Posted by: SJS | January 17, 2014

Swabbing the deck


In this photo from PT Boats Inc., two unnamed enlisted men are busy at work swabbing the deck of their boat. Keeping their boats clean and clutter-free was an important, if unexciting, part of daily life for the PT sailors.

I could easily picture my father and his good buddy, Tom Saffles, taking their turns at this routine task. Seeing the photo also brought to mind the many times my father would give me the order to “swab the deck and make it shipshape” when I was growing up and there were floors to be swept and mopped at home. And on school mornings, he barked out his order for us kids to “hit the deck.” And it always seemed to come way too early.

Life on the PTs wasn’t all speed, waves, torpedoes, guns, and Morse code. There were supplies to be loaded, equipment to be checked and, yes, decks to be swabbed.

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