Posted by: SJS | February 22, 2017

PT 132 of Squadron (Ron) 21 – A day in the life…


Yet another photo of a PT boat crew made available to us from the vast archives of PT Boats, Inc (thank you, Alyce and Allyson!).  Posing on the deck of their boat in typical PT work attire, this crew in Mindanao, Philippine Islands, seems happy to take a break from the day’s duties to assemble for the photographer.  Among my most treasured photos of my father are from his days with PT 373 of Ron 27-posing with the other members of his crew in pictures very similar to this one.

Without knowing anything about the PT men in this photo, it is still remarkably easy to see the strong spirit of friendship, common purpose, and ease that existed between the crew mates.  Through the days and nights of their shared PT service, they would develop a sense of teamwork that was unparalleled in their  young lives.  The reliance of the sailors on each other often became a matter of life and death.  Being able to count on your mates to do their job competently became vital for survival.  I see a picture like this and I say to myself, “Yeah, they know what they’re doing here.”

The depth of the bond they forged with each other radiates through photos like this impromptu shot of the crew of PT 132.  It’s all in a day’s work–whether it’s swabbing the deck, repairing the hull, or getting ready to go out on night patrol through hostile waters.

If I have the good fortune to see ten more photographs like this one  — or 10,000 — I will savor every opportunity to look at the crew and admire the relaxed courage that shines through those young faces.  These are the faces of the men who won the war in the savage seas of the South Pacific.  Just knowing that my father and his good buddy, Tom Saffles, were among them is a source of great pride within me that swells each time photos like this find their way to me.



  1. Such a great tribute!

  2. We should be so lucky as to make bonds this great!!

  3. Thanks, GP. I appreciate your continued support. Keep up the great work on your end–I learn so much from your posts.

  4. Do you have any details on the date of this photo. My grandfather was on the 132 in 1944.

    • Rachel, Sorry for the long delay in responding. I took a fall on the ice and severely fractured my wrist in February and my recovery has been a long, slow one. I do not have any details on the date of the photo. Your best bet for getting further information is to contact PT Boats, Inc, in Germantown, TN. Good luck with your search. Steve S

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