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Ľ Forum Category: PT Boats of WWII
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Ľ Forum Name: PT Boats - General
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Ľ Topic: PT-109 Deck Log
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Looking at Donovan's book, PT-109, I was wondering if Lt. Kennedy's deck log still exists. Donovan quotes from the log numerous times in the book. But I've never seen anything written about it since. Gene Kirkland's PT-King web site has text from the previous skipper, Lt. Westholm. These are worth reading. The following is a link to Westholm's log on Gene's site.

[url]http://pt-king.gdinc.com/PT109.html[/url]

I wrote the Kennedy Library to ask if they know anything about it. Have any of you come across any information about the log?
Dave

David Waples

Posted By: David Waples | Posted on: Nov 16, 2012 - 5:00am
Total Posts: 1574 | Joined: Jan 2, 2007 - 9:55pm



If not mistaken Dave, the Kennedy Library has many documents pertaining to PT-109. I am not 100% sure of the deck logs are a part of that group. You can go online to the Kennedy Library and find hundreds of different documents now made public for viewing.



Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Nov 16, 2012 - 5:46am
Total Posts: 3144 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am



Thanks Frank. I did a search and couldn't find anything. I sent them an email to see if they had it or knew of its existence.
Dave

David Waples

Posted By: David Waples | Posted on: Nov 16, 2012 - 6:17am
Total Posts: 1574 | Joined: Jan 2, 2007 - 9:55pm



The logs, up tp to a certain point, are at the archives.


Charlie

Posted By: 29navy | Posted on: Nov 17, 2012 - 4:10am
Total Posts: 486 | Joined: Dec 28, 2006 - 3:02pm



Something tells me that you are never going to see the deck logs which pertain to the sinking of the 109.



Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Nov 17, 2012 - 8:32am
Total Posts: 3144 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am



Nope. they are at the bottom of Blackett Strait near the entrance to Ferguson Passage.
Take care, TED



Posted By: TED WALTHER | Posted on: Nov 17, 2012 - 2:50pm
Total Posts: 2841 | Joined: Oct 16, 2006 - 7:42am



Not so concerned about the documentation of the 109 sinking. I get it's proably under water. More interested in what occurred prior to that. I would think it would be interesting reading if part of it still exists. If I hear back from the Kennedy Library I will share it with you.
Dave

David Waples

Posted By: David Waples | Posted on: Nov 17, 2012 - 4:52pm
Total Posts: 1574 | Joined: Jan 2, 2007 - 9:55pm



Guys,

Archives II in MD has four Log books for the 109.
Dates are from July 10, 1942 - June 30, 1943.

Steve

Posted By: Nuge210 | Posted on: Nov 20, 2012 - 5:09pm
Total Posts: 321 | Joined: Jun 4, 2008 - 7:50am



Steve;
Your the man!!! That last logbook which ends in June 1943, encompasses the time period of when Bryant Larson turned over command to JFK, The "RE-PAINTING" in "Jungle Green" , the posting to Searlesville for JFK(Larson also took 109 to Searlesville, when it was first set up at the Lever Brothers plantation House)and the depth charge going through the deck!!
Awesome!!
Take care,
TED



Posted By: TED WALTHER | Posted on: Nov 20, 2012 - 6:54pm
Total Posts: 2841 | Joined: Oct 16, 2006 - 7:42am



I do not beleivethat Deck logs held by NARA are not available for public viewing. Research requests, with specific questions relating to dates and incidents are recovered by archive techs and they resond with the information.
As such, I don't believe you will get to see the deck logs.
Jonathan



Posted By: Jonathan Eno | Posted on: Nov 20, 2012 - 7:38pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



Jonathan,
I went to NARA2 last year and had access to quite a few PT Boat deck logs. Why wouldnt they allow access to the existing Deck logs for PT109? It would be treated just the same as all the other PT Boat deck logs. Here are a few pics of some of the deck logs I looked at. So what I am trying to demonstrate here is that the PT109 Deck Logs would be no different in their availability to a qualified researcher with access to all of these other ones. That is why NARA is such a fantastic resource! Jerry


PT308 Collision Deck log

[image]http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p249/ptboats/Jerry%20Gilmartin/PT308log9mar45collidept3.jpg[/image]

PT27 Logbook showing archival box it was kept in along with logs from PT24 and PT28
[image]http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p249/ptboats/Jerry%20Gilmartin/PT27logbookoutside.jpg[/image]

PT27 deck log with names of crew

[image]http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p249/ptboats/Jerry%20Gilmartin/PT2710Mar44LtTobinrelievedbyLtMcElroy.jpg[/image]

PT27 logbook with John Akin listed as top gunner

[image]http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p249/ptboats/Jerry%20Gilmartin/PT27crewlistAkintransferdatelistedasLeadGunner.jpg[/image]

