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Forum Category: PT Boats of WWII
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Forum Name: PT Boats - General
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Topic: RON 1 At Pearl Harbor
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I'm trying to find which boat Lt. Robert W. Orrell was on at Pearl Harbor. It had to be PT 21- 25 as they were the only ones in the water. He took pictures while pulling survivors from the water.

Robert's daughter told me he donated these pictures to PT Boats, Inc before his death in 1986.

As usual, thanks for any help.



Posted By: Robert Orrell | Posted on: Jul 4, 2008 - 12:40pm
Total Posts: 80 | Joined: Jul 2, 2008 - 6:18am



hi THERE IS ALSO LT ROBERT W ORRELL LISTED ON PT 523 IN RON 36, AT SURRAGIO STRAIT.PT BOATS INC SEEMS TO HAVE SOME INFO ABOUT HIM. GOOD LUCK EARL PT 108 RON 5

earl richmond

Posted By: EARL RICHMOND | Posted on: Jul 4, 2008 - 1:48pm
Total Posts: 319 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 1:50pm



Robert

Interesting about pictures of the PT Boats helping with the survivors of Pearl Harbor. There seems to be very little that show PT Boats doing anything after the Bombing ( in the way of photo's) I have looked for some for many years. I had asked PT BOAT HEADQUARTERS if they had anything, and they said the did not. I would check with them to see if in fact they did get photo's from your Family. If they do have them, I would like copies for sure........



Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Jul 5, 2008 - 7:18am
Total Posts: 3497 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am



Thanks, Earl - I have the 523 info and one photo of 523.

Thanks, Frank. I'll talk wth Robert Orrell's daughter again. Apparently Robert was quite a photographer and took many photos. His family tells me he gave almost all of his service momentos away or threw them out in his last years. He suffered from Alzheimer. The only photos I have I will scan and forward to you.

I have his marriage photo in uniform taken in Dec 1945 in Miami. I'll post that one in case someone recognizes him or the other officer, which I am assuming was his best man.

Thanks again.



Posted By: Robert Orrell | Posted on: Jul 5, 2008 - 9:21am
Total Posts: 80 | Joined: Jul 2, 2008 - 6:18am



Robert,
One of our veterans on the PT-658 restoration crew John Akin, was in RON1 on PT24 and then on PT27. I can put you in touch with him if you want to ask him questions. His son Norm is on the Board of Directors for PT Boats Inc also. Email me offline from here (using my info on my profile) and I can email you back his information. Jerry

Jerry Gilmartin

Posted By: Jerry Gilmartin | Posted on: Jul 6, 2008 - 10:21pm
Total Posts: 1472 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 11:16pm



Here is another possible lead in addition to John Akin. I talked and corresponded with William Eugene Coffee about 2-3 years ago. Bill was with Rons 1, 2, 3/2 and 32. With Ron 1 he was on the PT-23. He was at Pearl on Dec-7, 1941. Bill told me that he was on a burial detail at the cemetery following the attack. While occupied in this duty, he missed a noon draft of men that were recruited for a carrier. Due to this, Bill got assigned to PT's with Ron 1 instead.

Bill said he was on some of the 'early developmental' boats while at Pearl Harbor, and that 6 boats out of 12 were at a sub base (PT's 20-25). He was also a base force cook at Tulagi 1942-1943.

Bill is a member of PT Boats Inc. He joined the Navy at 17. I believe that he is still with us, though I haven't talked with him for some time. He also mentioned to me that he gave all of his photos to HQ's in Germantown. I didn't know what he had, but if someone inquires about PT-23 and Mr. Coffee, there is something in the archives.

If anyone wants to contact him, I have his address and phone. You may send an e-mail to me. I can give him a call if anyone would prefer. My e-mail is adaam0073@cox.net

Randy Finfrock
Tulsa, OK




Randy Finfrock

Posted By: Randy Finfrock | Posted on: Jul 15, 2008 - 7:40pm
Total Posts: 97 | Joined: Nov 27, 2006 - 6:21pm



Thanks, Randy

We're getting closer to identifying the boat Robert Orrell skippered at Pearl.

I sent you an email.



Posted By: Robert Orrell | Posted on: Jul 16, 2008 - 3:01am
Total Posts: 80 | Joined: Jul 2, 2008 - 6:18am



Mr. Orrell,

I have just sent you an email. Thank you.

Garth



Posted By: TGConnelly | Posted on: Jul 16, 2008 - 8:07am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



Robert;
I think were looking in the wrong area, I believe Robert Orrell was an Exec at Pearl Harbor, not a skipper, this is going to make it even more difficult. I have a photo that matches yours but from a different angle, however there is a guy standing in front of the starboard side boat number. I think I can see a 1, but it might also be the sun hitting his shirt just the right way. If not.....I believe the boat is PT 21. I will send the photo to Dick for enhancement. Don't get your hopes up, it is probably his shirt.
Take care,
TED



Posted By: TED WALTHER | Posted on: Jul 16, 2008 - 7:53pm
Total Posts: 3059 | Joined: Oct 16, 2006 - 7:42am




Hey Ted . . .

Did what I could and have posted two images along with your original. It does appear to be a number, and a number with a straight side like a 1 or a 0. Which it makes PT-21 a very good possibility.

[b]Original Image:[/b]

[image]http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p249/ptboats/Ted%20Walther/RON1ptandhammondsport.jpg[/image]


[b]Enhanced Image:[/b]

[image]http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p249/ptboats/Ted%20Walther/RON1ptandhammondsport2.jpg[/image]


[b]Blow-up:[/b]

[image]http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p249/ptboats/Ted%20Walther/RON1ptandhammondsport3.jpg[/image]



Dick . . . .



Posted By: Dick | Posted on: Jul 16, 2008 - 10:40pm
Total Posts: 1417 | Joined: Aug 27, 2006 - 6:36pm



Thanks - Ted and Dick.

We're getting closer. The attack report stated PT 20, 21 and 22 were put on inner harbor patrol so we've narrowed it down to 3 boats.

I'm still hoping for Robert's service records to arrive.




Posted By: Robert Orrell | Posted on: Jul 17, 2008 - 2:50am
Total Posts: 80 | Joined: Jul 2, 2008 - 6:18am



If everything works out, I'm planning on going to the National Archives tomorrow. I'll pull the deck logs and see what they say..they usually have a list of the crewmembers in the log.


Charlie

Posted By: 29navy | Posted on: Jul 17, 2008 - 5:18am
Total Posts: 600 | Joined: Dec 28, 2006 - 3:02pm



Thanks for the great photo Ted.

Dick - great job enhancing the photo. Looking under the sailor's left arm I can make out part of the "2". Judging by the width of the numbers, I am leaning more towards the other number being a "0" because of the width.

Anyway - great work and thanks.

We'll get it!

And thanks for the Exec rank - this gives me more to explore.



Posted By: Robert Orrell | Posted on: Jul 17, 2008 - 8:39am
Total Posts: 80 | Joined: Jul 2, 2008 - 6:18am



Thanks - Charlie

Your help is appreciated



Posted By: Robert Orrell | Posted on: Jul 17, 2008 - 8:42am
Total Posts: 80 | Joined: Jul 2, 2008 - 6:18am



All Right Guys, I'm back from the Archives and here is what I found....

You all were wrong!!!

According to the deck log, on December 7, 1941, Robert W Orrelll was a Chief Quartermaster (serial number 267-97-27) on board the PT-30! He reported aboard on August 19, 1941.

The CO was an Ensign named R. R. Dupzyk and the XO was an Ensign named R. A. Williamson.

PT-30 and the other boats that were on board the RAMAPO didn't get put in the water until December 8 between about noon and 1300.

CQM Orrell was promoted to Ensign on September 12, 1942 and promptly relieved Ens P. R. Bynum as the XO. Ens, Orrell was detached from PT 30 on 11/07/1942. Don't know where he went to after that.

So that's the story of the mystery PT Boat of Mr Orrell.

Charlie

Posted By: 29navy | Posted on: Jul 18, 2008 - 5:51pm
Total Posts: 600 | Joined: Dec 28, 2006 - 3:02pm



Another cool thing is the PBY deck load in the background....

Will

Posted By: Will Day | Posted on: Jul 18, 2008 - 6:22pm
Total Posts: 1955 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 4:19pm



Charlie - Thank you! Another piece of the puzzle falls into place!

On another note: Robert Orrell's daughter just emailed me that she received Robert's papers from St. Louis yesterday (Fri). I'm having a great week!

Thank you again!



Posted By: Robert Orrell | Posted on: Jul 19, 2008 - 2:27am
Total Posts: 80 | Joined: Jul 2, 2008 - 6:18am



CHARLIE
WHAT ELSE DID YOU FIND? I AM WORKING UP A LIST OF RON ONE OFFICERS WHICH WERE PRESENT AT PEARL HARBOR/MIDWAY TIME FRAME. IF YOU WOULD E-MAIL ME.
TAKE CARE,
TED



Posted By: TED WALTHER | Posted on: Jul 19, 2008 - 5:31am
Total Posts: 3059 | Joined: Oct 16, 2006 - 7:42am



In looking at Dick's enlarged photo, it looks to me that it is PT 30. Of course, we all will see something different, but in taking my Loop and placing it on the screen, this is whst I am seeing.......



Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Jul 19, 2008 - 5:34am
Total Posts: 3497 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am