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 Author  Topic: The gun that "Made Our Day"
QM

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: May 18, 2008 - 7:15pm
The gun that made our day in New Guniea was the 40mm. When Ron 12 was being outfitted Commander Harllee requested that the 40mm be installed. There were some who thought that it would add too much weight for the boats. However the gun was installed on four of the boats. A short time after Ron 12 began patrols in New Guinea, Ron 21 arrived with a 40mm on all of their boats. Over a period of many months the 40mm was installed on some the older boats. This gun was a more efficient barge-destroyer. It was more effective against aircraft. It was more effective in silencing shore batteries when the boats went in near shore after sighting barges. Before the 40mm was in use the boats were frequently driven away. When a shore battery was silenced, the boats could remain in close to destroy the barges.

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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: May 18, 2008 - 8:44pm
QM

Do you think it was the combination of all of the PT Boats weapons that made the boats so successful. I have heard from many Crewmembers that said although the 40MM was a great gun to have in the destruction of barges and Shore installations, it was the 20MM and the 50 caliber weapons that took down more planes then anything. Some said that the two team men on the 40MM had to really be in working togeher as one man trained the gun and the other fired it to be successful. No doubt a vast improvement for the boats........


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QM

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: May 20, 2008 - 12:17pm
I have never seen statistics regarding how many aircraft were shot down by each type of gun. Even with the numbers it would be difficult to compare because most of the daylight attacks by aircraft on the boats had ended by the beginning of 1944. At that time the 40mm had been in the area for only a short time on a limited number of boats. The Army Air Corps had control of the sky. Before that time, the boats tried to protect themselves by being well on the way back to their base before daylight. Our job was mainly accomplished in the dark. In 1944 we were out more in daylight, but I never saw an enemy aircraft while we were underway. There were a few night air raids at various bases, and there was s single aircraft one morning at Mios Woendi.

Naturally all of the guns helped, but those of us without the 40 were anxious to have one installed. To use some words from Hell on Keels, the 40mm had several times the explosive power of the largest gun on the PT,s, and it was more accurate and it had a longer range. That is why it made our day.

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