The PT Boat Forum
» Forum Category: PT Boats of WWII
» Forum Name: PT Boats - General
I am sad to report that another PT Boater has made his last patrol. I was so lucky to have met Lt. Leighton "Huck" Wood roughly in 2006. Huck served with Ron 6 on PT 124 as her Executive Officer. He served in the Gudalcanal area as the Japs were sending high speed Destroyers in the Slot.
On the night of February 1, 1943, PT 124 and 10 other boats opposed no less then 16 Destroyers. In command of PT 124 was Lt. Clark Faulkner. Huck would later tell me that on this mission, the men felt they might not be coming back. PT 124 would later spot a Destroyer, and closed to within 800 yards, firing all four torpedoes. PT 124 opened her throttles wide, making a run for it as the Destroyer spotted them. The Jap Can began to fire at the darting boat, when one large explosion rocked the night. Later, Wood would learn that they had hit the Makigumo, which would later hit a mine and sink.
No stranger to enemy action, PT 124 earlier had torpedoed the Japanese Destroyer Hatsukase, which Huck thought they sunk, only to learn it limped its way back to Truck. Later this Destroyer would be sunk by American Destroyer and Cruiser Fire. Wood would receive the Silver Star for actions in the Solomon Island area from December 31, 1942 to December 28, 1943. He would participate in at least five engagements with enemy Destroyers varying from seven to as many as 16 in number with no less then three Cruisers.
PT 124 and their Crew were credited with the probable sinking of two enemy Destroyers. In the New Georgia and Bougainville operations, Wood would take over as Commanding Officer of PT 124. During this time PT 124 would participate in many night actions, being bombed and strafed by enemy planes, and shot at by Shore Installations. Huck would tell me that they sure were lucky as no one was injured, but the boat took several hits.
I shall never forget Huck as he showed just what PT Boaers were made of, when he came to my Exhibit in Springfield, and although his legs crippled he walked up 2 flights of stairs to see it. Huck died on Sunday according to his wife Barbara. I will miss talking with him, but will have him with me, as he donated his Uniform, Silver Star, and Certificate to the Exhibit. If you guys have time, I would love for you to send a card to his wife. His address is as follows:
Mrs. Leighton C. Wood
260 New Norwalk Road
New Canaan, CT. 06840-4921
Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Mar 24, 2009 - 5:15pm
Total Posts: 3497 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am
Rest in peace, Mr. Wood.
You truly were one of the Iron Men who "fought" the Wooden Boats. We will never forget you and your kind.
Those early, hairy PT night fights against the Tokyo Express at Guadalcanal were ones "for the books."
Posted By: Drew Cook | Posted on: Mar 25, 2009 - 8:04pm
Total Posts: 1306 | Joined: Oct 19, 2006 - 10:44am