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 Author  Topic: Pure bilge (oxymoronic, isn't it?)
David Waples

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Waples  Posted on: Oct 2, 2014 - 6:18pm
Quote:

I watched and listened to that video three times. Ballard makes absolutely no comment about the boat being intact or in pieces.

Al Ross





Exactly right Al. And this is a clip from the original documentary. It's not even complete. If you want a more complete understanding of what Dr. Ballard and his team did there you need to read the book and view the entire documentary. I just wish we weren't attacked for setting the record straight. It's frustrating.

Dave





David Waples

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David Buck

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Buck   Send Email To David Buck Posted on: Oct 3, 2014 - 3:42am
Maybe it may help to add the account of someone else who was there and possibly in a little better position to place the point of first impact.

Barney Ross was standing next to the 37mm gun at that time and from his telling of his part on that night from "JFK Life and Death of an American President" by Nigel Hamilton Volume one, page 579.

"The Destroyer saw us at I would say ten seconds before he hit us, and that was a sight I'll never forget. The mast keeling over at about a 45 degree angle towards us-this destroyer mast-and at this distance it would probably be maybe 100 feet. If he hadn't turned he would have just missed us, but by turning he caught us on the starboard bow at about a 20 degree angle to the longitudinal centre of the boat. So he split the boat sort of longways-not across the boat. He hit the bow up there about five feet from my right, and it continued on back."

Barney goes on to say that he had to grab the 37mm gun to stop himself from falling into the water so there is no doubt were he was on the deck,

There are a number of things this statement helps us with

First is that there is no doubt that the Destroyer DID turn to ram the 109.

Second is a point that seems to have been missed and would play a part in the ramming and that is that the Destroyer was well heeled over at the time of the impact, a point that all involved agree on but has not been shown to its full affect by anyone.

Third the cut in half theory looks to be very shaky with this. information.

Forth, Teds angle is close and if one factors in the angle of the Elco bow ,the angle of the destroyers heel over, the bow wave in front of the destroyers bow and the fact that most large ships have a bow with a 4-6 inch curve (not a blade like a bread knife) and the fact that the PT Boat was of light timber construction (which would tend to make it ride the bow wave away from the destroyer another point that has not been raised )then the damage described by Barney Ross can be understood.

Anyway as I say only my two cents worth,

Ta all and let the merriment continue

PS I still think Ballad only found one of the tubes and torp. which fell off the 109 at the time of ramming she's still out there waiting to be found!


D.buck

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David Waples

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Waples  Posted on: Oct 3, 2014 - 6:17am
I don't think anyone has considered the action of the boat after impact. I doubt it just sat there as if clamped to the ocean. I'm sure it moved.

I think it's agreed that the bow section at some angle was separated from the boat. I think it's also agreed by everyone that the stern section went down immediately and the bow section remained floating for at least a short amount of time. The interview with the Japanese sailor indicated that he turned into the 109 on purpose.

It's a war grave and I don't see that there will be any attempt to try and recover these remains (boat and human). I personally don't think there should be.

Dave

David Waples

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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: Oct 3, 2014 - 8:20am
Agreed, guys...

Will

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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: Oct 3, 2014 - 1:43pm
Well, the forepart of the 109 definitely drifted eastward down Blackett Straight with the current for hours after the collision, so...

And, for what its worth, per Captain Tameichi Hara, skipper of the IJN DD Shigure, fourth in line in the Japanese destroyer column that night, the night was "pitch dark," and "we were making 30 knots...a truly breakneck speed for such a dangerous waterway."


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zeusbheld

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of zeusbheld  Posted on: Oct 4, 2014 - 9:11pm
Regarding bilge #1: Krakow's update of the Squadron/Signal Schnellboot in Action is brilliant and useful, and essential to anyone modelling a schnellboot. For one thing, there are color photos that weren't in the first edition, including some showing S-100 class boats with red anti-fouling paint (most sources I've seen insisted it would have been dark grey like known S-38 class boats. Krakow's prinzeugen.com site is also excellent.

As for Bilge #2: I can't find ANY evidence that Ballard said the boat was intact. What he did claim was that the bow, or a significant part of it, was intact.

The stern has not been found and may have been crushed to bits. Here's a Nat Geo article wherein the Navy confirms they believe it to be PT 109:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/07/0709_020710_kennedyPT109_2.html




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bubbletop409

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of bubbletop409  Posted on: Oct 4, 2014 - 11:01pm
In his book AT CLOSE QUATERS, published in 1962, Capt. R.J. Bulkley, Jr. states on page 124 the following regarding the ramming and loss of the 109:

"The 109 had started to turn to starboard preparatory to firing torpedoes. However, when PT 109 had scarcely turned 30 degrees, the destroyer rammed the PT, striking it forward of the forward torpedo tube and shearing off the starboard side of the boat aft, including the starboard engine.