PT305 logbook with crew names
[image]http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p249/ptboats/Jerry%20Gilmartin/PT305logbookplankcrew.jpg[/image]


PT235 with Alvin Hansen Transferred date

[image]http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p249/ptboats/Jerry%20Gilmartin/DSC00094.jpg[/image]



Jerry Gilmartin

Posted By: Jerry Gilmartin | Posted on: Nov 20, 2012 - 8:58pm
Total Posts: 1215 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 11:16pm



So how do we go about doing some researh? This would be awesome to share.
Dave

David Waples

Posted By: David Waples | Posted on: Nov 20, 2012 - 9:02pm
Total Posts: 1574 | Joined: Jan 2, 2007 - 9:55pm



Bruce Marshall, who lives not far from the National Archives might be the one to do this. He has looked up several things for me in the past. I would be happy to ask him, providing he has the time.



Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Nov 21, 2012 - 3:44am
Total Posts: 3144 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am



Jerry,
I stand humbled and corrected. I have been doing a project , some of it thru NARA, and the answer to every request I've made regarding logs has been that they are not open to the public.
I don't know why I've received that response, but it has slowed my project considerably.
It is fantastic to see that they,deck logs, are accessable.
Jonathan



Posted By: Jonathan Eno | Posted on: Nov 21, 2012 - 5:38am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



Which NARA location is this and are all the PT deck logs located there?
Dave

David Waples

Posted By: David Waples | Posted on: Nov 21, 2012 - 5:56am
Total Posts: 1574 | Joined: Jan 2, 2007 - 9:55pm



Very cool, and an answer to the torpedo / depth charge incident. We were just discussing that. I hope someone can access, scan, and post them. That would be good for at least a +10 to their board Shares rating.

I read 5 words in the PT 235 page Jerry posted and an immediate picture formed in my mind: "visibility zero bad rain squall". It must have been a rough moment.




Posted By: Jeff D | Posted on: Nov 21, 2012 - 9:12am
Total Posts: 1706 | Joined: Dec 21, 2006 - 1:30am



Well, I've pulled the 109 logs so thery are there and available. They (and and the other logs) are at the Archives in College Park, MD. and are available to anyone.

I don't remember why I looked at the 109 logs books (it's been a couple of years), but the log books are notorious for what they don't include. Next time I go to the Archives, I can pull them and see what they say.

If my memory is correct, one thing I noticed was that the logs were all singed by (I believe) Al Cluster instead of the CO or XO of the boats.





Charlie

Posted By: 29navy | Posted on: Nov 21, 2012 - 11:41am
Total Posts: 486 | Joined: Dec 28, 2006 - 3:02pm



Can one of our PT veterans -- or someone else who knows for sure -- advise us of the procedure for keeping PT deck logs?

Were they kept onshore (in the Ron or Flotilla HQ, for instance) or on the boats themselves?

If I had to guess (and that's all it is -- a guess), since the PTs were shore-based patrol craft, and did not spend long periods of time at sea like a capital ship, the logs may have been keep on the beach.

That would explain the existence of deck logs from boats that were lost in combat, like the 109.

Anyone?



Posted By: Drew Cook | Posted on: Nov 21, 2012 - 2:18pm
Total Posts: 1236 | Joined: Oct 19, 2006 - 10:44am



Each PT boat log book usually covers two months of time. After that, they would have been turned into the Squadron who would have sent them, through some established process and chain of command, back to the Navy Department in Washington DC.

Charlie

Posted By: 29navy | Posted on: Nov 22, 2012 - 4:18am
Total Posts: 486 | Joined: Dec 28, 2006 - 3:02pm



Why would Kennedy not have filled out a deck log for the incident. I would think the Commanding Officer would have needed a full account of the events leading up to the collision, and might have handed Kennedy a deck log to fill in the blanks so to speak. Do we know if anything is on file ( in Kennedy's own hand writing) of the events, and if so, where would it be.



Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Nov 22, 2012 - 5:17am
Total Posts: 3144 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am



Frank, there could be a report somewhere and it would be interesting to search for it. There are reports at the Fleet, Base and Ron levels in some cases.

David, not all boats had logs. There aren't any for individual boats in Ron's 15 and 23, or at least I've never been able to find them. Capt Stanley Barnes had his Ron 15 logs done as a squadron war diary.

I'll try to look at the 109 logs, and take some photos, hopefully before Christmas.

If anyone wants to know about logs for a certain boat, let me know. I had taken pics of the Log Index earlier this year.

