Posted by: SJS | May 6, 2016

Speed. Risk. Courage.

PTs in line

An aerial view of unidentified PTs in line shows them moving fast in  a tight formation.  Photographs like this one formed some of my earliest and most vivid memories from childhood.  Associating my father with images like this one was a process that began when I was very, very young.

Taking risks, moving fast, and challenging larger and better-armed opponents became characteristics I came to identify with my father.  While those associations took root in the stories he shared with me, images like this made those associations deeper, stronger, and much more concrete in my mind.

Over the course of the past five years as my research into his PT career has put me in contact with men who knew Red Stahley and served with him in the Mediterranean and the South Pacific, it turns out that the risks he took were much bigger than I ever knew.  And, like all of his fellow PT sailors, he knew well the value of speed. And when it came to outmaneuvering adversaries with better resources, the accounts of his former mates assured me that nobody was better than Red.

What an amazing journey of discovery this has been.  Glad to have you aboard!



  1. Wow!

  2. That is still my reaction every time I see a photo like this, even after all these years. My sense of wonder deepens all the time.

  3. Glad to be on board too. He sounds like quite the man and quite the sailor. What a joy that you’re able to find out more about him and meet his contemporaries. I wish I could remember my grandfather on my Dad’s side. That whole generation is fast disappearing.

  4. Lloyd,

    Thanks so much for your support and interest. The connections generated by the blog have been truly amazing. My gratitude deepens with each passing day.

    Hope that you can learn some of the details of your grandfather’s life and service. Once you start searching, the trail may take you to places you could never have imagined. That has certainly happened to me.

    Good luck!


  5. Researching into a relative’s military past – and especially of one like your father’s – may become one of the most fulfilling efforts in a life. It will fill in many gaps and yield astonishing facts and friendships. Yet, it will leave even more gaps in a way. You are so fortunate that your father made it home from that most bitter war.

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