Posted by: SJS | June 14, 2014

Celebrity PT Sailors

Robert Montgomery

In addition to future president, John F. Kennedy, there were other PT sailors who were, or would become, celebrities. In this photo, the distinguished actor, Robert Montgomery, a PT officer in Squadron (Ron) 7, is seen inspecting a Packard engine–the powerhouse that gave the PT Boats their remarkable speed and thrust. To the left is Commander Alex Michaud, who played a key leadership role with critical support elements of the PT service–the tenders and the forward bases. To the right is Harold Brodie, the Executive VP of the Packard Marine Division–the company that built the engines.

The famous comedian, Don Rickles, was also in the USN’s PT service. Rickles served on a PT tender during the war. Perhaps his aggressive, raw-edged, sarcastic brand of comedy was honed during his long days and nights at sea. No wonder Red was such a fan of a man whose brand of humor sliced and diced and skewered the targets of his jokes.

For such a small branch of the United States Navy, the Mosquito Fleet made a major impact on the course of American military history, both during WWII and long after.

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