Steve

Posted By: Nuge210 | Posted on: Nov 22, 2012 - 6:15am
Total Posts: 321 | Joined: Jun 4, 2008 - 7:50am



Thanks Steve! In addition to the 109 boat which I'm sure almost everyone is interested in seeing, I would also be interested in the 105 boat commanded by Mr. Keresey followed by Mr. Iles. Last PT-505 which was in the English Channel on D-Day.
Dave

David Waples

Posted By: David Waples | Posted on: Nov 22, 2012 - 6:24am
Total Posts: 1574 | Joined: Jan 2, 2007 - 9:55pm



Steve

I know your time is precious, but if you do have time, I have been very interested in deck logs for PT-374, Ron 27. My dear friend Wallace McNeish served on the boat for a number of years, and I would love to have them.



Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Nov 22, 2012 - 6:37am
Total Posts: 3144 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am



Greetings,
This evening I heard back from the Kennedy Library. They do not have the PT-109 log book. Stacey at the library relayed the following...

"According to the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC), only deck logs from commissioned Navy ships are permanently retained by the NHHC and the National Archives. Logs from 1941 through those that are 30 years are older are held in the Modern Military Branch of the National Archives at College Park, MD, which you can reach by telephone at 301-837-3510. It might be worth checking in with them about the location of the PT-109 deck log."

It would be terrific if somebody in that part of the world could check this out. And while you're at it PT-105 would be awesome!

Dave

David Waples

Posted By: David Waples | Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 - 8:52pm
Total Posts: 1574 | Joined: Jan 2, 2007 - 9:55pm



I have written to my friend Chip Marshall in hopes that he would check this out for me the next time he is at the National Archives. He lives right around the corner from them. Dave, I asked that he also check deck logs for PT-105 as well.



Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 - 10:22pm
Total Posts: 3144 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am



NARA is the keeper of the PT log books.

As many of you have the book "FIRST-UP: Chronicles " about the PT-157, which rescued the 109 crew, you recall I have all the pages from the 157's log book and Daily MTB logs (RON-9) for the July/August time frame around which the book is based. I got many pages from Nathaniel Smith (Ham Smith son, Skipper of the PT-154) who had visited to NARA in Maryland and saw them himself and the rest I got directly from NARA. (Nat Smith once sent me photo of a stack of PT log books housed at NARA)

If you ask NARA to pull log books or MTB Daily Reports and SEND YOU COPIES it does cost money! They charge by the page.

In the PT-157 and PT-154 log books (and a few pages of other log books I've seen) it is quickly apparently they were inherently and apparently purposely low on details (very dry reading) except for time out to patrol and time returned, the amount of gas taken on, the security checks being performed. With rare exception they did not note if they fired torpedoes or guns at enemy targets. If there was notable 'action' they would put a note in their log book referring to the MTB report of the day for details. This was, I believe, for self preservation so that in the event of enemy capture there was not any incriminating information to be used against the 'captured' crewman. The night's 'action' details, if you will, were put into the RON's MTB Daily Logs. (which is why I went through the pains to put them into FIRST-UP book. And half of the FIRST-UP book is the 157's log and RON-9 MTB reports so one can get a feel for how this interplay worked)

To my question to the Skipper of the 157 (William 'Bud' Liebenow as to how the 157's log book could refer to an MTB report that yet to be generated.....

The RON's MTB Daily Deck log was generated after the morning debrief of the Skippers and XOs of the previous night activities. Once that MTB report was created THEN the log books were filled in and completed and the person filling in the PT's log book and could make reference to the MTB reports if they wished.

P.S. the PT's log book were of course suppose to be the Skipper but frequently was done another crew member. For example, Skipper Liebenow admitted that his QM (Waldo DeWilde) filled in a signed the PT-157 daily log.

I agree the 109's log is at the bottom with the wreckage. Why would Kennedy fill out a [new] log book for a boat that no longer exists. There should be, however, some Naval inquiry into the loss of a boat/ship as that is SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for the loss of any vessel which is needed for the records. Someone might want to look for that.









Posted By: TheBridge | Posted on: Nov 29, 2012 - 6:43am
Total Posts: 294 | Joined: Nov 22, 2009 - 3:04pm



We have the sinking reports Bridge: [url]http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq60-11.htm[/url]

What we're looking for is earlier records of incidents like the torpedoed depth charge and other details.




Posted By: Jeff D | Posted on: Nov 29, 2012 - 7:53am
Total Posts: 1706 | Joined: Dec 21, 2006 - 1:30am



Jeff - that would be a challenge to find.




Posted By: TheBridge | Posted on: Nov 29, 2012 - 9:15am
Total Posts: 294 | Joined: Nov 22, 2009 - 3:04pm



Hello, this is my first posting here. Al Ross and Frank Andruss may remember me corresponding with them back in 1999 or 2000 about research I was doing into several ďfamousĒ boats including the 109 for a book I was hoping to publish. I never completed the project (you know, my real job, family, etc.) and recently started up again, including reading the forum here. I thought Iíd post with hopes that it might help provide more info about the depth charge incident.

