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 Author  Topic: PT-109 Sunk 65 Years Ago Today
PeterTareBuilder

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of PeterTareBuilder  Posted on: Aug 2, 2008 - 3:19pm
Hi there.

I just noticed that today is the 65th anniversary of the sinking of PT-109.

As I work on my PT boat models I remember and am extremely thankful that so many brave men were so willing to "go in harm's way" in small coastal forces craft.

To the veterans of those boats I would like to say *THANK YOU!* I will remember your sacrifices and expound your deeds to all who are willing to listen. *YOU WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN!*

Cheers from PeterTareBuilder

"Give me a faster PT boat for I'd like to get out of harm's way!"

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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: Aug 2, 2008 - 4:56pm
Yep...I remembered that today, too.

Right about now, on Plum Pudding island 65 years ago, JFK was probably getting ready to swim out into Blackett Straight with the 109's battle lantern, to try to flag down any patrolling PTs...

Say what you will about the way the 109 was lost, or about Kennedy the man....but what he did, in just a kapok life jacket (or was it an inflatable life belt?) and white skivvies...took a lot of intestinal fortitude...


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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: Aug 2, 2008 - 5:43pm
PT 109 is what started me on my way. I can still remember DAD telling me to watch the movie PT 109. I was only 10 years old and had no clue what a PT BOAT even was. I watched that movie and instantly fell in love with those boats. I asked DAD to buy me a PT BOAT, but that was out of the question. He flipped me .50 cents and the next day I went down to Zayre Department Store and bought my first model. It sat on my desk for the logest time.

Little did I realize that over the years PT BOATS would consume my life. It was in 1993 that I was invited to attend the 50th Anniversary of the sinking of PT 109. I was so excited because I got to meet Gerard Zinser, Motor Mac on the 109, and Bud Liebenow, Skipper of PT 157, who rescued Kennedy and his Crew. Over the years, I was honored to meet and become friends with so many PT BOATERS, including Lt. John Bulkeley, Zinser, Maurice Kowal, Les Gamble, Jack Searles, Huck Wood, Walter Paytner, and countless others, who I consider my Family. Although so much contraversy surrounds the sinking of PT 109, no one can argue with the fact that because of it, many people became aware of PT BOATS. There is only one man left that served on PT 109, and I was so lucky to have met him a few years back. I bet those men who served on the boats can't believe that 65 years has gone by so quickly. Time stops for no one I guess. Gone are the days of fighting a War on a wooden boat, but no one can argue that it was one of the best wooden boats ever built, with men that will never be forgotten.............


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PeterTareBuilder

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of PeterTareBuilder  Posted on: Aug 2, 2008 - 6:32pm
Hi there.

Here's a link to PT-109 sung by Jimmy Dean.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiqV6Ik5W40

Cheers from PeterTareBuilder

"Give me a faster PT boat for I'd like to get out of harm's way!"

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  TED WALTHER

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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: Aug 2, 2008 - 6:50pm
Frank;
While I read your post about the anniversary of the sinking of PT 109, I read the names you list who you consider family and I am compelled to say my love of PT Boats started the same way. I was 10 years old in 1973 and my first Navy model was PT 109, which my Dad bought at the base exchange at NAS Mitchell Field, in Garden City, NY. As for myself, the people who I have become friends with, direct contact, and consider my PT family, that I remember on this day and every other , is of course John Bulkeley, Robert Kelly, Hank Brantingham, Bud Liebenow, Rumsey Ewing, Vern Peak, John Mountcastle, Tom Kendall, Robert Green, John Bowman, John Akin, Ed Ganley, Ed Farley, Jack Searles who has responded alot to my written coorespondance, I even sent him panoramic photos of Toboga Island in 1996.
Last but not least, is a person I can call friend, confidant, and confessor.... Ken Prescott, Skipper of PT 61 and PT 48. The guy who moored next to 109 and JFK in the Russells/Searlesville, who was a roomate of JFK at the Lever Brothers plantation house in the Russells/ Searlesville. Both Ken and Emma Stina were there for my wife and I when my two youngest were born, Emma-Stina made two crochet baby blankets for each. I feel as if they are both more Uncle Ken and Aunt Emma-Stina.
I feel blessed to have known all these fantastic people over the years, but above all Ken has always been there for me. Everything I do for PT 48, is mainly to honor Ken and Tom, but I must be honest, more so Ken, simply because I have known him longer, and for what his Mrs. did for my children. They are the best.
take care all,
TED


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Jeff Sherry

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff Sherry  Posted on: Aug 12, 2008 - 10:08pm
I have read these posts with great interest. My Dad, Bill Sherry, PT 342, RON 24 made his last patrol on June 10, 2008. I could go on and on about him and his service and what he taught me about PT Boats but I want to respond to the previous JFK posts. Dad was born on August 2, 1923. The day Pres. Warren Harding died. Then to have JFK's boat sunk on the same day...Then it continues. Dad worked for the election of Raymond P. Shafer for Gov. of Pennsylvania-Shafer was a PT decorated skipper. My Mom and Dad had a running quip, "Me and Ray and JKF" I grew up with that and the movie PT-109. I never saw "They Were Expendable" until the age of DVDs. As a kid growing up in the 60's and 70's, "PT-109" was my movie. I loved it and I still do. I don't care what anyone says, JFK was a hero in the aftermath of the sinking of the 109. These guys were special...anyone on this forum knws that. They would probably say they were no more special that the guys in Italy or North Africa, Iwo Jima or Salerno, or the guy who posted the mail at Ft. Dix, NJ, but to US, they are.
Jeff Sherry


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Gary Szot

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Gary Szot   Send Email To Gary Szot Posted on: Aug 13, 2008 - 7:34am
I have read with interest all of these posts concerning JFK. Whether or not he was a great PT Boat Captain was never the issue. He was no better or worse than any of his peers. I think what made JFK memorable was his devotion to his crew. After the incident he made sure his crew was safe. He kept their spirits up when all was feared lost. He sacrificed himself by swimming to Blackett Strait each night to try to flag down a passing boat. He made sure his crew didn't give up.To me that is the sign of a great leader. Being a Massachusetts blue blood didn't get in the way of him being a human being who cared about the people around him.


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