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 Author  Topic: Submarine Repair Unit US Navy No. 89


Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Allan   Send Email To Allan Posted on: May 29, 2008 - 7:47pm
Members of "The Board":

I am in need of an explanation of the reference to "Submarine Repair Unit, U.S. Navy No. 89, Task Force 72". I offer a few brief details as to the context in which this reference was made back in 1942.

On the night of January 20, 1943 the Tulsa, a gunboat converted to serve as PT tender for those six PT's (113, 114, 119, 120, 121 and 122) operating by themselves in the enemy waters of New Guinea as Division 17, was attacked by six Japanese bombers. She drove them off with her guns while sustaining no damage to herself. However, PT 113 during this fight sustained heavy damage to her hull, forcing the crew to abandon the boat and swim to shore where they were taken in by natives and hidden from Japanese patrols for three days, until the Tulsa could make her way in to rescue the crew and, apparently, retrieve the boat. During this action, my father, QM/2c Allan Lawrence, suffered a wrenched back and was cut up enough in making his way through the coral reefs to shore that he was soon suffering form coral poisoning. This, coupled with the malaria that had been gradually wearing him down, was enough that, when they got back to their operational point, he was sent to a field hospital at Dobadura. From there he was flown to Australia and medical records show that he was treated at 2nd Station Hospital at Mareeba. He was returned to duty, working from other PT's until a relapse of malaria again overtook him and he was sent to 42nd General Hospital at Brisbane with records showing that he was received at "Submarine Repair Unit, U.S. Navy No. 89". A "Board of Medical Survey- Submarine Repair Unit, Task Force 72" evaluated him and he was then re-diagnosed with all of the medical conditions mentioned above but now also including "combat fatigue from strenuous and active combat duty" and was transferred via (unknown) hospital ship to the U.S. Naval Hospital at Brooklyn, N.Y.

Can anyone explain to me the reference to the Submarine Repair Unit designation? Also, if anyone has a picture of the 113 boat or any of its crew I would greatly appreciate knowing. Perhaps we could arrange for a copy being made. I have only two pictures now, only partial shots of two members of the crew, but none of my father.


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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: May 30, 2008 - 2:14am
The following is a Google-based hopefully someone else will have more to add:

Taskforce 72, which was based in Brisbane, was made up of command personnel and a repair unit (Submarine Repair Unit Navy 134). I couldn't find any reference to SRU 89. I wonder if it was renumbered at some point?

I wonder if the Submarine Repair Unit was used a "receiving station" that just simply processed him as he moved through the system?

Here's the links I used:

Just a guess in case you hadn't seen that info on the web.

As for pictures...hopefully some other folks here will have some for you.

Grandson of James J Stanton
RON 15 PT 209 and RON 23 PT 243
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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Shaneo2  Posted on: May 30, 2008 - 1:55pm

Just off of the tops of my head, but there were US Submarines stationed out of Brisbane at various times during the war. After the fall of the Philippines several "S" class were there well into 1942.

I would reckon that the US had a submarine repair unit there and it was designated that number ?

I know other types of US Naval vessels also went into Brisbane for repair too.


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