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 Author  Topic: Question regarding small arms aboard PTs
fredtheobviouspseudonym

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Sep 16, 2008 - 8:29pm
If this has been covered before I apologize; I have done a search of the site but have not found any suitable set of topics.

I have, then, a few questions for the veterans and other informed folks on this board.

The PT familiarization pamphlet (referred and linked to by posters on this board) noted that deck crewmen normally wore a .45 holstered when at sea in the combat zone.

Were all PT sailors issued with .45s?

Was there a "standard" issue of small arms for PTs? If so, does anyone know what it was or can refer me to such information?

Where were such small arms kept? Was access restricted (keys, etc.) or were the crew sufficiently trusted to have access to small arms and ammunition? [Note that I do not intend any insult to the courageous and skilled sailors who manned the PTs during the Second World War; I have in the past worked for the federal government (civilian) and know that often the "higher ups" issue restrictions that make no sense.]

What was the "standard" or common issue of ammunition for such small arms? Where was such ammunition kept aboard a PT?

Were there . . . "unofficial" additions to the small arms lockers? If so, what were the desired "additions" and from where (and how) did the PT sailors obtain the same?

Were any non-American (esp. British or Japanese) small arms acquired by PT sailors and kept on board?

IIRC there were cases in which small arms aboard PTs were used in actions against Japanese barges. Do any of the readers on this board know any accounts of such? [IIRC John Bulkeley once boarded a Japanese barge while armed with a .45, for example.]

Did PT sailors ever conduct landing parties in Japanese-held or uncontrolled territory? What would have been the standard equipment for such landing parties? Are there any stories about same?

I know I'm asking quite a bit -- I'd rather ask too many questions (with the sure knowledge that these might well not get or justify an answer) than too few.

Thank you for considering these questions; I shall express additional thanks later.


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Will Day

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Will Day   Send Email To Will Day Posted on: Sep 16, 2008 - 8:58pm
Fred: Check out Bulkley's book AT CLOSE QUARTERS, for starters. Lots of anticdotes in what is considered the "PT Bible". Also, I'm sure you'll get a lot of replys here on the MB.

Will

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Michael

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Michael   Send Email To Michael Posted on: Sep 16, 2008 - 11:53pm
Fred in answer to one of your Questions,

Did PT sailors ever conduct landing parties in Japanese-held or uncontrolled territory? What would have been the standard equipment for such landing parties? Are there any stories about same?

Im reading the Book,HELL ON KEELS at the moment,kindly lent to me by a member of Ron 12,which is what the book is about.
Just today i read a chapter where a PT Boat Crew went ashore to investigate a Japanese Base,gladly they came out alright.

HELL ON KEELS
The Saga of Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 12
A Story of Wooden Boats And Iron Men
by Rick Desloge


Cheers



Michael

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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: Sep 17, 2008 - 3:08pm
No doubt that PT BOAT CREWS were scroungers. Any good Chief Gunner Mate certainly made sure there were plenty of small arms kept on the boat. I had a conversation with one Gunners Mate on PT 374, not 10 minutes ago.

PT 374 of Ron 27 was one boat that carried extra ammo for all of the 50 caibers guns, 37MM Cannon, 40MM Cannon, 20MM Cannon, and the 30 caliber stinger. According to Mickey McNeish ( Chief Gunners Mate 0n PT 374) he felt that by having extra ammo he insured the boat would never run out in a fire fight. In the small arms locker were kept no less then 15 .45 caliber hand guns, several M-1 Garands, 2 Tommy Guns, Flare Pistols, and of course, ammo for those guns. I would guess that each boat was different in what they had. Here, Iam only speaking for PT 374. Mickey's boat also had a Mortar on the Bow, so rounds of star shells were also caried. Stored below, were several cases of Hand grenades as well. PT 374 also carried out several foraging raids using a Dingy they had, as several crew members went ashore, decked out with rifles, tommy guns, and side arms. This is where Mickey found a Jap Rifle and other things he brought back to the boat. I have that rifle in my Exhibit.

As PT Boats operated so close to the enemy, weapons for those close encounters were certainly needed. PT Boats operated with the scouts, and OSS personel, bringing them to certain spots for drop off. Many photo's exsist showing PT BOAT CREWMEMBERS with side arms, and a variety of weapons, not part of the Factory set up.




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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: Sep 17, 2008 - 8:53pm
Hi there Frank.

You mentioned a crew member bringing back a Japanese rifle to the boat. I wonder if it was an Arisaka rifle? If it was I have yet another idea for a PT boat diorama or vignette. You see I happen to have a few Arisaka rifles in 1/35 scale from the old Tamiya 1/35 scale Japanese Infantry set of four figures.

Cheers from Peter

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

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newsnerd99

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Sep 18, 2008 - 2:44am
Lots of the Pacific guys came home with Arisakas...Frank, you have one or two in your collection, right? I though I remember seeing a late war Type 99 with a spliced stock in the corner of the exhibit. I know PT Boats has several - there were three or four at the museum.

As for the original question - I have seen photos of Thompsons, M1 Carbines, 1911/1911A1's and M1 Garands. Frank was right about the scrounger part - I imagine it was whatever they'd get their hands on.

What did JFK have, a S+W .38 special? Victory model maybe?

My grandfather was issued a Remington-built 1903A3 when he shipped out of Norfolk - but the rifle "went away" shortly after arriving in North Africa. I think it's in Russ Hamachek's book about tossing a 1903 over the side of the boat because it wasn't needed.

I'd imagine short, handy auto-loading weapons ruled the day. The Garand must have felt like a spear on a PT boat...and I though someone mentioned a BAR...Jeez, what a cannon to have for close quarters stuff. If you've ever fired either you know what I mean.

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

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newsnerd99

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Sep 18, 2008 - 2:48am
Fred, after reading your post further, there were landing parties in the Mediterranean where PT boats from Ron 15 would land on small islands and check in with the locals, arranging a "surrender." From what I read there were no large armed parties, just sailors (and I assume) whatever they had on the boat. That being said, there weren't any shootouts or conflicts that required more. All the other landings were for the purpose of putting other armed parties on beaches so they could do the shooting!

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

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EARL RICHMOND

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of EARL RICHMOND  Posted on: Sep 18, 2008 - 6:47am
if i remember correctly we had,aboard the 108; m1,s///carbimes/// -we also had 1 thompson sub-machine gun. 1-12 ga shotgun///all had a .45(mine had a hair trigger)//a deck mortar at one time(we removed it )i personally had a double edged -leather handled belt knife(i learned to throw it very effectivaly),that was sent to me by my brother.at one time i obtained a japanese tripod machine gun.sold it for 80.00 before i shipped home at end of war.

earl richmond

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newsnerd99

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Sep 18, 2008 - 8:36am
Wow Earl...I wish you still had that MG - I'd loved to buy it from you!

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

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CJ Willis

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of CJ Willis  Posted on: Sep 18, 2008 - 10:19am
I believe on 242 we had 4-5 carbines, 2 Thompson sub-machine guns 4-5 45 Automatics and a box of hand grenades. Small arms on our boat was kept on a bulhead near the entrance to the officers quarters. They were not locked up. Our officers were issued 45 Automatics. The crew members were not issued hand guns however they were available to us anytime we wanted to practice or shoot flying fish from the bow. I personally had a 45 (army issue) given to me by the quartermaster of PT 59 when they were going back to the States from Vella La Vella. I carried it until I was relieved of duty and I gave it to my replacement when I came home from Green Island..

C. J. Willis

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