Skip to comments.The FReeper Foxhole Remembers the Mosquito Fleet (PT Boats) - Aug. 22, 2005
Posted on 08/21/2005 9:22:12 PM PDT by SAMWolf
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The Story of the Mosquito Fleet
Like all great stories, those that are the mythology of PT boats in World War II are a fascinating blend of fact and fiction.
The PT boat towed down Pennsylvania Avenue at President Kennedy's inauguration in 1960 allowed him to visibly connect with his war hero image, even while ushering in a new generation of hope and prosperity with his youth and vigor. And when "Camelot" came crashing down with an assassin's bullet in 1963, only 20 years after the sinking of PT 109 near the Solomon Islands made its skipper a hero, PT boats became forever linked with JFK, one of the DAV's most famous members.
When the discovery of PT 109's wreckage made waves in newspapers late last year, it was not surprising to many PT boat veterans, even though they say the elements that made PT 109 so famousindividual heroics and high speed collisionsaren't typical of service in the "Mosquito Fleet."
"Kennedy made a big name for PT boats with the movie and his inaugural parade," said Warren Mills, a motor machinists mate on PTs 323 and 328 in the Pacific. "People used to joke around and call us 'glamour boats,' because we got a famous reputation for doing a pretty good job of minimizing enemy island traffic in the South Pacific."
This famous reputation began on March 11, 1942, with the heroic rescue of Gen. Douglas MacArthur from Corregidor as the Philippines fell to the Japanese. The 35-hour, 580-mile trip through the Japanese-held sea from Corregidor to Mindanao was skippered by Lt. John D. Bulkely on PT 41. Months later, Lt. Bulkely received the Medal of Honor for his daring voyage, but, more importantly, his heroism had given hope and spirit to a nation shell-shocked by the attack on Pearl Harbor.
When a triumphant MacArthur returned to reclaim the Philippines less than three years later, he would land ashore aboard PT 373. By this time, the number of PT boats in the Pacific had jumped from 18 to 212 vessels, despite earlier disdain from ranking Navy brass.
Tells story of MacArthur's escape from the Philippines on the RON 3 boats. This appeared only shortly after the incident.
Yachting Apr 42
Rudder May 42
Squadron 4 was designated as the PT fleet's training squadron by the Secretary of the Navy in 1942, and found a headquarters at Melville, R.I. The Motor Torpedo Boat Training Center at Melville used combat veterans as instructors to train both officers and enlisted men who would serve in all facets of PT service. By mid-1945, the center had trained more than 1,800 officers and 12,000 enlisted men.
The increase in boats and crewmen was in direct proportion to the frustration PT boats brought to the enemy in the Pacific, English Channel, and Mediterranean.
Called "green dragons" and "devil boats" by the Japanese, the PTs used a combination of gunfire and torpedoes in high seas hit-and-run operations, before zigzagging away behind a smokescreen. In contrast to the largely exaggerated claims of PT boat attacks on Japanese destroyers, the boats had really earned their keep in the Pacific fleet with successful attacks on Japanese barges and shore batteries.
The stories out of the Philippines are just getting into the magazines, and Elco is there with "In Action at Manila!", listing some of the PTs' exploits.
Yachting, Rudder Mar 42
The two standard boats were built by the Electric Launch Company (Elco), Bayonne, N.J., which made the 80-footers that saw duty mainly in the Pacific, and the Higgins Boat Company, New Orleans, La., which crafted the 78-footers used primarily in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. The plywood-hulled boats usually had crews of 12,Ð2 officers and 10 enlisted men, or "bluejackets," and were armed with four .50-caliber machine guns (sometimes other guns were added) and four torpedoes. PT boats were propelled to speeds of nearly 40 knots by three 1,200 horsepower Packard engines.
Every knot of speed the boats could muster was essential: There wasn't an ounce of armor on the boats, a fact that didn't escape John Ashworth, a motor machinist's mate on PTs 187 and 330.
Mr. Ashworth, a DAV life member from Tampa, Fla., was among thousands of young sailors who had heard the stories of glory and adventure in the Mosquito Fleet, but turned down the chance to volunteer for PT boat service when the opportunity was presented to him in boot camp. (This dispels the long-held falsehood that all PT boat servicemen volunteered for the duty, although nearly all skippers and officers were volunteers.) When he was selected for PT boat duty anyway, Mr. Ashworth reported for duty at the New York Navy Yard in Brooklyn captivated by tales of glory about the "Knights of the Sea."
"One day I boarded my boat and saw a gunner's mate cleaning a loaded .45-caliber pistol. It went off, but he wasn't hurt, thank God, but I noticed something that disturbed me," Mr. Ashworth recalled. "The bullet went through the deck and the rest of the boat, and exited through the hull. We had to rush to plug the leak and fix the hole.
"I started thinking about all the lead that would be flying at us over there, then I wondered what I had gotten myself into."
Warren Mills believed that the speed of the boats is what kept its crew from losing sleep.
"We could get away from a lot of things with our combination of speed and maneuverability," Mr. Mills said. "We spent a lot of nights blasting away at shore batteries and keeping Japanese barges from fortifying islands with their troops.
"It was a lot like a drive-by shooting. We'd zoom up to a barge and release our torpedoes, or even swing by and strafe them with our guns."
Now in the Solomons, the port gunner on a 77 footer is strafing a destroyer.
Yachting/Rudder Dec 42
But Mr. Mills also learned first-hand of the vulnerability of motor torpedo boats when speed was removed from the equation. Shortly after being transferred to PT 323 (he had literally drawn the shortest straw), MM3 Mills was below deck in his boat, which was sitting still in the waters of Leyte Gulf, when the general quarters bell sounded.
"I knew something was wrong because the alarm sounded, and we didn't start moving," Mr. Mills said. "What I didn't know was that four Japanese Zeros (fighter planes) had attacked, and our skipper and executive officer had been killed.
"We were just sitting ducks, dead in the water."
MM3 Mills immediately assisted the "fantail" gunner at the rear of the ship, and the surviving crew members were able to successfully repel the assault until a damaged Zero crashed into the PT boat. The suicide attack hit mid-ship, knocking several men into the water, but amazingly the only deaths were the two officers killed in the initial attack.
Action in the Slot
The Slot was the route from Bougainville to Guadalcanal, running between New Georgia and Choiseul Islands, the main invasion route for the Japanese Navy to run the Marines off Henderson Field. Also called Ironbottom Sound. Nightly, the Japanese would run reinforcements to Guadalcanal, and bombard the US Marines defending it. Our Navy would send out any available forces to try to stop them, in this case, a PT Boat.
"The water rushing in actually put out the fire in the engine room, which may have kept the boat from exploding," Mr. Mills recalled.
While the last-ditch suicide attacks proved costly to the PT boats, operating at night kept them safe from most aerial attacks. It was often the unseen dangers that haunted the Mosquito Fleet on their nocturnal voyages.
Often the greatest danger to PT boats was operating in shallow reef areas. Grounded boats, along with encounters with mines, were all too common on barge hunting and recon missions, and the night patrols, some as long as 300 miles, stripped the nerves of bluejackets and officers alike.
An American PT boat churns up a wake on patrol off of New Guinea, 1943.
During the day, the bluejackets got some sleep, made repairs, and prepared for the next night's mission. At the start of the war, a lack of PT bases led to the creation of PT tendersfloating mother ships where PT boats could get supplies, gasoline, messing, showers, electric and engine repairs. Some tenders even towed floating dry docks.
The heat of the South Pacific was dreadful, and PT boaters adapted by sleeping under makeshift tents on deck and altering their clothing to less-than-regulation standards.
"Most of the time, you'd find us in shorts and sandals only. Officers were the only guys who wore shirts," Mr. Mills said. "That didn't help our glamour boat reputation."
While the PT boats' success in the Pacific, especially during the long and bloody Solomon Islands campaign, has always garnered the most attention, the Mosquito Fleet also made its presence known in the Mediterranean and the English Channel, including duty off the Normandy coast during the D-Day invasion.
Some of the early Elcos (ex PTs 10-19) went to the Brits as "MTBs". They were outfitted a bit differently- single pair of British 21" torpedo tubes, a pair of dual Lewis 30's, and the aerials. They saw action in the Med, including at Tobruk.
Yachting Aug 42
"D-day was originally planned for June 5, so we departed on the fourth," said Shelton Bosley, a gunner's mate on PT 507, one of 12 PT boats in Squadron 34's D-day force. "We were lucky to be intercepted by a friendly destroyer and told of the delay."
"In the invasion, our PT boats were used to escort minesweepers on the western flank of the Normandy invasion," Mr. Bosley said.
Beyond D-day, the primary mission of PT boats on the European front of World War II was attacking surface ships and craft, and disrupting supply ships and troop movements. PT boats in Europe were also used to lay mines and to carry out intelligence work.
In Europe, the missions for PT boats often lasted as long as 10 days, which meant that the boats had to sacrifice the luxury of the cover of darkness. On these long missions, the boats were used to draw gunfire from shore batteries that would be pounded the next day by Allied ships.
"We went into the English Channel thinking U-boats would be our biggest menace, but minesweepers proved to be our main target," Mr. Bosley said. "We spent a lot of time near the heavily fortified Channel Islands trying to prevent Hitler from unloading supplies and troops."
On Aug. 16, 1944, six PT boats patrolling the Channel Islands, less than a mile off Jersey Island, found themselves in a confrontation with a German minesweeper in pea-soup fog and suffered one of their most horrible losses of the war.
Sixteen men from the group were killed, including nearly the entire crew of PT 509, which lost its skipper in the gunfight and accidentally rammed the German ship.
"The only survivor on the 509, John Page, later said that the stunned German crew just opened fire on the survivors in the PT boat, which was stuck in the side of the minesweeper," Mr. Bosley said. "Page had more than 30 wounds, but survived the attack."
John Page was taken prisoner aboard the enemy ship, where his wounds were treated. Later, a skilled German surgeon saved his life, and he remained a prisoner of war until 1945.
In addition to the 16 killed in the battle, nine more were wounded.
"It was dangerous duty, there's no doubt about it, but I was 18 years old, sitting behind the twin .50 calibers, and I got excited every time the engines were opened full-throttle," Mr. Bosely recalled. "At the same time, you're sitting on a plywood boat with 3,000 gallons of gasoline, torpedoes, and ammunition. If you're hit, you're done.
"We once had a gas tank hit by a 20-mm German shell that turned out to be a dud. It makes me think about how lucky we were out there. Fate can be both kind and cruel."
All too often, historians are callous in assessing victory and loss in naval battles. The water-bound showdowns are gauged by the number of ships destroyed and damaged. The human elementthe pain, suffering, and loss experienced by sailorshas a way of getting lost in the bellies of those floating steel beasts.
But aboard PT boats, the loss could be as intimate as the proximity to the enemy. The relatively small size of the boats produced a tight-knit closeness unimaginable on larger ships, which were virtually floating cities. Perhaps this intimacy in the most hazardous of environments, rather than the wild war stories, the movies, books, the uniform eccentricities, and the Kennedy legacy, is the reason PT boats still capture our imagination todayand why PT boaters are such willing and vocal tellers of their wartime exploits even to this day.
In his official report to the Navy on the use of PT boats in World War II, aptly titled At Close Quarters, Capt. Robert Bulkley used the final paragraph to give proper credit to the legendary success of PT boatsbrave men and fast vessels.
"The success of the PTs depended, and always will depend, on the ability and valor of their officers and men, on their eagerness to seek out the enemy and engage him at close quarters," Capt. Bulkely wrote. The spirit of their courage and determination, a spirit old in the Navy, was expressed on a sign at the PT base at Bougainville in the Solomons:
"Give me a fast ship, for I intend to go in harm's way."
John Paul Jones
| Among those who rode as passengers aboard PTs: Numerous admirals, generals, senators and other politicians as well as the King of England.
Frances Langford Evinrude, USO singer entertained PT men. While at Green Island in the Solomons she was aboard a PT. Hosted regional PT meeting known as a bull session about 1970 at her restaurant in Florida.
Gen. and Mrs. Douglas MacArthur and son; Presidents of the Philippines Quezon and Osmeña; Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, Col. John Eisenhower, Adm. Chester Nimitz, King George VI of England.
Gen Roy Stanley Geiger, USMC, 1st Marine Air Wing at Guadalcanal, First Marine Amphib Corps at Bougainville, Guam, Peleliu and Okinawa, Command of 10th Army.
Actors Ward Bond, Ray Milland, Robert Montgomery, Tyrone Power, John Wayne. Moviemaker John Ford. Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal.
Eleanor Roosevelt, Eddie Rickenbacker (rescued by PT); Col. Charles Lindberg.
USO Show entertainers at PT bases in the Pacific: Patty Thomas, Bob Hope, Frances Langford, Joe E. Brown, Jerry Colona, Martha Raye; Ray Milland, Tyrone Power; Candy Jones; Jack Benny.
Randolf Scott, actor, visited seven PT sailors in hospital at Tulagi January 1944
The BEAUTY of the RIBS that come off my grill!!!!! :)
Hiya Kids, I now have over 1200 pictures of our FANTASTIC country! Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming are now represented on my website. We are so blessed to live in this GREAT land!! BTW ... you kids are still doing a FANTASTIC job on these threads!!!! I could use one of these boats here in LHC ... it would go GREAT on the lake .... :)
A little later in history. But still much of the same mission. A still very interesting sight.
RiverVet - Don Blankenship's site about River Boats in Vietnam
For those of you chomping at the bit (including your always humble editor) to take issue with the word "plywood," consider this; words often take on different meanings for succeeding generations. The rudimentary "computers" used about U.S. Navy vessels during World War II served an entirely different function than those aboard ship today. Today's plywood is composed of thin sheets of wood (of various dimensions), joined together by the generous use of glue. PT boat hulls were composed of double planked 1" mahogany fastened with monel (copper-nickel alloy, very salt water resistant, really quite expensive - ed.) screws. Sandwiched between the layers of mahogany planks was a layer (or ply) of canvas. Every other wooden feature on the PT boat was traditional plywood. If the hull had been plywood, as some mistakenly believe, the boat would have disintegrated from the pounding that the hull underwent while underway.
PT boats used three 12-cylinder Packard Marine Engines, 4M-2500, which burned one-hundred octane gasoline. These liquid-cooled power plants could generate anywhere from 1,200 to 1,500-hundred horsepower depending on conditions at the front and the period of construction. The Packards were lightweight, dependable, and situated two engines forward in the engine room, one port and one starboard, and the third engine farther aft on the centerline. This made service of the engines in the relatively cramped confines of the engine room possible. Yes, the boats were fast; perhaps 40-knots under favorable conditions with the boats graceful bow jutting proudly above the water's surface. On occasion a good third of the boat's hull would come free of the water as she maneuvered across the water. In ideal conditions a PT boat was a most formidable weapon.
Conditions in the Pacific Theater were rarely ideal. Distances, living conditions, diseases, and lack of resources (the boat's engines should have been changed out every one-thousand hours of operation), all combined to severely impact the capabilities of boats and crews. Many photographs of PT boat crewmen from the forward areas of the Pacific show a lean bunch of bearded men, scantily clad, standing on the cluttered decks of what, to the untutored eye, must surely have been a barge. As the sailors had undergone a change (their training at Newport, Rhode Island could hardly have prepared them for the primitive living conditions that they encountered), so had the trim lines of the PT boats. They were boats that would become lethal instruments of war.
All torpedo boats had been designed as a means to deploy torpedoes against enemy vessels. What better way to disable or sink an capital ship than by the use of a fast, difficult to see and hit boat with a low silhouette? They became all the rage in the navies of the early 20th Century. Torpedo boats and their nemesis torpedo boat destroyers (yes, that's how these predators who later chased undersea quarry were born) began to share the oceans with traditional vessels.
When World War II began the Patrol-Torpedo, or PT boats of the American navy was viewed as a customary extension of that concept -- little, fast boats to launch torpedoes at slow, big ships. But as the war progressed in the South Pacific, the needs of the warrior changed. The ideals of high sea's encounters that so many naval strategists had dragged into the war were quickly shattered by aircraft carriers. Vessels often didn't see one another and there was certainly no role for the diminutive PT boat in single combat covering hundreds of square miles of open water.
But there were other battlegrounds for the Higgins or Elco boats. Every island in the South Pacific had the potential of harboring the enemy and there thousands of islands scattered about these vast distances. General Douglas MacArthur's strategy of island hopping reduced the number of islands that were to be invaded to a manageable level, but that number was still in the hundreds. There were islands to be by-passed, invested, subdued, ignored or contained. Islands surrounded by shallow water -- water perfect for the PT's modest draft.
PT boats were soon hunting Japanese supply and troop barges, Japanese coastal vessels, and Japanese submarines. They were sent out to rescue downed pilots, or take scouts close to shore, or rendezvous with coast watchers. PT boats were targeted by shore batteries on virtually every mission, so they relied on three attributes. The boats were (despite the abominable condition of the boats and engines), still very fast and maneuverable; crews coveted their speed and worked miracles to keep the engines in shape. PT boats were stealthy; despite their 80-foot length and 40-ton displacement (both varying from boat to boat), they could close their mufflers and ease on the quarry -- the throaty roar of the powerful engines reduced to a whimper as long as they maintained a speed of no more than ten-knots. Anything more than that and the force of the exhaust would blow the mufflers off the vessel.
There was a third element on which the PT boats of the South Pacific depended, one that at first glance might raise an eyebrow of a chair-bound naval traditionalist of the period; these little guys were armed to the teeth.
The first ten PT boats delivered to the United States from the Elco yards in Bayonne, New Jersey carried four MK-VII torpedoes, and two-twin mount .50 caliber machine gun turret with Plexiglas canopies; similar to the turrets on bombers. The boats also had an assortment of weapons that included, hand grenades, .03 Springfields, and Colt .45 caliber semi-automatic pistols, and bow mounts for two Lewis guns.
Well before PT boat crews found themselves skirting in and out of shallow waters looking for mischief, the armament aboard PT boats began to change. First to go was the Dewandre Plexiglas turret; the darn thing fogged up and made visibility nearly impossible. Then some bright young officers eyed the four torpedo tubes, which housed the torpedoes. Besides the weight of the tube, torpedoes exiting their containers sometimes created a bright, but short-lived fire in the tube -- usually sparked by grease. There was no danger from the fire itself, but advertising your position in the face of the enemy is not advisable. So the tubes were gone, replaced by a simple device that dropped the torpedo over the side. And anyway, as the island war continued there weren't that many targets against which torpedoes would be effective. The Japanese barges, often heavily armed with shallow drafts, traveled at night. These barges stayed very close to shore, following the contours of the shoreline. It fell on PT boats to hunt out and sink these barges and so they began to arm themselves for the task
Americans are great scavengers and one creative band of PT boatmen salvaged a 37mm automatic cannon out of the wreck of a P-39. While the aircraft never found favor with Americans, its cannon enjoyed a great deal of popularity on the bow of a PT boat. Soon, these cannons became standard on the boats. To keep pesky Japanese aircraft at bay as well as worry the Japanese barges, some inventive types began installing 20mm cannons on the bow and amidships. These guns had a range of 5,500 yards and a rate of fire of 450 rounds per minute. Elco engineers even came up with the Thunderbolt system consisting of four MK 20mm cannons on a single mount. By this time the ambitious PT boat crews had apparently decided that it would be handy to have a 40mm cannon on board as well. These were soon installed on a number of PT boats with twin rocket launchers, each housing 8 5-inch rockets. Of course I won't mention the additional single or twin mount .50 caliber machineguns that kept sprouting up from the deck. Or the Thompson submachine guns, M-1 rifles, M-1 carbines, Colt .45 semiautomatic pistols, and Browning Automatic Rifles. I won't even take the time to mention the 2.36-inch rocket launchers (commonly called the Bazooka), and .60mm mortars that some boats carried. It's a wonder that the 40-ton boats didn't sink under the weight of all of that iron.
The contest between the barges and the PT boats was a confusing, close-quarter engagement in almost total darkness with the superior firepower and speed of the PT boats usually resulting in an American win. It was dangerous, deadly work but gradually the Japanese, who had been denied the opportunity to move reinforcements and supplies by superior Allied airpower, found that even their intricate barge-network could not withstand the assaults of the PT boats. Nipponese outposts withered on the vine, effectively pruned to extinction by torpedo boats transformed into heavily armed gunboats
The needs of combat changed radically throughout the island battlefields of the South Pacific. On the great ocean gray-clad fleets ranged over the watery landscape throwing up clouds of aircraft in a desperate attempt to annihilate one another and the destruction that was rendered on a grand scale was monumental. But around the shallow waters of nameless islands, and in the lagoons and bays that would eventually become rusty with the carcasses of unlucky ships, low-slung shadows moved ominously, looking for prey. These PT boats were, pound-for-pound, the most heavily armed warships afloat. They became gun platforms because it was necessary for them to go heavily armed. Americans, a naturally creative and inventive lot, turned their sleek PT boats into deadly instruments of war; vicious little predators who waited along the dark shores of distant islands for the enemy.
Some technical details corrected.
The hulls were not plywood, but mahogany in layers, like one boat hull inside another boat hull, with the wood grain direction of these two layers at perhaps sixty degrees (educated guess). Under way the hulls flexed under the pounding, so a waterproof layer was built between them.
There was a certain PT skipper who received orders to intercept a Japanese convoy at a certain spot that the convoy was certain to pass that night. The boat arrived at the correct location without incident. However, when the convoy arrived they found all of the crew asleep but one, maybe. A Japanese destroyer saw the waiting PT and rammed it. The crew apparently did not notice any of this until the destroyer was a few hundred yards away, and did not even give the idling engines the gas. This is clearly the responsibility of the commanding officer, who was certainly asleep.
"The idling PT boat was rammed by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri on August 2, 1943 in the Blackett Strait between Kolombangara and Arundel in the Solomon Islands, cutting it in half and killing two men."
The story, as I understand it, is that this unnamed PT skipper had a very influential father, a very heavy contributor to the Democrat Party, a big enough contributor to have been the United States Ambassador to The Court of Saint James. Great Britain, folks. A most plum job, reserved for the most generous.
I know no reader here will need to be told this clown's name.
Anyway, he was not court martialed. Daddies in high places beats malfeaseance in the face of the enemy, hey. Especially during that administration.
Good morning, Snippy and everyone at the Freeper Foxhole.
Good morning every one.
Bible scholar William Barclay tells of his walks through the meadow with his bull terrier Rusty. Whenever his dog came to a shallow creek, he jumped in and started removing stones, one by one, dropping them haphazardly on the shore. This pointless activity would go on for hours.
Barclay says that Rusty's strange behavior reminds him of some self-proclaimed experts on the Bible. They expend enormous energy and countless hours trying to interpret obscure passages, but all their effort does nothing to edify themselves or others.
Through the years I have received long letters from people like that. Some show me how to know exactly who the Antichrist will be. Others claim to have found the key to certain Bible mysteries by studying the meaning of names in the lists of genealogies.
Apparently there were some teachers in Ephesus who were trying to impress the believers by weaving myths and fables into their interpretation of the Bible. But what they taught did nothing to promote godliness. It was therefore as pointless as Rusty's stone removal project.
Paul said to Timothy, "Exercise yourself toward godliness." That's the most important goal to keep in view as we study the Bible. Herb Vander Lugt
To read and mark Thy holy Word,
Its truths with meekness to receive,
And by its holy precepts live. Boddome
Don't study the Bible to be able to quote it; study it to obey it.
Knowing God Through The Whole Bible
It's a Monday morning wake up bump, and if that don't wake you up....hmmm
On This Day In History
Birthdates which occurred on August 22:
1647 Denis Papin, inventor of the pressure cooker,
1827 Ezra B. Eddy, Matchmaker to the world
1836 Archibald M Willard US, artist (Spirit of '76)
1862 Claude Debussy St Germain-en-Laye, composer (La Mer, Clair de lune)
1893 Dorothy Parker US, short story writer (1958 Marjorie Peabody Award)
1895 Paul White Bangor Maine, composer (Adante & Rondo for Cello)
1900 Elizabeth Bergner Vienna Austria, actress (Catherine the Great)
1904 Deng Xiaoping Chinese leader (1976-1983)
1908 Henri Cartier-Bresson, photographer.
1909 Mel Hein NFL center (NY Giants)
1917 John Lee Hooker Mississippi, blues musician (Boom Boom Boom)
1920 Dr Denton Cooley heart surgeon (1st artifical heart transplant)
1920 Ray Bradbury Ill, sci-fi author (Fahrenheit 451, Illustrated Man, The Martian Chronicles)
1926 Honor Blackman London, actress (Pussy Galore-Goldfinger)
1928 John Lupton Highland Park Ill, actor (Tom-Broken Arrow)
1932 Gerald P Carr Denver Colorado, Col USMC/astronaut (Skylab 4)
1933 Sylvia Koscina actress (Jessica, Hercules)
1934 Diana Sands actress (Raisin in the Sun, Doctor's Wife)
1934 Norman Schwartzkopf NJ, US General (Liberated Kuwait from Iraq)
1935 Morton Dean Fall River Mass, TV newscaster (CBS, ABC)
1939 Carl Yastrzemski NY, Boston Red Sox great (1967 AL MVP, Hall of Fame)
1940 George Reinholt Phila, (Another World, One Life to Live)
1940 Valerie Harper Sufferin NY, (Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda, Valerie)
1942 Kathy Lennon Santa Monica Calif, singer (Lennon Sisters)
1945 Ron Dante Staten Island NY, rocker (Archies-Sugar, Sugar)
1947 Cindy Williams Van Nuys Calif, actress (Shirley-Laverne & Shirley)
1959 Juan Croucier heavy metal rocker (Ratt-Round & Round)
1961 Roland Orzabal singer (Tears for Fears-Shout, Head over Heels)
1963 Terry Catledge NBA star (Orlando Magic)
1964 Mats Wilander Sweden, tennis player (1988 US Open)
1966 Mark Michaels heavy metal guitarist (Teach Yourself Rhythm Guitar)
I can't believe you did this thread WITHOUT mentioning the most famous PT boat in the history of WWII! I refer of course the the PT 73.
McHale's Navy is the 1960's comedy featuring Ernest Borgnine as Lt. Cdr. Quinton McHale. McHale's Navy was produced by Edward Montagne and Si Rose in black and white. It originally ran on the ABC Network, and in recent years has occasionally been seen on the TV Land cable network.
Lt. Commander McHale, his executive officer Ens. Charles Parker (played by Tim Conway), and his PT-boat crew are stationed in the South Pacific during World War II. The men of PT 73, while being the most efficient crew in the entire fleet, are also efficient gamblers and bootleggers.
McHale's relaxed nature and the crew's ignorance of the rules clashes with their spoilsport commanding officer, Capt. Wallace "Leadbottom" Binghamton (played by Joe Flynn). As a result, they are in a continuous struggle not only against the Japanese, but also trying to outwit Capt. Binghamton, whose ultimate goal in life is to send McHale's entire crew to the Aleutians.
"McHale's Navy" (1962) [TV-Series 1962-1966]
George Carleton Brown
Cast overview, first billed only:
Ernest Borgnine .... Lt. Cmdr. Quinton McHale (1962-1966)
Joe Flynn .... Capt. Wallace B. Binghamton (1962-1966)
Tim Conway .... Ensign Charles Parker (1962-1966)
Carl Ballantine .... Lester Gruber (1962-1966)
Gary Vinson .... George "Christy" Christopher (1962-1966)
Billy Sands .... Harrison "Tinker" Bell (1962-1966)
Edson Stroll .... Virgil Edwards (1962-1966)
Jane Dulo .... Nurse Molly Turner (1962-1964)
Gavin MacLeod .... Joseph "Happy" Haines (1962-1964)
John Wright .... Willy Moss (1964-1966)
Yoshio Yoda .... Fuji Kobiaji (1962-1966)
Bob Hastings .... Lt. Elroy Carpenter (1962-1966)
Henry Beckman .... Col. Douglas Harrigan (1965-1966)
Simon Scott .... Gen. Bronson (1965-1966)
Dick Wilson .... Dino Baroni (1965-1966)
Herbert Lytton .... Admiral Reynolds (11 episodes)
Syl Lamont .... Yeoman Tate / Smitty / ... (9 episodes)
Lloyd Kino .... Japanese Sentry / Nisei Sergeant / ... (7 episodes)
Mako .... Captain Uzaki / First Japanese / ... (7 episodes)
John Fujioka .... The Japanese Officer / The Japanese Captain / ... (7 episodes)
I wonder who you could be talking about. Give us a hint, did he ever run for political office?