Posted by: SJS | January 19, 2015

PT Quiz Answers!

torpedo testing

Thanks for your enthusiastic response to the first annual PT Boat Quiz that I posted in December.  I got a lot of good feedback and I appreciate your interest. Here are the answers:

1. JFK was the skipper of PT 109.

2. The mascot of the PTs was a mosquito riding on a flying torpedo.  The rationale for the image was the small size of the PT boats, their speed over the water’s surface, and their primary weapon–the deck-launched torpedo.  Also, the nickname for the PTs in the WWII US Navy was “The Mosquito Fleet.”

3.  Plywood was the primary material used to build the PT boats.

4. General Douglas MacArthur of the US Army escaped from the advancing Japanese Army on a PT boat and later made his famous return to the Philippine Islands in 1945 on board a series of PT boats, one of which was PT 373 on which my father, Red Stahley, served as the radioman.

5. Semaphore is the method naval communication using small, square flags.

6. Melville, Rhode Island, was the site of the PT training academy.

7. John F. Kennedy was elected US president in 1960.

8. Red Stahley and Tom Saffles were trained as radiomen for PT service.

9. PT Boats, Inc. of Germantown is the place for all things PT– check it out!

10. General Joseph “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell was the US Commander of the US forces in the China-Burma-Indian Theater in WWII.  My uncle, Frank Morris, was in the MP Unit assigned to his security detail.

11.  In early 1945, PT 373 under the command of Lieutenant Belton Copp entered Manila Bay.

12.  The Invasion of Southern France in August.

In the photo, the firing of a torpedo is tested on a PT boat.  Thanks again for your continued interest in this blog.  I’ve learned as much from you as you have from me over the past few years-please stay in touch!


  1. I must respectfully disagree with your answer to #3. Plywood was NOT the primary material used to build PT Boats. It was actually made primarily from planks of mahogany. inner layer was 3/8 in thick and outer layer was 3/4 inch thick, with a layer of adhesive soaked canvas between the oppositely oriented layers of wood. These layers were joined by thousands of copper rivets and secured to the wooden mahogany frames by bronze screws. A small percentage of the boats superstructure, such as the skin on the gun tubs and perhaps the deck house was made of marine grade laminate (plywood), but it was not by a long shot the primary building material.
    Jerry PT658 restoration crew

    • Jerry,

      This is very valuable information and I’m glad you shared it with me and the blog readership. The blog has been one continuous learning experience for me and this type of input is most welcome. Thanks for this contribution and for your good work on the PT658 Restoration Crew.


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