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 Author  Topic: PT Boat Tour #3: MTBSTC Melville, RI
newsnerd99

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Jun 18, 2008 - 2:33am
With daylight fading, Dad and I headed south down Rt. 114 towards MTBSTC Melville. I had looked at the marina from Google Earth; someone here on the boards posted pics from a couple of years ago, but I still wanted to go where it all started for so many men, including my grandfather. Pop was at Melville during the winter of 43/44 and finished his training just in time for the Spring thaw.



Much like the feeling I got when I saw that tarped hull of PT 619 in Kingston, NY, when I saw "Melville Marina" I started to get excited. I shake my head at it now, but just seeing the name Melville on something real and in person got me going. We pulled into the private-ish marina and parked next to the row of Quonset-ish shop buildings:



The marina has a security gate and lots of signs saying that it was private property, no trespassing, boat owners and guests only, etc... but it wasn't "sealed off" or anything. I just looked like I belonged and was polite and no one said anything back other than "hello!" After a quick search, I found the PT marker erected in a small grass patch along with flags, a Mark XIV torpedo and a stripped 1943 40mm Bofors:





I walked out to the end of one of the piers so that I could see the narrow channel where the boats pass in and out from. When I look at either photos from the 1940's or in person today, it's almost like someone carved the inlet out (other than the small channel) - it's just perfect for what it is. I also photographed any of the old buildings I ran into - the only part you can't get to is on the southwest side near where some of the tank farm is located.





Dad had been to Newport recently and had spotted some aircraft carriers down the bay, so we left briefly so we could photograph the other end of the Navy (size-wise anyway) before the sun went down. The USS Forrestal and USS Saratoga are sitting at a NS Newport pier and look pretty much stripped. Apparently there is an effort to tow the 'Toga over near Quonset Point and make her a museum. Jacksonville couldn't do it...so let's hope RI can.



Anyway, back to PT's - I decided I wanted to eat dinner at the Melville Grille. The food smelled good and it was located in what looked like on of the old shops, so how could we go wrong? I was hoping to find some mention of PT's on the menu or on the walls (apparently there used to be) but all we found was non-descript sailing models/nautical theme inside. At least the ceiling retained a Quonset look!



We ended the day with good beer, delicious food and the satisfaction of all that we had seen on the first day.



Grandson of James J Stanton
RON 15 PT 209 and RON 23 PT 243
Check out: www.pistolpackinmama.net

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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: Jun 21, 2008 - 8:43am
To All those that pased thru Melville:

Photo 6 that Jim took while on his tour of the old site. Does anyone remember what that might have been. I know its a tough task to try and remember that far back. It was one building I missed when I was there a few years back. Also, anyone have any photo's of the old POOL BUILDING. I heard it was still there..............


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newsnerd99

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Jun 21, 2008 - 5:17pm
To help anyone's memory, it's this building that Frank's talking about:



and it is located here today (red arrow):



It is as close to the water that any of the buildings get. It looks like it would have been in place after this photo was taken. Frank - this is the one off the wall of your exhibit...any idea of the date?


Grandson of James J Stanton
RON 15 PT 209 and RON 23 PT 243
Check out: www.pistolpackinmama.net

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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: Jun 21, 2008 - 5:51pm
Jim, not sure of the date of the photo. I think it was sometime in late 43. As to the building, what an awesome PT BOAT BUILDING it would make. Can you imagine fixing up the building and putting my Exhibit in there with my engine and other items from other people. The exhibit would be rght there, where the men trained. Wish I had the connections and the money to do something like that because, that would be one place where I would put my Exhibit on a permanat basis. Maybe I will make some calls...........


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29navy

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of 29navy  Posted on: Jun 21, 2008 - 6:28pm
That picture is from January 1943. At the bottom center of the picture, you can see the contruction starting for the drill hall. The big (still existing) double building is actuallyl across the street from where you have your red arrow. IT was built in two stages, first the square buidling and then the quonset hut. RTU used it for boat repair training. Here's a picture from Feb 1945 which shows its location. (The big white thing on the left hand side.)



Charlie

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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: Jun 21, 2008 - 11:15pm
Charlie

Thanks very much. Is there an arial view of the base today which would show that building (RTU) As I said, I would love to put a PT BOAT MUSEUM in that building...........


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Dick

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Dick   Send Email To Dick Posted on: Jun 22, 2008 - 12:25am

OLD SITE OF MTBSTC Melville, RI

Frank, I read your post and thought I'd take a look on goggle maps, and low and behold I found it. I had to take a screen shoot then play with it in PhotoShop. Had to rotate it, size it, crop it dicker with a bit - did my best to make it look similar to Charlies photo post. Enjoy . . .






Just for fun here is the color version I took from google





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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: Jun 22, 2008 - 5:05am
Dick
That's awesome, thanks very much. Actually there are several buildings stil around. The ones to the right, you can't access. Wish I could get in there to take photo's. Such a great place with such History. Wonder if Rhode Island would be interested in a PT BOAT MUSEUM in that area, hmmmmmmmmmm.


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newsnerd99

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Jun 22, 2008 - 7:41am
Very cool pictures guys! Thanks for sharing...

Frank - it would be great to see more than a marker at Melville! I'm betting though that getting that building would mean replacing it nearby for their operation. I'm thinking it is still in use for boat repair; there are mobile dolly's and lifts next to it for moving boats out and around; it looks like they do a fair amount of business.

Grandson of James J Stanton
RON 15 PT 209 and RON 23 PT 243
Check out: www.pistolpackinmama.net

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Drew Cook

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Drew Cook  Posted on: Jun 23, 2008 - 1:58am
Jim, Frank, Charlie, and Dick --

Fascinating stuff, guys. Thanks for the posts.


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