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 Author  Topic: 109 stories/crew members/memories of my Dad

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: May 14, 2008 - 4:49pm
His name was Nicholas Mitrakos aka Greek, The Greek, Nick the Greek..?

Hi, In doing a search just for fun of my Dad & the 109 which he served on during WWII, I found a page on the web from a book...Ch. 4 Sunk at Sea. Names were given of crew but Dad's wasn't one of them...until later when it speaks of him being a replacement.

My name is Andrea. If anyone knows of or was aboard when the 109 members boarded another boat (112?) that ultimately was damaged & the members jumped ship.......please, please talk to me.


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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: May 14, 2008 - 4:53pm
I should add that he was on the 109 before Kennedy....just before, I believe.


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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: May 15, 2008 - 3:54am

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: May 15, 2008 - 6:28am
This is exactly the article I found & read.....thanks, though!!

When I posted, first, I hadn't read thoroughly enough....I later read more & saw that his name IS listed as a crew member on another page. Apparently he came in Dec. of '42 to replace 1 of the ship's cooks & was 1 of the ones to leave in jan. '43 after being part of the crew that boarded another PT boat & it was destroyed.

"After their ordeal of having the PT 112 shot from under them, the crew of the 109 was reformed on January 18. The Navy had a "survivors leave" policy that sent any sailor who had survived a ship sinking home upon request. Some men took advantage of the opportunity and went home, while a few stayed in the combat area, working ashore with the Tulagi base force. Leaving the boat would be Claude Dollar, Nicholas Mitrakos (who had replaced Joseph Morrisey as the cook in December), Ed Guenther, Clayton Craig, Adam Sennick, James Marney, and Lawrence Wallace; staying behind were XO Bryant Larson and quartermaster Guy Manning."

The stories he told all basically revolved around that night when the PT-112 was injured & they all abandoned ship.....109 wasn't working that day so they all had to board the other, instead.....his part of the story was around him being alone in the water for 7 1/2 hours & how he was rescued. In the article, his name is not listed in this part of the story.......disheartening since it was SO VERY relevant to what he shared with us all those years!

"The four PT sailors on the raft were picked up by a PT skippered by Lt. John Clagett, while four other 109 men were rescued by Lt. j/g Ralph O. Amsden in PT 39; the remaining three sailors were fished from the sea by Stilly Taylors PT 46."

Dad was 1 of the "remaining three sailors" fished out of the sea. I'm glad he's not alive to see this or I think he'd be feeling like someone hit him in the chest. I wonder who the other 2 fellas were that were fished out..?? I'm also wondering if this "Stilly Taylor" might still be alive. When he recounted his ordeal, he spoke of how a fighter jet saw him & "waved" & shot straight up into the sky...he knew he was finally found! After that, the other PT showed up & he always said that he "was never so scared than when waiting for the boat to pick him up" because that's when, for some reason, "he feared sharks getting him the most" though "I survived this long, please let me live long enough to be actually rescued." I could always feel his fear when he spoke of those moments.... Also, that the captain (Taylor), after fishing him out, handed him a bottle of some liquor & that he "was shaking so badly he could hardly hold the bottle." It was a poignant end to a very terrifying night.....and, if he's here, or if his family can be reached, I think it important enough to share with them.

My sons, ages 13 & 15 when he died, always hung on to EVERY word of his stories about the Navy....especially when he spoke of this sons idolized their Grandpap (Papou, in Greek). To this day, 9 yrs after his death, my 2nd son still uses "109" in EVERY password or nickname he needs for school, play, etc. He even tried HARD to get into the Naval Academy, but alas didn't get an appointment there. My sons were greatly affected by all that my dad used to tell them about his days in the navy....

I'll pass this along to all 3 of my kids but I'm also wondering if there are any more things written where his name might be.....for all of our sakes. The navy, primarily the PT-109, was a HUGE part of my Dad's life & memories. I still have the model he built for my sons, when they were little tikes! And, for what it's worth, Dad used to say that Kennedy was a "dumb hero" because if he hadn't have fallen asleep (as is in the movie....*ahem*), they would've been alert & might have been able to eliminated the ships whole ordeal. I can't comment...........I always just listened & watched the intensity with which he spoke of his days in the Navy.....the "great days", as he used to say.

Any info on any of this or other things involving my Dad would be much appreciated! Thanks!! Andrea

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