Posted by: SJS | February 19, 2016

Red and a crewmate on PT 373

Red Stahley & PT 373 buddy

Red Stahley (left) poses with a fellow sailor in 1945.  As with so many of our WWII photographs, this one has nothing written on the back so the location, exact date, and–most importantly–the name of his buddy in Squadron (Ron) 27  remain unknown.  I am quite certain that the unnamed sailor served on PT 373 since he also appears in another photo in which my father stands with all the enlisted sailors assigned to that boat when the photo was taken.

Yet another mystery to work on as I continue my research!  How I would love to have a name to go with the face of a person who was clearly a good friend of my father during the greatest and most harrowing adventure of his young life.

Despite so many unsolved mysteries, I consider myself fortunate beyond words, and deeply blessed, to have reconnected with my father’s best Navy friend, Tom Saffles–a fellow radioman who went through training and all the squadron assignments with my father over the course of their career in the USN.  In February of 2011, my sister Mary Ellen and I went to Alabama and spent a few days with Tom, his wife Irene, and some of his family members.  Tom has since passed away but the opportunity to meet my father’s best friend and learn things about my father were priceless gifts.  After that experience, everything else in the research process as been pure gravy.

If you’d like to learn more about Tom Saffles, there are multiple blog posts going back to 2011 that refer to him and what we learned about our father from this fine, courageous man who was–in every way–the model of a brave & bold PT crewman.





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