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 Author  Topic: Tornado - HQ and Staff O.K.
Jonnie 2ndGen Ron11 PT175

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jonnie 2ndGen Ron11 PT175  Posted on: Feb 8, 2008 - 7:58am
Much relieved to find out that Alyce and Allison, and our PTBoats HQ in Germantown TN was untouched by the tornado in Memphis area. Jonnie

I'm my father's daughter, honoring all WWII Veterans.
Love you Dad!

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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: Feb 8, 2008 - 6:46pm
Jonnie

Thank you for the information. I am sure most of us here on the message board were unaware that a Tornado had hit the Memphis area, close to headquarters. It would have been a major catastraphe if Headquarters had been hit. I shudder to think of what could have happened to those manning the Office and our PT BOAT artifacts. I know first hand about being in a Tornado, when one touched down on October 1979. It had destroyed so much of the area, it looked like a bomb had gone off. I saw cars tipped over, planes from the outdoor Museum flipped over like toys, buildings toppled, and trucks crushed. Roads were closed, people injured, power out, flooding in the streets. I will never ever forget that day. They estimate that the winds that hit the area where I was working were well over 200 m.p.h. The building that I was working in was an assembly plant for soda machines. There were 800 people in the buiding that day. Over 40 were injured, most with cuts from flying glass and debris. A mother and child who were outside waiting for their Husband and Daddy were hit with the Tornado. It picked up the car and tossed it 10 feet away from where she had parked it. It blew in all the glass of the car. The Mother was unhurt, and the baby had a tiny cut on her forehead. She was lucky to be alive.

When I and others ran to get away from the roof of our building caving in, some workers were hit with debris and hurt. I made it to the refrigeation department, and when I looked out the door, I saw 2 cars flipped up and over. We also saw a 2 ton Air conditioner from the roof of another building across the road, flying thru the Air. The sky was something I will never forget. It was so dark, yet the color was green and angry looking. I remember jut before the Tornado had hit us, the lights had flickered on and off, then finally went out before the emergency lights came on. My ears started to pop and actually hurt. This I learned after was the pressure built up from the Tornado. The building across the street, which if I remember correctly was called ATC Air Freight Company. It lost every wall except one small area, and all the trailer trucks backed up to the loading dock were flipped over and wrecked. Only one trailer was left standing, and was later used to put the injured people in, until the local Army national Guard could get to them for removal.

The Tornado had hit at 2:59pm that day. We and others walked over 5 miles to try and find a working telephone. A small miracle happened that afternoon when finally a working phone was found. It was a private home in a neighborhood where all the other phones were knocked out. Why this one phone was working became a mystery to all of us. I will never forget the line of people who used that women's phone to call their loved ones. She let everyone who asked, use the phone. I finally got my chance and called my wife around 6:00pm that afternoon. She had heard the News of the Tornado on the TV, and became so upset because she knew it was right in the area where I was working. I finally made it home to my Family, who had all gathered at my home to greet me with hugs and kisses. I never made it home until 9:00-9:30pm that night. Yes, Headquarters and the gals in the office are very lucky to have escaped the Tornnado. It is something that you hope you never have to go thru again.......




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