Posted by: SJS | May 19, 2011

Melville, Rhode Island

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.  

Inspection at Melville

Enlisted men line up for inspection at 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.

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  1. For a full history of MTBSTC, a new book :MTBSTC: Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons Training Center, was published in 2011. Available through and Barnes& (

    • Charles,
      Thanks for letting us know about the new book on the MTB Training Center. I’m going to pick up a copy and learn more about it.

  2. HI! I am trying to find out which boats my father was on, i know he was stioned at melville,later to squadron 38. do you know of a list of names of crews?

    • Robert,

      Your best bet for getting information about your father’s PT career is to contact PTBoats Inc. The organization has a great website which may be helpful to you in tracking down the information that you’re seeking. Also, you should contact the USN branch of the Armed Forces Archives in St. Louis, Missouri to get your father’s official personnel file. They were very helpful to me when I began digging into my father’s career during WWII in the Navy.

      Sorry for the long dealy in responding; we had a death in the family and it came during the holidays. Hope that you and your family have had a happy New Year.

      Thanks for making contact with the blog. Good luck in your research efforts.


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