As part of my research I obtained copies of all the 109 deck log pages. There are 244 pages dated July 10, 1942 - June 30, 1943. Jack Kempnerís and Bryant Larsonís log entries are very detailed while Leonard Thomís and John Kennedyís are the exact opposite. I also obtained copies of all the publications that included first hand recollections and contacted Robert J. Donovan and Cliff Robertson. I attended a PT Boats, Inc. reunion back in 2002. Yeah, I spend too much money. When I originally got the logs in 2000 I went through all 244 pages noting entries that would affect the appearance of the boat at specific times in her history.

Kempner and Larson noted many details including dates the boat was repainted and when the radar was installed. However, there is not an entry for when the depth charges were installed. You can interpret that three ways. Considering the consistently detailed nature of their entries, itís possible they werenít installed until Kennedy took command and neither he nor Thom logged it. That would be consistent with the style of their entries, or itís possible Kempner and Larson just lapsed and didnít log it. Your interpretation (guess) is as good as mine. Itís also possible I missed it. Going through 244 pages of log entries is mighty tedious. I plan on going through them again.

According to my research the torpedo hitting the depth charge incident happened on the night of July 2-3, 1943. This is verified by the log of PT 48 (Jack Isles commanding) and later interviews conducted by Joan and Clay Blair with Alvin Cluster who was aboard the 48 when it happened. The 48 also took damage. Since the 109Ďs surviving logs only go to June 30, the incident happened a couple of dayís after the last entry so it wouldnít show up. This is only one month before the 109ís sinking. The 109 was back in service for a patrol with PT 105 and PT 163 on the night of July 19-20 so the repairs were done well enough by then.

Hope to have all my research compiled next year. Iíve decided to self-publish it because completing the research into the other ďfamousĒ boats is too time consuming and Iíll never get it all out. Al and Frank will probably be hearing from me again. My findings aren't earth shattering but are interesting with some details I believe aren't yet known.

Cheers to you all.

Matt

Posted By: Matthew Waki | Posted on: Dec 2, 2012 - 7:08am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



Matt

I certainly do remember you, but lost track of your project. I was wondering how you made out with your research and book. Glad to hear that you are back with us, and providing us with some documentation. Good luck this time around. You can contact me anytime, and I will be glad to try and help you..............



Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Dec 2, 2012 - 7:56am
Total Posts: 3144 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am




Matt . . .

Welcome aboard, your research will be appreciated. Thanks for participating.

Dick . . .



Posted By: Dick | Posted on: Dec 2, 2012 - 3:39pm
Total Posts: 921 | Joined: Aug 27, 2006 - 6:36pm



let me clear up a few misconceptions, albeit it appears that this discussion has moved on from some of it.

The National Archives is actually several branches; the main two are in downtown Washington DC and College Park, Maryland, but they have regional branches spread throughout the country; I happen to live near the Seattle branch and have been researching there regularly since 2004, with five to six trips to the San Francisco branch, three to College Park, and one to DC>. Echoing Matt's earlier comment, yes, I have spent a lot of money!

The regionals are where local commands turn over their records - things like shipyards or Navy bases. College park is the main repository for WWII, and that is where records from the Bureau of Ships and the major forward operating forces (CINCPAC, COMSouPac, etc.) are kept. Deck logs would fall under the Navy command, which is why they at the DC archives. Most of the logs are open to the public - all of the WWII ones will be unless there is some type of work going on with them. I was at NARA II (common name for College Park, with DC being NARA I) in October and had hoped to go through the CINCLANT (Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet) files, but they were unavailable.... out for maintenance and preservation. That might explain an earlier poster's problem and false information that they weren't available to the public - it could have just been temporary.

I took a quick gander through the Bureau of Ships finding aids this time as well. The finding aids are just a list of folders with the subject codes based on the WWII-era filing manual. I pulled the box that had the camouflage stuff (nothing on PT-109), but that was all I had time for. I would estimate that there were 50-75 boxes on PTs.. I meant to try and copy the PT section of the finding aids but never had the time to go back.

So if one REALLY wanted to research the PTs there, they'd have to hit the (separate) records for all of the various commands that had control of PT boats. Not all of the records made it back, or were kept at any one command, so one has to gather from a variety of sources to try and build up a good overall picture from the official records. There is some GREAT stuff that's most likely never been seen before, but it does take time and perseverance if you're after a specific topic or question.

Ain't no google search at the archives!



Tracy White
Researcher@Large

Posted By: Tracy White | Posted on: Dec 4, 2012 - 10:45pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered