The PT Boat Forum
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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'S IN THE ALEUTIANS
http://www.ptboatforum.com/cgi-bin/MB2/netboardr.cgi?cid=101&fid=102&tid=639



AHOY THERE TO ALL-

ACCORDING TO FRANK JOHNSON'S BOOK- US PT BOATS OF WW II IN ACTION, THERE WERE ONLY TWO RON UNITS, 13 AND 16 THAT SERVED IN THE ALEUTIANS.

DID ANY OF THESE 78' HIGGINS BOATS SUFFER FROM ANY ADVERSE OR STRESSFUL CONDITIONS FROM BEING SUBJECTED TO SUB ZERO TEMPERTURES IN THE ALEUTIANS?

FRANK A.- DO YOU HAVE ANYPICTURES OF ANY PT'S STATIONED IN THE ALEUTIANS? DOES ANY ONE ELSE HAVE ANY PICTURES OR STORIES TO SHARE HERE?

AS A SCALE MODELER, I THOUGHT THAT A WINTERY PT BOAT DIORAMA WOULD BE A REALLY, PARDON THE PUN HERE GUYS, "COOL" MODELING PROJECT!

AS ALWAYS, THANKS IN ADVANCE!

FRANK RYCZEK, JR.
MODELER/FRIEND RON 10 PT-169



HIGH TIDES ALWAYS!

YOUR FRIEND THROUGH SCALE SHIP MODELING AND PT BOAT HISTORY!

Posted By: FRANK | Posted on: Mar 8, 2008 - 1:30pm
Total Posts: 349 | Joined: Oct 7, 2007 - 2:09pm



Certainly the biggest problem with having PT BOAT SQUADRONS in the Aleutians was the cold weather and the turbulant Sea. The weather towards the western part is said to be the worst in the World. The only heat te boats had were from the 2 burner stoves in the galley.

Inside, the boats they had a layer of frost on the bulkheads. Add to this the fact that these first boats had seen plenty of action being 77 footers, and there were no repair facilities on Adak. Hail and Snow would hit the boats and cause the them to become coated with ice. Squadron 13 arrived at Adak and were certainly better suited then the older Elco boats. They were equipped with motor driven hot air heaters and were better constructed. In the begining, the heater design had a flaw in that exhaust fumes from the motor mixed in with the hot air being pumped into the boat, quickly causing some crews to become sick. They did fix the problem, and these heaters really helped the crews to combat the cold.

Before the base was completed, they used the USS Tatoosh as a tender where the crews could get a hot shower, decent food, and even a movie. The boats really saw no action. When the Army secured ATTU, the boats patrolled the area, but found nothing as the japanese never sent ship in that area again. The boats were mainly used to escourt ships thru the heavy fog.

Squadron 16 really saw no action as well, but the weather had become worse for them, with heavy Seas and high winds. They had estimated that 4.000 to 7,000 troops were on the island of KISKA, so it would seem possible that the boats might se some action. Five PT Boats actually took place in this invasion as they cut out plywood to resemble the sides of barges surrounded by rows of soldiers heads which were nailed to the gunwales. All this effort wasted, as KISKA fell without opposition. The enemy had secretly evacuated the Island.

The boats devoted themselfs to operational training, which were mostly cancelled because of high seas, and high wind. Around 1944 the boats maintained antisubmarine patrol between ADAK STRAIT and ATKA PASS, weather permitting but had no sightings. Squadron 13 was withdrawn from ADAK and Squadron 16 from ATTU, sometime in May 1944.

The boats actually ran under their own power to Seattle for overhaul and shipment to the Southwest Pacific. If anything else, it proved that wooden PT BOATS had no business operating in that type of COLD AND TERRIBLE SEAS and WIND, ICE and SNOW. Boy, can you imagine going out on patrol were the seas could be that rough. Those guys really had it rough going.........





Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Mar 8, 2008 - 3:21pm
Total Posts: 3170 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am



[IMaGe]http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p249/ptboats/Gary%20Szot/Adak.jpg[/IMaGe]

Ifound this shot of Adak in Victor Chungs book.





Posted By: Gary Szot | Posted on: Mar 8, 2008 - 4:02pm
Total Posts: 193 | Joined: Feb 12, 2007 - 1:00pm



[IMaGe]http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p249/ptboats/Gary%20Szot/AdakonPatrol.jpg[/IMaGe]

[IMaGe]http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p249/ptboats/Gary%20Szot/AdakPBY.jpg[/IMaGe]





Posted By: Gary Szot | Posted on: Mar 8, 2008 - 4:18pm
Total Posts: 193 | Joined: Feb 12, 2007 - 1:00pm



Hey there Frank A. and Gary-

Frank- thank you so much fort the input on the RON 13 and 16 boat in the Alutians. It must have been a really tough road to hoe for those guys.

Gary- The shot you posted on the board has already started my wheels spinning. That shot would make a fantastic diorama in 1/72 scale, don't ya think? Thanks for posting it for all of us here!

Frank Ryczek, Jr.

Modeler/Friend RON 10 PT-169



HIGH TIDES ALWAYS!

YOUR FRIEND THROUGH SCALE SHIP MODELING AND PT BOAT HISTORY!

Posted By: FRANK | Posted on: Mar 9, 2008 - 10:29am
Total Posts: 349 | Joined: Oct 7, 2007 - 2:09pm



Frank;

All three of these shots were taken around Adak. The middle shot needs a little photoshop touch up to show the snowcaps in the background.

I have posted all of these shots in my folder on the photobucket site.



Posted By: Gary Szot | Posted on: Mar 9, 2008 - 11:52am
Total Posts: 193 | Joined: Feb 12, 2007 - 1:00pm



Hi - are you able to see any of the boat numbers? By chance, are any of the boats the 300 boat?

Frank R - I have some pictures that may help you with a diorama. They are close ups of my uncle, but he is on a boat. there is also one of camp life - which didn't look like much of a life! I'll send you copies, or try to scan it on this site, but I am not sure how to do that.

Colleen



Posted By: colleen | Posted on: Mar 10, 2008 - 5:16pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



Frank,
My dad was a radioman 2nd class on PT221 Ron 16. I remember him reminicing at the dinner table about being in the Aleutians, At that time I was young. Too bad I didn't appreciate the historical valuei (nformation) that my dad could have provided. Thank you for bringing up the adverse conditions of this type of craft in Aleutian waters. Something I never considered.



Posted By: Rm2c Ron 16 PT 221 | Posted on: Mar 10, 2008 - 6:14pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



Hi Colleen,
In the RON16 book I have, PT300 was in RON16B, which was sent up to join RON16 in late April 44. After being delivered to the USN in early November 43 in New Orleans, the 5 boats passed through the Panama canal and they were shipped via the SS Hiram Bingham (a liberty ship) to the Bremerton/Seattle area arriving on 22 March 44 They boats left Bremerton on 17 April 44 and went up through BC to Alaska from there. On the way, RON16B (PT297,298,299,300, and 301) passed through the ports of Port Hardy BC, Bella Bella, BC, Ketchikan AK, Petersburg AK, Pleasant Island AK and finally stopping in Sitka AK on 24April44. They sat there in Sitka until 07May44 when they were ordered to go back to Seattle and join with RON16 there. On the way back they stopped in the ports of Prince Rupert, Bella Bella and Hardy Bay. They arrived back in Bremerton on 11May44 where RON16B was disestablished and formally absorbed into the parent RON16. So if these pictures were taken around Adak AK, the PT300 was never there. Just FYI Jerry

By the way, RM2c I have 3 RM's listed on PT221 crew, Jack Crawford, MacIntyre Henderson, and Ralph Records. Are one of these guys your Dad? Jerry

Jerry Gilmartin

Posted By: Jerry Gilmartin | Posted on: Mar 10, 2008 - 11:00pm
Total Posts: 1217 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 11:16pm



Thanks Jerry - I have read a bit about RON 16 and RON 16B. My uncle's service has always confused me as I believe he was in Alaska from around Sept 1942 until summer/fall of 1944. So he may have been in RON 13 as well as Ron 16(B). Wasn't RON 13 in Alaska also? Thanks again!

Colleen



Posted By: colleen | Posted on: Mar 12, 2008 - 6:01pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



hello

it been awhile but reading about the cold conditions i remember what my dad told me that the ropes on deck were so huge from the ice. but i have to ask does anyone have pictures or something with the crash boats? as my dad was on one. sorry but i gotta keep looking about those crash boats and maybe they were with the seaplanes? anyone?

thanks



kendall p. strehle
avr c-26654

Posted By: kendall strehle | Posted on: Mar 13, 2008 - 1:52pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



Jerry, I remember my Dad talking about the Panama Canal. Do you have any reference or info on PT 221.



Posted By: Rm2c Ron 16 PT 221 | Posted on: Mar 14, 2008 - 6:29am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



Here is a quick write up of what I remember of my dad's stories from serving on PT 221.

My dad died in 1989, but I remember some stories he told when I was a kid. I have always been a WWII amateur historian, but havenít done all that much research to find out specific information about my dad. I just remember some of his stories. (not really sure how accurate my memory is,
so donít be surprised if a get some details wrong.)

anyway, my dad was Richard (Dick) Bacon. He was going to Syracuse University and playing football and track when the war broke out. He enlisted with a buddy, (canít remember his name), but they served together on PT 221. Dad told stories of his experience taking his boat through the Panama canal and going up the West coast, stopping in San Francisco and Seattle on his way to the Aleutians.

I remember his story of building a jetty and while operating a dump truck dumping rocks off the end of the jetty, it collapsed and the truck went into the drink as he put it. He just barely lived through the experience. Not sure exactly where this took place, just a kidís memories of a fatherís stories.

When I grew up in Seattle, my dad used to point out a bar in downtown Seattle and told us that he had been thrown through the plate glass windows next to the entrance. On his way to the Aleutians he stopped at the bar and it was a navy bar, but on the way back he stopped in again and it was an army bar, when he walked in they grabbed him and threw him through the front windows. His boat was on the way to the Philippines at that time and luckily he wasnít hurt too bad from the window episode.

In the Philippines, he told of living up remote rivers during the day and coming out at night to hunt Jap barges. He also told a story of a American destroyer that was badly damaged and abandoned but hadnít sunk, so they were told to sink it. He had to go onboard to be sure nobody was left.

Another story he told was of a P-38 that chased a zero into a cloud and everyone was shooting at the Zero and didnít expect the P-38 to come out of the cloud first, and they shot the P-38 down by accident. My dad helped drive the boat and manned the twin 50ís in the cockpit. He always
seemed to feel badly about this incident.

My dad didnít talk about combat too much, and I found out late in his life that his buddy that had enlisted with him from Syracuse, was killed right next to him. He was hit by a 5 in shell and killed instantly. From the same incident my dad suffered shrapnel wounds down one whole side of his
body and died with pieces still in him. My dad was certainly traumatized by this and didnít ever give much detail to this story.

My dad suffered bouts of Malaria all his life, and had reoccurring funguses that cropped up all his life too from being in the jungles of the Philippines. I remember when we were growing up that you couldnít try to shake my dad awake or you might get punched. You stood across the room and
yelled to wake him.

I have researched enough to know that war is not glamorous, and affected veterans all their lives. I also realize that if not for the sacrifices of these veterans, our world and specifically the US, would not be the pleasant place we are blessed with today. I keep the legacy alive for my two sons and they have a healthy interest and appreciation of the sacrifices that allow us such a great existence today.

I hope my information, sketchy and incomplete as it is, helps to also keep the legacy alive for other PT boat kids and grandkids. Wish I remembered more, and maybe some others will add to my own story. I have no memorabilia that was left to me. My dad didnít save much. I only have my own memories of his stories.


Paul Bacon (son of Dick Bacon, pt 221)

Posted By: Paul Bacon | Posted on: May 2, 2008 - 5:29pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



By the way, my two brothers both went to the Aleutians in the 80's and worked on King Crab boats. Yea, exactly like the show Deadliest Catch. My dad had much sympathy for the conditions they faced. I will ask them if they remember any specific conversations about my Dad's experiences of being up there that they might remember. I know from all their stories that you can't exagerate the conditions. It's nasty up there....

I only remember my dad talking about almost dying when the dump truck he was driving to build a jetty went in the drink.

The pictures are great, and I am sure one of those boats is my dad's PT 221

pb

Paul Bacon (son of Dick Bacon, pt 221)

Posted By: Paul Bacon | Posted on: May 2, 2008 - 5:34pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



Paul,
I have a picture of your Dad.
Post your Email and I will send it to you.



Posted By: Rm2c Ron 16 PT 221 | Posted on: May 3, 2008 - 7:22pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



Hi, Frank if you can get hold of the History Channels program "The Bloody Aleutians " it has some very sharp B/W shots of the Higgens Boats under power in the harbour. About 6 differant boats are in the shot. Good hunting.

D.buck

Posted By: David Buck | Posted on: May 4, 2008 - 3:10am
Total Posts: 332 | Joined: May 4, 2008 - 2:59am



Thank You David, I will check it out when I have time.



Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: May 4, 2008 - 3:43am
Total Posts: 3170 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am



Just a quick posting. My email address is bacon@hp.com or pbacon3@yahoo.com. Any pictures you have will be a delight and a treat to my whole family. Greg sent me a crew picture, and I am sure you have seen it as well. My dad is dead center in the last row. He was 6'3, so not surprising they put him in back....

thanks in advance for any pictures you might have.

sincerely,

Paul Bacon
Santa Cruz CA

Paul Bacon (son of Dick Bacon, pt 221)

Posted By: Paul Bacon | Posted on: May 4, 2008 - 11:37am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



Just a quick obsevation.
Ron 13 boats included PT73 - 84. I noticed that PT5 was in the picture by the airplane. Does this mean PT5 went with Ron 13 and 16 to the Aleutians?
Just curious since my Dad was in Ron 16.

Mike Crawford (Son of Rm2c Jack Crawford)




Posted By: Rm2c Ron 16 PT 221 | Posted on: Jul 23, 2008 - 1:00pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



No. PT-5 was not an operational boat.

Will

Posted By: Will Day | Posted on: Jul 23, 2008 - 4:27pm
Total Posts: 1881 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 4:19pm



Mike

It is actually PT 75 next to PT 78 in the shot with the PBY.

They are both RON 13 boats.



Posted By: Gary Szot | Posted on: Jul 23, 2008 - 6:48pm
Total Posts: 193 | Joined: Feb 12, 2007 - 1:00pm



THANK'S FOR ASKING JERRY
I HAVE A PHOTO OF PT 221 CREW WITH NAMES ON THE BACKSIDE.
IT IS SIGNED BY RALPH RECORDS Rm 2c and my dad Rm2c Jack Crawford. This picture was at Melville. I don't know whatRalph's job was after the photo but I do know my dad Jack Crawford was the Radioman at Mindoro when Ron 16 recieved the Navy Commendation Medal.
Check out the medal section at Knights of the sea info.





Posted By: Rm2c Ron 16 PT 221 | Posted on: Jul 24, 2008 - 7:54pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



No, ... the 5 boat was actually PT-75.

Garth

You've got a question, I've got an answer.

Posted By: TGarth Connelly | Posted on: Aug 1, 2008 - 10:46am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered