Posted by: SJS | September 22, 2011

PT base on Corsica, 1944

Red Stahley’s first assignment as a PT sailor was to Squadron (Ron) 15 in the Mediterranean in the summer of 1944.  There were PT bases scattered across the Mediterranean in North Africa and the islands of Sardinia (Italy) and Corsica (France).  The PTs of Ron 15 were supporting British and French forces in the campaign to retake parts of Italy and Southern France from the Germans over the summer months of 1944. 

My research so far indicates that during his time in Ron 15, Red was not assigned to a boat that summer.  Instead, it seems that he was working radio communications from various bases in support of the boats on patrol.  The US Navy moved their forces around to wherever the need was the greatest.  The base sailors were always standing by, ready to take the place of other sailors who were killed or wounded. 

PT base in Corsica

PT base in Bastia, Corsica 1944

This photograph shows Ron 15 PT boats at the advanced base in Bastia on the northern end of Corsica.  Given their compact size, almost the entire squadron can be docked near “downtown” Bastia.  The PTs nested together look like yachts in a marina. 

The rugged beauty of Corsica, the birthplace of Napoleon, is evident in the photo.  The dwellings crowded on the hillsides and the boats crowded together in the small harbor probably presented a juicy target to any German fighter planes that got close enough to draw a bead on Allied forces.   

Long before he was transferred to the South Pacific, Red saw WWII up close and personal during his time in the Med.


  1. Wow, seems like Red saw the world in the Navy. Once again, cool story!

    • Darren,
      Thanks so much for your continued support. Yes, my father’s time in the Navy gave him the chance to see places in Europe and Asia that he would not otherwise have seen. He loved to tell me the stories of his days overseas.
      Thanks again for reading.

  2. Until these posts, I had not thought about PT boat operations in the Mediterranean. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

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