman on PT154 from Dec 1942 until June 1944. I was present when PT154 was hit by a mortar shell on Nov. 13th, 1943 off the coast
of Bougvainville in the Solomon Islands group. (I don't know where you get the Shortland Island.) I am 85 years old and I believe my memory is very good. I can recall your father and the crew like it was only yesterday. I would like you to know that I served in the Navy until Sept. 1949, long after I left PT Boats back in Feb 1946. I was going to be a 20 year or 30 year retiree until i got married in 1947 but my wife to be made it a condition of our marriage - get out of the Navy. I am glad thaat I did as when went ahead and had 6 children, all grown up and on their own. How about telling me a liitle about "Ham"?
(I can sy that now that I am out of the service.)


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Nathaniel Smith

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Nathaniel Smith   Send Email To Nathaniel Smith Posted on: Apr 15, 2008 - 3:40pm
Shortland Island is very close to Bougvainville. You were there and Buckley was not.

I found this information in Buckley's book At Close Quarters
The 154 and 155 (Lt. Michael R. Pessolano) were lying to 1 mile off the south coast of Shortland Island on the night of November 13/14. A 3-inch shore gun fired three rounds, the second of which hit the afterbody of the port forward torpedo, where it exploded, tearing a gaping hole in the deck and knocking out the steering control. Lieutenant Smith and six men were wounded. Lt. (jg.) Joseph D. McLaughlin, USNR, the second officer, and Arthur J. Schwerdt, QM2c, were killed. John M. Nicholson, MM1c, senior man on the boat, less seriously injured than Lieutenant Smith, took charge and got the boat underway, heading out to sea. (At Close Quarters: PT Boats in the United States Navy, Captain Robert J. Bulkley, Jr. USNR (retired), page 145-6)



Ham was very wounded from the explosion. He made it to San Francisco and then to Chicago were he finished his recovery. He finished the war at Great Lakes. After the war he became a teacher. He was married just prior to the war. He move to California in 1955. He retired to Tiverton RI in 1990.

I am glad your memory is good ... my Dad is crystal clear on some things but less so on others.

(more in an hour)

natsmith

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Nathaniel Smith

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Nathaniel Smith   Send Email To Nathaniel Smith Posted on: Apr 15, 2008 - 4:18pm
Pat

The color picture below is from when I took my Dad to visit the Elco 80 at Battleship Cove (1993) in Fall River, Massachusetts (super-imposed on an old photograph of PT-154). My son is in the turret. Who is at the helm in the black and white picture?


I have a copy of the Citation the boat earned for bravely supporting a convoy on the night of August 15-16, 1943. Do you remember this?

Nat

natsmith

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Pat Rogers

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Pat Rogers  Posted on: Apr 17, 2008 - 7:01am
I just found this message in a different part of the message board.

You seem to have quite a few pictures that I have never seen or heard of.
The same applies to the citation although that might be poor memory on my part. If it occurred in August 1943 then I was there - probably in the chartroom,
checking out the radio as that was my battle station.

That is Lt. jg McLaughlin standing at the wheel in the picture. He was the second Executive Officer that we had on board. The first Exec was a Cabot of the Cabot and Lodges from the Boston area. He was with us while we were going through training in Tobago Island (?), just off the coast of Panama. He then became Exec Officer for the squadron when we got out to the South Pacific.. Most of the officers were in their early 20's like your father. I believe Cabot was in his mid to late 30's.

In my day every PT Boat had two officers, CO and Exec. Later on I heard that some squadrons had boats with three officers just on the boats. How many were on the advanced bases from which we operated, I have no idea. Most of our time was spent on the boat whether we were on patrol or not.

Will this message join up with the other batch because I would prefer to be writing from there? I have encountered other people who are interested in what is being said. That has been somewhat surprising to me.

Pat Rogers


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Nathaniel Smith

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Nathaniel Smith   Send Email To Nathaniel Smith Posted on: Apr 17, 2008 - 6:44pm
Pat

This is for your collection. I've added McLaughlin's name to the bottom. Others have been interested in the funnel which they say is not standard. It seems a lot about PT's in the Solomons was not standard. I have a picture of the funnel turned around backwards that I'll post later.

