The PT Boat Forum

Forum Category: PT Boats of WWII

Forum Name: PT Boats - General

Topic: Rough Seas

This spring weather reminds me of some of we had on PT 242. I am not sure when monsoon season is in the Solomons but I know July and August 1944 the seas there were sometimes pretty rough. At that time we were patrolling New Britain and New Ireland out of the base at Green Island. That is over 100 miles of open seas to get to and from the patrol area which got mighty rough. I recall being underway and so rough that the only people on duty were the skipper at the wheel and the poor motor mac that had to be in the engine room. The rest of us were standing behind the charthouse for protection against the waves coming over the bow and hanging on to the radar mast and braces with knees bent to take the shock. ( I have had one knee replaced and need the other replaced) They would try different speeds for the best ride. Near top speed seemed the best. The boat would come out on top of a wave and leave the water as it would enter the wave trough. The engines would rev up as the screws came out of the water. Several times during that time we would leave the lagoon to go on patrol and hit the open seas and the section leader would send us back in to the base.- just too rough. Those Higgins boats were one tough boat. Some boats had broken struts but 242 never did.
At Green Island we tied up to buoys out in the lagoon. One night it was so windy that our buoy started dragging. There were no officers aboard so Bob Pratt ,Quartermaster, took charge, he was an excellent boat handler anyway. We wound up the engines and cut loose from the buoy and idled around in the dark lagoon for a while then finally tied up to the stern of a Ron 23 boat. Fortunately their buoy held the both of us. Such was life for a kid on a PT Boat.

C. J. Willis

Posted By: CJ Willis | Posted on: Apr 11, 2013 - 3:36pm
Total Posts: 464 | Joined: Nov 5, 2006 - 5:02pm

Wow CJ these stories are amazing. Many nights I lay in bed trying to get to sleep as the wind howls outside at between 30 & 40mph and my mind drifts off to events like you described and I try to imagine what it must have been like.

Posted By: Roy Forbes | Posted on: Apr 11, 2013 - 3:42pm
Total Posts: 371 | Joined: Sep 5, 2012 - 4:57pm

I love these stories C.J., which is why I love the book you sent to me so much. It s one of the most complete diaries of one's time spent on PT BOATS that I have ever seen. I read it several times, because there are 151 pages of memories. I can't thank you enough for sending this to me. It gives me a real inside look at what it was like to be there.

Posted By: Frank Andruss | Posted on: Apr 11, 2013 - 4:15pm
Total Posts: 3964 | Joined: Feb 9, 2007 - 11:41am

h cj
know what you mean.we were half way to our patrol station onev night,.it got so bad we had to rerturn back to base. new ireland got a retrieve that night.i still walk like i am placing my feet/legs spaced apart foer the next step.
good story cj

earl richmond

Posted By: earl | Posted on: Apr 11, 2013 - 6:20pm
Total Posts: 197 | Joined: Oct 18, 2006 - 12:13pm

Thanks Earl for your memories, I bet you have plenty of rough sea stories...............

Posted By: Frank Andruss | Posted on: Apr 11, 2013 - 8:22pm
Total Posts: 3964 | Joined: Feb 9, 2007 - 11:41am