At Close Quarters: PT Boats in the United States Navy

At Close Quarters: PT Boats in the United States Navy

At Close Quarters: PT Boats in the United States Navy

At Close Quarters: PT Boats in the United States Navy

Excerpt

"Histories" may or may not "make men wise." Certainly one of the hopes of the Navy Department in recording them in World War II and since has been that from the recorded facts men would learn for future leadership to serve our beloved nation.

Detailed action reports and war diaries were required from ships and higher commands in World War II. These were not only for clearer analysis that we might better fight the war but were to serve as source material for studies and histories in the future.

To supplement these fundamental building blocks of history, the Navy prepared in manuscript many command and administrative histories. For the most part the commands themselves prepared these histories. Some are outstanding, some are dreary; but all are akin in that they were prepared by participants who had just lived through the events recorded. The writers also had at hand the maximum amount of the command's file material likely ever to be available since most of the never ebbing tide of paperwork must be "given the deep six." Therefore they should have captured information on events which is not now discoverable.

These histories were prepared "for the record," not for publication. They have served their purpose admirably as a fount of irreplaceable information. We in the Navy turn to them constantly for "how it was done" in the Tenth Fleet, in the Mediterranean, in the Pacific, in the South Atlantic -- in the many parts of the world where the complex, many faceted Navy serves America and freedom. Organization, procedures followed, lessons learned as in antisubmarine warfare -- these we daily profit by in many parts of the Navy. The manuscripts have also been invaluable to serious civilian historians.

Some of the manuscript histories reached a quality of excellence that merited publication when the need and demand should arise. One of this select group appears in the following pages. This thorough and objective account of the operations of PT boats in the U.S. Navy in World War II was prepared in the year after V-J Day by an officer who served in them through most of the war in the far reaches of the Pacific.

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