The training center for all PT sailors was located in Melville, Rhode Island. Sailors went through basic training at various locations around the country. When they made the choice for PT service they were assigned to Melville.
The Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons Training Center (MTBSTC) in Melville was established by order of the Secretary of the Navy in February of 1942 and began operations in the middle of March 1942.
The ten boats of Squadron Four were attached to the facility as the training squadron. The sailors lived in Quonset huts. They studied in classroom buildings and learned the nuts and bolts of PT operation on the boats of Ron 4. By March of 1945, the MTBSTC had trained almost 1800 officers and over 11,000 enlisted men.
Many PT officers who had served overseas were rotated back to Melville to serve as instructors for the officers and enlisted men in training. As seasoned veterans, those officers provided their trainees with valuable lessons on the challenges that would confront them in warfare.
One PT veteran I spoke with described the MTBSTC in Melville as “the Annapolis of the Mosquito Fleet.” Red Stahley, Tom Saffles, and all the PT vets were proud alumni of Melville and remembered their days there with great fondness and respect.