Howard F. La Favre

Navy Service on PGM-7 and PGM-3 - World War II

 

Howard Floyd La Favre, 1943, Quartermaster School, San Diego, California

 

Howard F. La Favre , fall, 1945, Shanghai, China, presumably aboard PGM-3

This is one of only two photos that I have of my father on a ship, taken after the war ended. At the time he was serving on PGM-3 and I assume this photo is of that ship. The photos on this page of other PGMs are helpful in interpreting this photo. After comparing with the other photos, my conclusion is that my father is located on the aft portion of the bridge, starboard side. In this case the canvas cover is not in place, leaving the bridge open to the sky above, as in the first two photos on this page. Note in the other photos that the top edge of the open-air bridge is about at the level of a man's neck when he is stationed at the wheel. My father, in the photo above, must be standing on an elevated platform above the deck since the top of the bridge is about at his waist height. The radar mast (on the right) seems to be considerably lower than in the other photos and perhaps the mast on the PGM-3 was shorter. The dark object on the left edge of the photo is probably one of the .50 caliber machine guns with cover in place and in the vertical position, the foremost gun on the starboard side, amidships.

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James Robert Taylor, SM3c (left) and Howard F. La Favre , fall, 1945, Shanghai, China or Subic Bay, Philippine Islands, presumably aboard PGM-3

On the back of the photo "The new signalman Jim Taylor & myself." Jim and Howard are presumably aboard PGM-3 in this photo as this was their ship. There is very little seen of the ship in this photo, but the ship moored next to it (background) appears to be another PGM (note 3 inch 50 gun forward of the bridge). There are at least three PGMs moored together here. If you look carefully, you can see a second radar head behind Howard's neck and head. Also, on the far left of photo, notice laundry hanging on a line and below it part of the 3 inch 50 gun of the second PGM in the background. The top of a building can be seen in the background. The architectural style might be a clue to the location of the ship (Shanghai or Subic Bay).

James Taylor reported on board the PGM-3 on October 21, 1945 and was detached 2 months later on December 17. PGM-3 departed Shanghai on November 27, headed for Subic Bay.

It is interesting to note in the photo the steel plate that Jim and Howard are leaning on. If these are PGMs, as they appear to be, this steel plate would have been added after the ships left California because the bow of the PGM ships did not originally have this solid plating above the deck. The deck log for PGM-3 indicates that it underwent modifications while in the Solomon Islands, with the addition of a 3 inch 50 gun. This steel plating around the bow of the ship may have been added at that time. Perhaps it functioned as armor protection for the 3 inch 50 gunner.

Note also that the canvas top and front windows are in place on the bridge of the first PGM in the background.

See this page for more photos of PGMs.

 

Cornelius Earl Greenlaw Jr., SM3C, departed PGM-3 on November 2, 1945. James Robert Taylor was his replacement as signalman for the ship. Howard La Favre was a quartermaster for the ship, a job that had some responsibilities similar to a signalman. So it should be no surprise that Howard would be friends with the signalmen of the ship. In fact, Cornelius was a close friend of Howard's and they kept in touch after the war.

Photo to right: Cornelius Greenlaw and his wife Connie. Cornelius also went by the name Connie or his nickname "Gravy." Photo taken 1949.

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Howard's story in his own words This is a short account of my father's time in the Navy, prepared by my father and mother, December, 1999.

Howard La Favre was promoted to Quartermaster third class on March 1, 1945, two weeks short of his 20th birthday. The minimum age to qualify for the Quartermaster rate was 20 years old.

JOB DESCRIPTION DUTIES: Stands deck and bridge watches. Supervises enlisted personnel on the Deck in navigation (uses navigation instruments, interprets weather messages, reads charts and Pilots, determines ship's position, uses tide and current tables, applies correction to charts from "Notice to Mariners"). Must be qualified steersman. Takes bearing and soundings, plots courses, keeps deck log. Must know signaling, including whistle, bell and light signals. (On small ship, may perform all the duties of signalman.) Responsible for honors and ceremonies.

EQUIPMENT USED: Chart, sextant, navigator's rangefinder, magnetic compass, Pilots (Navigation Publications), course protractor, dividers, hand lead, sounding machine, fathometer, chronometer, gyro compass, pelorus, stadimeter, barometer, anemometer, azimuth, thermometer, blinker tube, semaphore flags, searchlight.

Summary of Service History of PGM-3

A summary of the service history of PGM-3 is available here

Operations of PGM Divison One in Solomon Islands

Division One prepared a report in February of 1945 summarizing their operations based out of Treasury Islands. I have transcribed this official Navy document and provide it here for your reference. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn more about the operations of the PGMs in the Solomon Islands.

