Posted by: SJS | October 20, 2011

Sitting on top of the world

Sitting atop the charthouse on the deck of PT 373, Red Stahley catches a few moments of relaxation between assignments.  While the photo is undated, it was probably taken in the late summer of 1945.

Red on PT 373

Red relaxing on PT 373

 In little more than two years, he went from a being a high school senior in Philadelphia to a battle-tested Navy veteran.  Looking at this photo of my father (one of my favorites), I am always amazed when I remember that he is not yet 21 years old.   Like most of the enlisted men in the Mosquito Fleet, Red was young, brash, and energetic.  All those qualities seem to shine through in this photo of a youthful PT sailor sitting confidently on the deck of his historic boat.

As I continue my research into my father’s Navy career and the history of the WWII PT boats, it is photographs like this one that make me hungry to learn more about this chapter of his life.  Long before he married and started a family, he had lived through experiences that few others could even imagine.  When I see him in poses like this, my curiosity never fails to grow stronger and my respect for him becomes ever deeper.   His legacy, and the legacy of the PT boats, are amazing parts of the American story.  How proud I am to be a son of the Mosquito Fleet. 





  1. Steve,

    Great picture! You look just like your dad. Thanks so much for continuing to share your research on your father’s Navy career and WWII. I have learned so much.


  2. Hi Stephen, I feel the same way. When I see pictures of sailors on their PT Boats, like your father, I am intrigued and desire to know more and more about my grandfather’s service on them. I want to know what a late teen to early 20’s 5 year war veteran was thinking, do, seeing, etc. I mean, my grandfather joined the Navy at 16, was bombed at Pearl Harbor at 17, and spent the rest of the war in the Navy and I don’t have a good grasp on how he felt or really even what he did. I have been able to somewhat track my grandfather’s progress through the war via’s collection of Navy Muster Rolls but I don’t have any personal information and I certainly don’t have any pictures. I sure wish I did. Sorry for the ramble…I love your stories and pictures. I will say that most likely your father and my grandfather knew each other and I think that ‘s cool.

  3. I love this photo; I can see you and Thomas in George’s face. It is lovely to see him so young, handsome and happy.

    • Lis,
      Thanks for your good words. This photo of my father has always been special. It conveys so powerfully his experience in the navy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: