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 Author  Topic: Italeri PT-109 in box review from Cybermodeler Online
TGConnelly

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Nov 15, 2012 - 1:22pm
Perhaps the tube was repaired, seeing it was a primary weapon system, and the depth charges were 'add-ons' and were not considered vital to a mission, Frank.


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TED WALTHER

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TED WALTHER   Send Email To TED WALTHER Posted on: Nov 15, 2012 - 1:24pm
Mike;
1. The Starboard depth charge is the one that fell through the deck into the crews quarters, while on patrol in stormy seas with PT 48 off Mbanika Island(I misspelled in an earlier post as M'binga), Russell Islands the starboard torpedo was inadvertently launched during a storm without first deploying the tube into firing position. The launching torpedo sheared away the depth charge mount and some of the footrail. That is the one that is visable in the photo.
2. Rendova/Lumbari Island was not yet a "base" when this photo of PT 109 was taken, May 1943. RON 9 moved up to Rendova on 30 June 1943. PT 109 was operating out of The Russell Islands(Mbanika Island). all repair work was done at Tulagi(which was 90 miles away), during this time frame.
3. They could have gotten a replacement depth charge rack, when back at Tulagi being repaired, as supplies were coming into Tulagi at a regular pace by this time.
Take caree,
TED


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Jeff D

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: Nov 15, 2012 - 1:38pm
Thank you for the first look at the kit Michael, it was very interesting to see the included parts. I noticed that the flag had 50 stars...

Based on her history then, and in modern times on this forum, I think it logical to assume that the 109 is a cursed boat. I would not be surprised to learn that her ghost creeps out in foggy weather, terrorizing the local natives...



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PeterTareBuilder

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of PeterTareBuilder  Posted on: Nov 15, 2012 - 1:44pm
Quote:

Thank you for the first look at the kit Michael, it was very interesting to see the included parts. I noticed that the flag had 50 stars...

Based on her history then, and in modern times on this forum, I think it logical to assume that the 109 is a cursed boat. I would not be surprised to learn that her ghost creeps out in foggy weather, terrorizing the local natives...






Maybe, if building this kit as a radio controlled vessel, it would be better to build it as PT-190?

I sure am anxious to get one for myself.

Cheers

"Give me a faster PT boat for I'd like to get out of harm's way!"

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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: Nov 15, 2012 - 1:45pm
I guess what this all boils down to, is build the boat the way you want to. If you want to leave off one depth charge, so be it. If you do not want to add the mast, so be it, if you want to build her with the mast folded, so be it, If you want to build her without the 37mm on her decks, so be it. We are being a bit anal here. Bottom line is, without photographic evidence, or knowing someone who was there and can tell us, like Nike says, "JUST DO IT.......................


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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: Nov 15, 2012 - 2:14pm
Ted's right -- the torpedo/depth charge incident occurred while the 109 was based at Searlesville in the Russell Islands, not Rendova.

Donovan wrote: "PT 109 had to be laid up again briefly for repair of the damage from the fallen depth charge. Shortly after the work was completed Kennedy received orders in mid-July to proceed to the forward operating base for motor torpedo boats at Rendova..." Donovan doesn't specify that the 109 went back to Tulagi for the repairs, although Ted stated all repairs were being done there at this time.

No reason whatsoever to think the port depth charge and cradle (and foot rail) weren't all repaired/replaced during the repair of the boat at Tulagi. And...the depth charge ended up in a bunk in the crew's quarters after the accident, not overboard.

The starboard side photo of the 109 underway at sea is from JFK's personal WWII photo album. It was most probably taken while JFK skippered the boat.


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David Waples

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Waples  Posted on: Nov 15, 2012 - 9:11pm
Dick, is there any way you can make the last two pages go away?

Guys, as far as I know the only documented reference to the depth charge incident is in Donovan's book, PT-109. I pulled it off the shelf and here's what I read from it and what I just shared with Mike.

I'll summarize to set the scene. PT-109 received a distress call from another PT. After they met up it was discovered that the PT in distress had a large hole in the hull and were in need of a dewatering pump. Kennedy didn't have one of course but saw a destroyer and went off to secure a pump. Upon arriving at the destroyer this is what Donovan wrote...

"As the two drew together the destroyer would rise high above PT 109. Then the destroyer would slide down a trough and 109 would soar above it. The two skippers had to maneuver with care to keep the vessels from slamming together lest the destroyer's steel hull crush the plywood shell of 109. Precariously the heave one cylinder pump was pass as if between two men on a teeter-totter.

Kennedy edged away from the destroyer and was circling back to the damaged boat when the top of a wave smote his port hull with such force that it jolted one of the torpedoes out of its tube. The torpedo banged into a heavy depth charge, a collision that brought together enough explosives to have blown Kennedy and his crew to bits, had not the two weapons been set to fire under different conditions. However, the depth charge toppled off its perch, crashed through the deck into the crew's quarters and landed on the bunk above where Drewitch was trying to sleep."