Considering it is stated that only the starboard engine was lost from the collision, in my mind it would tell me, a piece of the starboard side of the boat was more like "fileted" off, rather than the popular cut in half theory.
In that case the rendering shown, less the Lindberg steering hatches, would appear to be a reasonable facsimile of what the wreck looked like at it's time of sinking.

Larry
62 Bel-Air
260 Eagle EXP
79 Cole TR-2

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bubbletop409

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of bubbletop409  Posted on: Oct 4, 2014 - 11:03pm
In his book AT CLOSE QUATERS, published in 1962, Capt. R.J. Bulkley, Jr. states on page 124 the following regarding the ramming and loss of the 109:

"The 109 had started to turn to starboard preparatory to firing torpedoes. However, when PT 109 had scarcely turned 30 degrees, the destroyer rammed the PT, striking it forward of the forward torpedo tube and shearing off the starboard side of the boat aft, including the starboard engine".


Considering it is stated that only the starboard engine was lost from the collision, in my mind it would tell me, a piece of the starboard side of the boat was more like "fileted" off, rather than the popular cut in half theory.
In that case the rendering shown, less the Lindberg steering hatches, would appear to be a reasonable facsimile of what the wreck looked like at it's time of sinking.

Larry
62 Bel-Air
260 Eagle EXP
79 Cole TR-2

Total Posts: 154 | Joined: Apr 22, 2013 - 11:48pm | IP Logged

David Buck

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Buck   Send Email To David Buck Posted on: Oct 5, 2014 - 3:50am
Ah to the sounds of Bing Crosby and his rendition of Danny Boy on my wife's nightly viewing of modern family AHHHHH!!! Bing I like as for the rest ?

O well back to the topic at hand picking up the Japanese side of things from R.J. Donovans book "In the port engine room Petty Officer Yoshiji Hiramatsu heard a scraping noise against the hull, he also observed that the starboard propeller shaft was vibrating. the reason for this was found later to be the starboard propleller had had part of a blade sheared off.

"IF' the PT109 had been sheared from point of inpact to the stern and the larger port section had travelled along the side of the destroyer as a number of the crew Kennedy included attested to then, the damage to the destroyers propellers could only have been caused by the sheared off starboard section as the destroyer first separated it and then rode over it,

Again this is an area that has not been put forward before "mainly due to respect to the two lost men", but as the starboard section has never been found or parts of them then the possibility that the Destroyers propellers may have turned this part of the 109 into matchwood with the starboard engine or one of the torpedos accounting for the damage to the propeller.

If the Destroyer had run over the port section then the story we are all talking about would never have happened.

I fully concur with the idea that this vessel has full War Grave status and should be accorded the proper respect if it can ever be proven 100 percent that it has been found. (Finding a torpedo tube with a torpedo in it does not a full vessel make ). Just as with the Japanese midget Submarine off Sydney Harbour there is a look but do not touch rule in place, however until it had been found there were a large number of attempts to find it and not all of then were willing to share their find with others. this would mean that either the Sub would have disappeared out right or bits and pieces would end up in persons homes or private museums over time. This would happen if the 109 were found by the wrong people without a doubt.

Anyway only my 2 cents worth.

Ta.

D.buck

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zeusbheld

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of zeusbheld  Posted on: Oct 5, 2014 - 4:23am
My understanding based on the Nat Geo article is that it's more than just a torpedo tube.

Sonar strongly indicates that there's a substantial chunk of wreckage there.

The article says that if it's been submerged much of the wood would have been eaten by wood borers. I think that's likely; I'm familiar with the effects of a humid tropical climate, and the things that live in it, have on all sorts of things (I live in Thailand).

I don't see any reason to believe that the wreck isn't consistent with the description of how the boat was destroyed.

I'm a bit bemused as to why they (or someone) doesn't research the wreck a bit more for a positive ID. I believe gravesites should be respected, of course... but I also believe that it isn't disrespectful to do what's necessary to identify the dead (but maybe that's just me, I don't know).

------

Regarding the Schnellboot book, I made a mistake that's haunting me: the photo of the boat with red anti-fouling paint is an S-38 class boat, not an S-100.

It's generally thought that red anti-fouling paint on S-100 class boats was fairly typical. Until seeing that photo I had the impression that it was widely thought that the S-38 boats were boot grey underneath, not dark red. That photo alone's worth the price of the book but there are several excellent photos that weren't in the first edition.


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