Thanks for identifying McLaughlin. I've got a few other pictures to come! I have a few Will Day sent me that shows your boat after Ham left.

You mentioned the interest of others ... we have received 777 hits on this message board since you let yourself be known! I'll answer you back on whichever topic area you post on. I am hoping your children are getting a kick out of this too!

Nat



natsmith

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Pat Rogers

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Pat Rogers  Posted on: Apr 19, 2008 - 6:37am
Quote:
Nat,

I did some checkingof maps around Panama and I have learned that I misspelled the island on the western end of the Panama canal. It should be spelled Taboga according to my source.
I just found this message in a different part of the message board.

You seem to have quite a few pictures that I have never seen or heard of.
The same applies to the citation although that might be poor memory on my part. If it occurred in August 1943 then I was there - probably in the chartroom,
checking out the radio as that was my battle station.

That is Lt. jg McLaughlin standing at the wheel in the picture. He was the second Executive Officer that we had on board. The first Exec was a Cabot of the Cabot and Lodges from the Boston area. He was with us while we were going through training in Tobago Island (?), just off the coast of Panama. He then became Exec Officer for the squadron when we got out to the South Pacific.. Most of the officers were in their early 20's like your father. I believe Cabot was in his mid to late 30's.

In my day every PT Boat had two officers, CO and Exec. Later on I heard that some squadrons had boats with three officers just on the boats. How many were on the advanced bases from which we operated, I have no idea. Most of our time was spent on the boat whether we were on patrol or not.

Will this message join up with the other batch because I would prefer to be writing from there? I have encountered other people who are interested in what is being said. That has been somewhat surprising to me.

Pat Rogers







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Nathaniel Smith

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Nathaniel Smith   Send Email To Nathaniel Smith Posted on: May 3, 2008 - 4:22pm
This picture was in my fathers collection. He is the man on the far left. He was the skipper of PT-154 (Ron 9). Can anyone help identify anything or anyone else?

He was in Taboga, Panama in January 1943.
He went to New Caledonia after that.
He was at Tulagi, Lever Harbor, Rendova/Munda, Vella Lavella, Treasury Islands in March-November 1943. Sometime in there Pat Rogers put them at Santa Isabel (east coast).



natsmith

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Pat Rogers

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Pat Rogers  Posted on: May 5, 2008 - 1:33pm
Hi,

Just wanted to let you know that I am still around. I have not been sick or inundated with other Email. Just trying to keep up with Income Tax filing, birthdays, easter and forthcoming Mothers Day

I viewed the picture that you sent and although a couple of the other officers appear familiar, I don't recall the names. I believe that the officer to the right of your father was William Carter or Carver, a lawyer from someplace in New Jersey. He was a little bit older than most of the other officers. I don't believe that he was an original and that we picked him up somewhere along the way. He was mostly a base officer but he did temporarily serve as the skipper on the PT154 after the Nov. 1943 incident. I am not too sure on the details. We had several along the way until I left the squadron in June 1944.

For what it is worth, I thought most of the officers came from the New England states because they were experienced in boat sailing and sailing their own boat . They also appreciated the freedom of serving on PT Boats where they were far removed from the rigor and discipline of serving on a cruiser or a battleship.

In our time, we berthed next to some of them and I thought the crew members, (not necessarily the officers) were somewhat envious of our looseness and our freedom. I am sure that you have seen enough pictures in which there is no uniform dress. Nat, you really have me reminiscing. I am not objecting but my wife wants to know what I am doing so much on the computer.


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Nathaniel Smith

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Nathaniel Smith   Send Email To Nathaniel Smith Posted on: May 17, 2008 - 8:39am
Pat

Again your memory is better than the entire Internet!

I found this obituary in the Harvard Law Bulletin. I am sorry I never had the chance to meet him or talk to him.

William R. Carter 42 of Madison, N.J., died Oct. 15, 2006. He was a partner at Brown, Wood, Fuller, Caldwell & Ivey and a director of the Checker Motors Corp. He was also president of Peter Tare Inc. and a trustee and elder of the Presbyterian Church of Madison. During WWII, he served in the U.S. Navy and was captain of a PT boat.

(http://www.law.harvard.edu/news/bulletin/2007/spring/memoriam.php)

natsmith

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