Posted by: SJS | November 20, 2014

Red Stahley – 15th anniversary – RIP

Red1948

It was on November 13, 1999 that my father, George “Red” Stahley passed away in a hospice near Philadelphia, PA.  A week later, on November 20th, our family gathered to remember him and give thanks for the gift of his life.  It hardly seems possible that fifteen years have passed since his death.  My serious research into his Navy career on the PT boats of the Mediterranean & the South Pacific did not begin until 2010 and what a revelation it has been to speak with PT vets who were eager to share stories about him with me.  And these were stories that brought me into contact with dimensions of my father’s life that were stunning, to say the least.  Most of those men have now passed away also.  I can hardly believe that I was so fortunate as to find my way to them this late in the game.  My gratitude to PT Boats, Inc. and the amazing Alyce Guthrie are bottomless.  It was through that remarkable network of PT veterans that my research efforts took me to places and people that I could barely imagine when the process began.

 

In the photo above, Red Stahley is pictured with some of his coworkers at Edgecomb Steel in Philadelphia where he went to work after leaving the service.  The photo was taken in 1948, three years before I was born.

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Responses

  1. Your blog is an incredible tribute to your father’s service to America during one of its most difficult times. It has also educated all of its readers on what was actually expected of those who served and what their lives were like.

    • Dudley, Thanks for the continued support and encouragement. The opportunity to tell my father’s story and connect with a large and expanding group of interested readers has been a very gratifying experience. Thanks again. Steve

  2. It must have been an incredible thrill to have been a young man serving on a PT Boat. Dangerous? Sure. But I would think that the only other thing that could even come close to it must have been flying as a fighter pilot or, perhaps, serving on a two or three-man fighter bomber.

    • I think that you make an excellent point. Although my father never elaborated on it, he gave us the strong impression that his PT experience was the defining period in his life. It has only been through my conversations with his crew mates that I’ve begun to comprehend the raw excitement, overwhelming sense of danger, and utter exhilaration of being on a PT boat at full throttle that my father felt in those days of WWII. I’m sure that nothing in his post-Navy life could even remotely compare with that. Thanks for your observations–much appreciated.


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