Posted by: SJS | July 22, 2021

PT boat tie clasp

As a boy, my “official” PT boat tie clasp was among my most prized possessions. As a student at Cardinal Dougherty High School (CDHS) in Philadelphia, the dress code mandated a white shirt, sports jacket and–of course–a tie. While I wasn’t enthusiastic about the dress code, it gave me the opportunity to show off my unique tie clasp. It was a gift to me from my father, along with a sailor’s cap and a few other small items from his days in the service.

Since the vast majority of students at CDHS had fathers or uncles who served in the the American military during WWII, my tie clasp sparked many conversations over my four years at the school. The give-and-take was a powerful source of shared stories about what our fathers and other family members had experienced during the war. I made friends with fellow students whose fathers were part of the D-Day invasion, were POWs, and fighter pilots in the South Pacific. There was a lot of good-natured bragging and arguments about which branch of the service was the best.

Somewhere along the line, I lost track of my precious tie clasp but I think it may show up one of these days in some dusty box in the attic or elsewhere in the family. Whether or not I am able to locate that precious piece of silver, the stories and friendships it forged from my high school years were gifts that I will carry with me through the rest of my days.


  1. Steve, what a special gift to get from your father. I can certainly understand how precious it is to you.

    I have always enjoyed World War II history. I was told that my dad tried to volunteer, but he was turned down because of some health issues. I think it really hurt his pride.

    Since I have become an adult, I have not really favored many of the wars our country has gotten into.

    I appreciate the elegance on your blog, and hope to check it out from time to time. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: