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Thread: WW II PT boat returns to the water

  1. #1
    Silver Hawk Member 53k's Avatar
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    WW II PT boat returns to the water

    This is the same boat that was visited in the Gary Sinise Valor video posted a few days ago.
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/03/10...-to-water.html

    Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
    '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

  2. #2
    President Member hausdok's Avatar
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    Very cool video.

    My father was in high school when WWII started. One afternoon in 1942, he walked out of school, went home, packed a bag, left home and went straight down to the recruiting office in Sidney Mines, Nova Scotia where he enlisted in the Canadian Navy with an age-altered certificate of birth. His altered document managed to pass muster with the recruiters and then he managed to get through the physical, got an ID card and went off for training. Well, by-and-by, Gram figured out what he'd done, tracked him down and raised a ruckus with the Canadian Navy for letting an underage kid enlist. He was immediately discharged. Being headstrong, he waited until he was old enough to quit school without Gram's permission and then took off for Massachusetts, determined to do his part. He got a job in a shipyard in Ipswich building P.T. boats. He learned woodworking in that shipyard and after the war got work in construction, building homes in massive developments of little boxes - for returning GI's buying their first homes on the GI Bill. Five years later, the year I was born, he opened his own company building custom homes.

    I didn't know any of this until I was in my teens. One day I was rummaging around in a junk drawer when I found his old Canadian Navy ID card and saw myself staring back at me (I look just like him). I asked him about it. He told me what had happened but was embarrassed by the fact that he'd been kicked out of the Canadian Navy for his stunt. Me, I didn't care about the Canadian Navy debacle, I thought it was great that he'd built PT boats 'cuz I had a model of one on the shelf in my bedroom and thought they were really cool.

    He never talked about it much but one day back in the 80's, when he came to visit me when I was stationed in Northern Germany, we went down to the ship museum in Bremerhaven where we looked at a restored U-Boat and a German version of a torpedo boat. He was amazed that the German patrol boats were so much larger than the American boats and were made out of steel; because the ones he'd built were constructed with plywood. He told me then that he'd often wished that he could find one of the earlier American PT boat versions like those that he'd built, restore it and be able to sail it on the water, because, though he'd built them, he'd never been on one on the water. About 2004 I'd remembered our conversation and had spent an afternoon combing the web trying to find one for sale that he could purchase and restore. No luck, I was only able to find a few of the later more-sedate-looking versions for sale. He died in 2008 without ever having gotten that ride he'd wished for.
    Mike O'Handley, Cat Herder Third Class
    Kenmore, Washington
    hausdok@msn.com

    '58 Packard Hawk
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    (What is it with me and discontinued/orphan cars?)

  3. #3
    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    They were impressive boats but offered nothing in protection for their crew. The Packard v12s were magnificent too!
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

  4. #4
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    There have been a few of these restored in recent years, the first is on display at Battleship Cove at Fall River Ma. it's an Elco (80'), the second to be refitted is a 78' Higgins and is in Washington State and was previously discussed on the forum.
    And now the third, also a Higgins which will remain in New Orleans. The D-Day museum in NO is a great place to spend some time if in the area, there's more to NO than beads and boobies.
    View the 3 parts starting here.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mTQZwHmj3k
    Bill Foy
    1000 Islands, Ontario
    1953 Starlight Coupe

  5. #5
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    "They Were Expendable". Good book, good flick.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/They_Were_Expendable

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