Posted by: SJS | September 21, 2016

A day in the life of a PT sailor


Few photographs do a better job of portraying a typical scene in the life of a PT sailor than this photo from PT Boats, Inc.  The sailor pictured is Carlton T. Spiers of PT 224 of Squadron (Ron) 16 which carried the nickname “Tail End.”  Sailor Spiers held the rank of MoMM1c–designating him as  a Motor Mechanic, first class.  With his shirt off, his helmet on, and his attention squarely fixed ahead of him, he stands at the wheel of his boat.  On the PTs, every crewmember was trained for multiple tasks so there was nothing unusual about a mechanic taking the wheel–all in a day’s work for an enlisted PT man.

The first time I laid eyes on this photo, it really gave me a jolt.  Carlton Spiers bears a striking resemblance to my father and that intense look in his eyes is one that reminded me powerfully of my father.   After seeing plenty of snapshots of  Red Stahley in similar poses,  I thought I was seeing yet another image of him in action somewhere in the Pacific.

As my research journey on my father’s WWII service continues, every new photo or document brings me closer to knowing this man who saw and experienced more things than I’ll ever realize.  What a great journey it’s been–and it keeps getting richer.





  1. I know what you mean, both by the wild ride of discovering where our fathers were and what they did, along with thinking this picture of your father. The resemblance is remarkable.

    • Thanks, GP. Another great benefit of researching my father’s WWII career is that it has brought me into contact with you and so many others whose fathers, mothers, and grandparents served our nation with honor, dignity, and immense courage. They did their duty and it was reward enough. What an example they have given us! Thanks again for your support.

      • Your site deserves much more!!

  2. I appreciate all that you’ve done to share my work with your blogging network–it has connected me with wonderful people all across the globe. Thank you for that! Please keep up the good work–I continue to learn so much from your detailed and beautifully presented posts.

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