Posted by: SJS | January 26, 2016

Hatches – the PT 373 Mascot

When my father spoke of PT 373, he always referred to it as “Hatches” and I had no clue about the source of the nickname.  It was one of many unanswered questions that were never resolved before he died in 1999.

Thanks to my friend, Mike Nixon, of Florida whose father, Jim, also served on PT 373, the mystery was finally solved.  It turns out Hatches was a dog who became the mascot of the legendary PT boat in Squadron (Ron) 27.  In this photo which Mike passed on to me from an edition of the PT newsletter, “All Hands,” Hatches is pictured with crewman L.D. Rizzi.  Rizzi was the Momm2/c (Motor Mechanic/2nd class) aboard PT 373.

Hatches of PT 373

Mike also passed on an interesting story about Hatches that his father shared with him.  The 373 had gone out out patrol with the dog aboard and when the boat was returning to base, Hatches jumped off the bow of the boat and into the water before the PT arrived at the dock and was never seen again.  Evidently, Hatches decided that he had enough of war and went AWOL.

But the nickname stuck and forever after, PT 373 went down in history as “Hatches.”  Whether Red Stahley ever went on patrol with the famous pup is yet another mystery I’ll continue to work on as my research continues.

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Responses

  1. Interesting story about Hatches . It strikes me as somewhat poignant (?) about those guys having a dog mascot on the unlikely -place-for-it , a PT boat . Did Hatches have a battle station ?

    • My guess is that Hatches spent a lot of time in the tiny kitchen area of PT 373. “Guarding” the mess area against enemy incursions was probably his battle station. The fact that Hatches went AWOL and jumped overboard may have been a profound statement about the quality of PT boat food. Good question, Dan!

  2. wonderful they were
    inspired by Hatches the dog!

    • Yes, especially my father who was a great dog lover his entire life. His favorite pet was Trixie, the Boston Terrier, to whom all other pets were compared.

    • Yes, I think that pup really lifted their spirits.


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