He goes on to write...

"Kennedy got the pump to the other boat without further accident and stood by until a tender came to the rescue."

He then writes....

"PT 109 had to be laid up again briefly for repair of the damage from the fallen depth charge. Shortly after the work was completed Kennedy received orders in mid-July to proceed to the forward operating base for motor torpedo boats at Rendova, one of the large islands in the Solomons, in the middle of the main battle then being fought in the Pacific. On your way, small fry," a destroyer blinked as 109 churned away from the Russels."

Am I missing something? As far as I can tell that's really it and all we have to go by. If you read it carefully it doesn't say that the port torpedo hit the depth charge. A waive hit the port side of the boat causing a torpedo to strike the depth charge. People assume it was the port side but we really don't know for sure. Some assumed (I did for a while) that the torpedo actually fired but Donovan never said that. There's no further discussion about the depth charges beyond this incident. About the only thing we know for sure was that the 109 had depth charges under Kennedy's command and one was damaged in an accident. There's no evidence to indicate that the the depth charge was put back in the same place, if it was moved to a different spot, or if they were removed all together after that incident. The best picture we have of PT-109 is on the cover of the National Geographic book that appears on the thread you posted on which was before the 37mm was lashed down temporarily the night of her sinking. The picture isn't clear enough to know if there is more than one depth charge.

All that said there's nothing wrong with discussing the possibilities and reviewing the material and photos to try and discover an answer. At the end of the day we're speculating and we need to make sure that we treat it that way and not interpret it as fact.


David Waples

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Will Day

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Will Day   Send Email To Will Day Posted on: Nov 15, 2012 - 11:06pm
Well said, David. On another matter; anyone have an opinion on whether any/all of the tubes were cranked out at the time of the collision? Given the sudden nature of the occurance, I would guess not....

Will

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David Waples

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Waples  Posted on: Nov 16, 2012 - 4:44am
My GUESS would be no. If the torpedo slid out and impacted the depth charge pushing it through the deck you would think it would be in the stowed position, otherwise you would think it would be just out there hanging in the tube.

From Donovan's writing my assumption is that the Tender secured the weapons (torpedo and depth charge), and structural repairs were made after returning to base.

It's difficult to say where Drewitch was sleeping at the time. According to Donovan Drewitch was severely injured, not by the depth charge itself, but from being thrown around below decks in high seas after being startled by the event. A bad day for a guy trying to get some sleep.

My modeling brain is thinking this would make a great diorama. The 109 in high seas, torpedo hanging out of the tube, big ole hole in the deck, Kennedy at the helm with other's eyes fixed on and reacting to the event. Somebody needs to warn Stan immediately! :-)
Dave


David Waples

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ducati650

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of ducati650   Send Email To ducati650 Posted on: Nov 16, 2012 - 5:44am
Interesting and enlightening discusson. I always assumed it was the port torpedo that was jolted from the tube and hit the depth charge but it seems nothing actually says which one it was.

Dave, you say that it seems like the Tender secured the 109's torpedo and depth charge. Is that from the line in the book about the 109 standing by until the Tender "came to the rescue"? When I read it, my assumption was that the 109 waited with the damaged PT boat until the Tender came to the damaged boat's rescue. After reading your comment i can see it from that perspective too.

I totally agree that everything about the depth charges is speculation except that at some point in time there were 2. During the mission in question a wave hit the port side of the boat and dislodged a forward torpedo and it hit a depth charge causing to crash through the deck. That is ALL we KNOW. The rest is speculation. It really does seem that one could pick any one of several possible combinations and nobody could prove you "wrong" (nor could you prove you are "right", only that was possibly the "right" answer).

Here is how I see it:
1. It is probable it was the port torpedo and depth charge but not guaranteed.
2. The depth charge and rack were not lost to the sea so the repair crew had them to reinstall if so desired. Since the DC was knocked from the rack and crashed thru the deck, is it possible that the was still in place and the hole and repair did not actually involve the rack?
3. At least one forward torpedo tube (the unknown side that jolted forward) did not have the tube cover or retainer (or the impact broke it) or the torpedo could not have been jolted out of the tube.
4. There is photographic proof of where the starboard depth charge was located at some point in time but do not know if it was before or after the repair.
5. The photo posted of the boat with the very inboard located rack looks to me to show a rack that was originally designed to be mounted closer to the edge so that the DC would roll on metal rails all the way to the deck edge. The engineer in me says if I was designing it, this is how i would do it. The fact that, as it is shown, the DC would have to roll off the steel rails and across the wooden deck to reach the deck edge indicated to me that the rack was mounted further inboard than the location it was designed for. This begs the question, "Why?". I'm not sure of the relative timing but could it have to do with reports of the damage to the 109?

Food for thought.

Ed


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