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 Author  Topic: How many torpedos fired?
TheBridge

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TheBridge  Posted on: Jun 29, 2011 - 8:14am
I was talking to both Bud Liebenow and Welford West (separate conversations) about how many torpedoes they actually fired during the very busy period of missions in 1943. The number I got was a bit of a surprise.

So now I'm going to open the same question to any PT crew Vets who served in 1943 in the Solomons to recall the total number of torpedoes your boat fired while on mission.
In your posting please include:
+ your boat number
+ number of torpedoes fired (within the 1943 time window)
+ general area (or areas) of operation in which the boat was assigned during 1943

I look forward to seeing the reply posts!

Bridge



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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: Jun 29, 2011 - 11:29am
OK, Bridge -- how many fish WERE fired by the 157 in '43?


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Dick Listro

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Dick Listro  Posted on: Jun 29, 2011 - 12:30pm
My Dad (Sebastian D. Listro) was in Ron 27 at that time onboard the 359. He told me that they never fired a torpedo during action. Most of their missions were barge busting and recon. He was the QM.

Dick Listro


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CJ Willis

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of CJ Willis  Posted on: Jun 29, 2011 - 12:49pm
Bridge: I was aboard 242 from the time Ron 19 started patroling out of Vella La Vella about Nov. 1, 1943 until Dec 14, 1943 when the base burned from a fuel dock fire. The next day we moved to Treasury and operated with Ron 9 until Dec 28, 1943 when 242 was damaged from a fire fight with 3 barges off Bougainville. We were then out of operation for repairs at Tulagi. During these last two months of 1943 we were patroling Choisuel and the southern end of Bougainville from both Treasury and Vella La Vella bases.. During that period we launched no torpedoes and am sure no Ron 19 boats launched any torpedos during that period. We patroled the Solomons , New Britain and New Ireland from about Nov 1, 1943 until about Nov 15, 1944, nearly 13 months, and we never launched a torpedo during that time. The enemy capital ships had moved outof the Solomons by then. We were strictly barge hunters.

C. J. Willis

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TheBridge

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TheBridge  Posted on: Jun 29, 2011 - 1:46pm
PT-157
Source: William Liebenow (Skipper)/Welford West (torpedo man)
March '43 to Oct '43

Both Liebenow and West said that from the time they arrived in the Solomons which I believe was ~ March 43 to when Liebenow was transferred to the Atlantic theater (abt Oct 43) the 157 (RON-9) fired 6 torpedoes (as best as they can recall).

The torpedoes were fired in pairs so this represents 3 attacks as it were.
2 fired fired when they were ordered to do so by the section leader during action in an apparent effort to create a spread pattern of torpedoes by using multiple PTs on a target.
2 fired on the night of July 2/3 '43 when they hit a destroyer (after they nearly slammed into it on a moonless night)
2 fired but can't recall the occasion

Welford's comments is that the PT of RON-9 primary task (although not the only task) was to attack barges (and hence the obvious growth of gun mounted guns as the war progressed). He does feel that having the continued presence of torpedoes on the PTs however made the Japanese think twice before sending bigger ships through 'The Slot' for fear that the PT's and their torpedoes would eat them up.

- Bridge


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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Jun 30, 2011 - 4:13pm
I recall talking with many PT Boat Veterans over the years, and it would seem that not many fired torpedoes. As you recall, the roles of the boats changed drastically at least in the Pacific. Becoming more of a gun platform, it was more important to add larger caliber guns. Many of the boats even discarded at least two of the torpedoes, keeping the others, just in case a target might show up. It seems that the bulk of the torpedoes being fired by the boats were done in the early stages of the War, when they were the principle weapon.

In the Med, this would certainly be a much different way of life. The boats were more involved in a torpedo war then a gun-ship war. They were often pitted against German Navy Ships, including the dreaded F Lighters, which carried the high caliber German 88. This does not mean that the Higgins boats did not find favor in adding cannons and other weapons, because they would certainly need them to fight it out with the German E Boats, and F-Lighters. I wonder if any records were kept as to the actual amouint of Torpeoes fired by the PT Boats during the War.........


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Nathaniel Smith

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Nathaniel Smith   Send Email To Nathaniel Smith Posted on: Jun 30, 2011 - 5:14pm
My Dad (PT-154) remembers firing torpedoes at a Japanese destroyer ... which simply outran the torpedoes.

natsmith

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TheBridge

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TheBridge  Posted on: Jun 30, 2011 - 5:24pm
Nat - would we count that then as a total of either 2 or 4 torpedoes total while he was skipper of the 154?


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TheBridge

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TheBridge  Posted on: Jun 30, 2011 - 7:12pm
Nat - would we count that then as a total of either 2 or 4 torpedoes total while your Dad was skipper of the 154?
In general, what were the dates was he on the 154?
Thanks!


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Nathaniel Smith

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Nathaniel Smith   Send Email To Nathaniel Smith Posted on: Jul 1, 2011 - 4:43am
PT-154 arrived in Tulagi from Noumea on 23 April 1943.
My Dad left PT-154 14 November 1943.


natsmith

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