Dear Mr. Schnepf:
On the article "Confessions of a PC Skipper," November issue -- Certainly, even though a newly commissioned officer in the United States Navy, Mr. Bradbury should have known that once reporting aboard, he was now part of the ship's complement and should have requested permission to go ashore.
Convoys from Miami to Guantanamo Bay would hardly take ten days one way. More likely round trip with a three-day lay-over.
In the US Navy and US Coast Guard a "Mustang" is a commissioned officer who has risen through the ranks.
Mr. Bradbury does not state any month or year that his ship had the encounter with the wooden-hulled British Corvette. If 1943, the Corvettes in that area were Canadian-built "Modified Flower-class" manned by the US Coast Guard; 225 feet long and had steel hulls. He is probably referring to the woodenhulled 110-foot subchasers.
Mr. Bradbury's ship joining the task force at Tulagi during the battle of the Coral Sea seems strange. The Battle of the Coral Sea took place in the spring of 1942 His PC seems not to have reached the Pacific Theater until 1944. I do not recall ANY dates being mentioned in the article. To me, this makes the entire article suspect.
John S. Stamford
I really look forward to receiving Sea Classics and reading about a lot of different situations in WWII, the article on the DE's sinking of the two Japanese subs in the Atlantic was interesting as I was on convoy duty in the Atlantic on the USS NEUNZER (DE-150) and the USS JOHN M, BERMINGHAM(DE-530); although not in the same area as the above. Later served aboard the repair ship USS SAMAR (ARG-11); converted Liberty ship with the triple expansion steam engine powering it. We went off to fight the Pacific war and how I wished I was back on the DEs. We steamed unescorted along with the ARG-12 ROOSEVELT halfway across the Pacific by the time the War was over.
The November edition has "Confessions of a PC Skipper" and I started reading the article and the more I read the more disbelieving it was in places. It has been a good many years (53) since I was discharged as a MoMMI/c, and maybe my memory is a bit wobbly, when the author said that the Merchant Marine was transferring officers to the USN and they were called Mustangs, that hit a cord, I always remembered that an officer that had come up through the ranks from USN Apprentice Seaman to Gold Braid were Mustangs.
Another thing that is surprising to me is the assignment of a Lt. Cmdr. to a PC or any other small craft with so low a crew count? Might it be that as rm getting older that picky goes with the territory? At the time of discharge in November '45, I was Sft. 7-in. tall and according to BuPers, I was the tallest man in the US Navy to be released from active duty, to that date, after the end of WWII. (The bunks were a bit short, but I survived.) Keep up the good work and don't cancel my subscription because of a little disagreement.
Glenn N. Andrew MoMMl/c
USS Neunzer DE 150
USS John M. Bermingham
USS Samar ARC-11