Operations of PGM Division ONE from date of arrival at Treasury to 5 February 1945.

Operations of VP-81

The so-called Black Cats were patrol sea planes that worked with PTs, LCI gunboats and PGMs. The link below is to a Navy document covering some of the operational aspects of sqaudron VP-81.

Operations of VP-81

Administration History of Motor Torpedo Boats in WWII, Pacific Fleet

Naval War diaries and related documents were declassified at the end of 2012. I am in the process now of collecting and studying many documents that relate to PGMs. PGMs worked closely with PT boats (motor torpedo boats) and a study of MTB history reflects directly on PGMs as well. Here I provide transcription of portions of a history of MTB administration during WWII. Parts one through three of the history cover motor torpedo boats in the Solomon Islands.

US Naval Administration in WWII, Pacific Fleet, MTB Squadrons, Part I (covers 1942 and 1943)

US Naval Administration in WWII, Pacific Fleet, MTB Squadrons, Part II (mostly covers the first half of 1944 but also some earlier developments)

US Naval Administration in WWII, Pacific Fleet, MTB Squadrons, Part II (covers the second half of 1944 and January and February of 1945)

 

Missions Against Barge Traffic on west coast of New Ireland

At Close Quarters: PT Boats in the United States Navy by Captain Robert J. Bulkley, Jr. USNR (Retired) discusses the anti-barge patrols conducted by the PGMs along the west coast of New Ireland. During the summer of 1944, apparently the only barge traffic in the area was along a stretch of the west coast of New Ireland, from about Huru Point to Labur Bay. Further investigation is needed to determine the nature of this barge traffic. One possibility is that these barges were transporting supplies and/or troops between Rabaul and Kavieng. There was a road along the east coast of New Ireland from Kavieng to Namatanai and also a road from Namatanai to the west coast of the island, I believe at Labur Bay. Huru Point is east of Rabaul, across the St. George Channel, with the Duke of York Island Group in the middle of the channel. Therefore, the barges could provide transport for one leg of the trip, Rabaul to Labur Bay, then the remainder of the transport done by truck over the roads to Kavieng (or in reverse order depending on direction of transport).

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/CloseQuarters/PT-3.html

33. TASK GROUP 70.8 (pages 161-163)

From the beginning of the New Georgia campaign a year earlier, South Pacific Forces had continually operated to the west of 159° east longitude, which was technically part of the Southwest Pacific area. Thus ships and aircraft when in this area had been under the strategic direction of General MacArthur as Supreme Commander Allied Forces Southwest Pacific Area, but had been under the tactical command of Admiral Halsey as Commander South Pacific Area and South Pacific Force. By June [1944], with our activities in the Solomons and Bismarck Archipelago almost entirely confined to blockading, the high command decided to unify these activities under the Southwest Pacific Forces. Accordingly, all military responsibility for the area west of 159° east longitude and south of the Equator passed on June 15 to General MacArthur. All naval ships, aircraft, and bases were transferred at the same time to Vice Adm. Thomas C. Kinkaid's Seventh Fleet, which was part of General MacArthur's command.

Commodore Moran had had conferences in Brisbane, Australia, with Admiral Kinkaid, and when the transfer was made he was designated Commander Allied Naval Forces Northern Solomons Area and Commander Task Group 70.8. His task group comprised all of the naval vessels in the northern Solomons, from New Georgia to Emirau. Besides the PT's, LCI's, and PGM's, he had command of a division of five destroyers and a division of six destroyer escorts. He was assigned further duties as Subordinate Commander Service Force Seventh Fleet, and so also had command of the naval bases at Rendova, Treasury, Torokina, Green, and Emirau. On June 15 he moved his headquarters from Bau Island in Rendova Harbor to Torokina, in order to maintain closer liaison with the headquarters of the XIV U.S. Army Corps and the Commander Aircraft Northern Solomons already established there.

Although Commodore Moran's PT's were now part of the Seventh Fleet, they were not immediately put under the operational or administrative control of the Commander Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons Seventh Fleet. This seeming anomaly had a very simple explanation. The Commander Seventh Fleet planned to have PT's continue to operate in the Northern Solomons for a time, and to withdraw the squadrons gradually as they could be more profitably employed in the waters to the westward. As long as they remained in the Northern Solomons he wished them to be under command of Commodore Moran, who was thoroughly familiar with PT operations in that area. And he could not make Commodore Moran subordinate to the Commander Moror Torpedo Boat Squadrons Seventh Fleet, who held the junior rank of commander. Thus the PT's of Task Group 70.8, though part of the Seventh Fleet, did not become part of the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons Seventh Fleet until they were withdrawn from Commodore Moran's area of command, the Northern Solomons.

The increased barge activity of May was like the final flareup of a candle before it gutters out. In June the boats destroyed only three barges and damaged only one. "The marked decline in enemy barge sightings and contacts in the area," Commodore Moran reported, "significantly indicates a practical cessation of enemy barge traffic in this area . . .

"The barges destroyed were sunk in St. George Channel between the Duke of York Islands and Southwest New Ireland, where the only known barge traffic in the area was encountered during the period. Because the excessive distances from the PT base at Green Island or Emirau Island to this barge route considerably reduced the period of effective patrol, and since the enemy barges were frequently accompanied by heavily armed . . . escort barges which demonstrated a superiority in fire power over PT's as well as the ability to withstand gunfire, task units of LCI and PGM gunboats are being employed to intercept and destroy this barge traffic. From dusk to dawn these units patrol close inshore along New Ireland between Huru Point and Labur Bay and retire northwestward out of sight of land during daylight for a period of 3 to 4 days and nights. On the final night of the patrol the gunboats bombard piers, loading areas and barge hideouts along the New Ireland coast before returning to their bases via St. George Channel.

"Although enemy float planes continued to harass the boats, particularly in St. George Channel, the presence of covering friendly night fighters appeared effective in preventing bombing attacks by the enemy."

But the PGM's had no better luck than the PT's. From June until they ceased patrolling in February 1945, the PGM's claimed only 14 barges destroyed.

Map of New Ireland, New Britian, Bougainville, Green Islands, Emirau Island, Treasury Islands

A very large topographic map of New Ireland and surrounding islands with MTB bases labeled - bases at Emirau Island (north of New Ireland), Stirling Island (Treasury group - southwest of Bougainville), Bougainville (Torokina) and Green Islands (between Bougainville and New Ireland). available here 5035 X 4607 pixels, 5.31 MB

Map of Solomon Islands

A very large topographic map of the Solomon Islands with some of the MTB bases labeled (a work in progress) available here 4994 X 3947 pixels, 4.35 MB

Map of Florida Islands and description of naval facilities there, also photo of Carter City

Map of Russell Islands

 

Photos of Solomons Islands as they appear today

There are many photos to be found on Flckr including some for Stirling Island, where the PGMs were based.

Stirlilng Island photo

Another of Stirling Island

WWII airplane parts on Stirling Island

The reefs surrounding the Solomon Islands were a big problem for PT boats and the PGMs. Keep in mind that most patrols were conducted at night and there was always the danger of the boats getting grounded on the reefs. This could develop into a very dangerous situation if the Japanese discovered the grounded boat.

Reef at Gizo Island

Another reef shot at Gizo Island

 

Reference Material collected by Jeffrey La Favre

I am collecting reference material on US Navy PGM Division 1 during World War 2, which included the wood-hulled ships PGM-1 through PGM-8. These ships were originally built as subchasers (SC) but converted at San Pedro, California, during late 1943, to gun boats (PGM or Patrol Gunboat Motorized). Division One served in the Solomon Islands during 1944 and early 1945. Thereafter they convoyed to the Philippine Islands, where they were stationed until early September, 1945. After a short stay at Buckner Bay, Okinawa, at least some of the PGMs made their way to Shanghai, China for a brief period of duty before returning to the Philippines, where the ships were decommissioned in January of 1946.

My ultimate goal is to write a book about my father's service with PGM Division 1, which will be in digital format, published on the web. I would greatly appreciate any further reference material that would add to this work. My father passed away on March 9, 2011 and this work is a tribute to him. If you served on a ship in PGM Division 1 or are in possession of personal accounts of those who did serve on these PGMs, I would be very interested in corresponding with you. You may contact me at jlafavre@jcu.edu.

Howard La Favre served permanent duty on three ships: PC-777 (for training), PGM-7 (severely damaged in a collision July 18, 1944), PGM-3, and at the Base Force, PGM Division 1

He also served temporary duty on at least two ships: PGM-2 and PGM-4

Separation From Navy Document (dates of enlistment, discharge, ranks held, etc.)

Crew Musters

Crew Musters (these list names of crew members, their changes in rate (rank), when they reported for duty and when they were detached from duty)

NOTE: these are large image files, 13 to 28 MB each

PC-777 (1943)

PGM-7 (1943)

PGM-7 (1944)

PGM-3 (1943)

PGM-3 (1944)

PGM-3 (1945-6)

PGM Division 1 Base Force 1944

PGM Division 1 Base Force 1945

Crew Musters, summarized, for PGMs - these are true text files, not image files

SC-644/PGM-1

SC-757/PGM-2

SC-1035/PGM-3

SC-1053/PGM-4

SC-1056/PGM-5

SC-1071/PGM-6

SC-1072/PGM-7

SC-1366/PGM-8

PGM Division 1 Base Force

SC-644 was probably commissioned October 16, 1942. On that date a number of crew reported on aboard from the U.S. Naval Station, New Orleans, Louisiana.

SC-757 was commissioned August 12, 1943. The crew reporting on board on the date of commissioning came from the U.S. Naval Station, New Orleans, Louisiana.

SC-1035 was commissioned May 17, 1943. The crew reporting on board on the date of commissioning came from the U.S. Naval Station, New Orleans, Louisiana.

SC-1053 was commissioned on March 17, 1943. The cover sheet for the crew muster on that date indicates that the ship was "From Wilmington, California." The crew reporting on board on the date of commissioning came from the Naval Receiving Station, San Pedro, California.

SC-1056 was commissioned on June 15, 1943. The cover sheet for the crew muster on that date indicates that the ship was "From Wilmington Boat Works." The crew reporting on board on the date of commissioning came from the Naval Receiving Station, San Pedro, California.

SC-1071 was commissioned on June 8, 1943. The cover sheet for the crew muster dated June 3, 1942 indicates that the ship was "From Charleston, South Carolina." The crew reporting on board on the date of commissioning came from the Receiving Station, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

SC-1072 was commissioned on June 28, 1943. The cover sheet for the crew muster dated June 31, 1943 indicates that the ship was "From John Trumpy Shipbuilding Co., Gloucester, New Jersey. The crew reporting on board on the date of commissioning came from the Receiving Station, Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

SC-1366 was commissioned on August 18, 1943. The cover sheet for the crew muster on that date indicates that the ship was "From Wilmington, California." The crew reporting on board on the date of commissioning came from the Small Craft Training Center, Terminal Island, San Pedro, California.

 

PGM Casualties - 1.4%

Like all mothers, my father's mother was worried about the fate of her son during World War II. She encouraged Howard to enlist in the Navy because she believed a sailor's chances of surviving were better than an infantryman's. Her belief proved correct: Army losses in the war were 2.8 percent, the Marine Corps lost 3.66 percent of their men, while the Navy lost 1.5 percent (see World War II casualties).

Between March 31, 1944 and July 1, 1945, each PGM ship prepared six quarterly Muster Rolls of the Crew (except PGM-7, which prepared only two). The musters provide the data necessary to calculate the average number of crew members for the ships of PGM Division One, which average total was 193 or 26 1/3 men per ship. Each ship was also home to 3 officers, for a combined average of 215 men. PGM Division One lost three men during the years of 1944 and 1945, all drowning in an accidental manner, a loss of 1.4 percent, nearly the same as the total percentage for the Navy during the entire war. The ships of PGM Division One did experience attacks by the Japanese as well as suffering friendly fire due to mistaken identity. Yet there were no deaths recorded in the Report of Changes resulting from combat.

The men who drowned were Edmund Roman Niess of PGM-7, Parris F. Williams of PGM-5 and Nathan Alex Smith of PGM-4. These men were not green recruits, they had more than 9 years of combined service in the Navy. The drowning accidents underscore one of the dangers of serving on a small ship. Edmund drowned on February 23, 1944, in Pago Pago Harbor, Tutuila, American Samoa. Parris drowned in the Huangpu River, Shanghai, China, on November 7, 1945. Nathan drowned on April 23, 1945, in the waters off Fort Pikit, Mindano, Philippine Islands.

Reductions in Rate - 22

There is a hierarchy of command in every military organization that is established to ensure that order is maintained within the rank and file. The commanding officer of the ship and his subordinate officers are responsible for maintaining order aboard ship. Those at the bottom will often find their working conditions to be far from ideal and may lash out at those in charge or fail to perform the duties assigned to them. Serious infractions of naval law, such as desertion, are handled in a military court of law. The misbehavior of a sailor of a lesser degree was usually handled at the "Captain's Mast," a nonjudicial proceeding held by the commanding officer to determine guilt or innocence of the sailor in question. The commanding officer had the power to hand down various punishments, including reduction in rate by one step. The commanding officers of the ships of PGM Division One opted to include a reduction in rate in 22 cases during the years 1944 and 1945. Thus, it was not unusual for a sailor to suffer a reduction in rate, although only a minority of sailors experienced a reduction.

Sleeping While on Duty

United States Navy sailors engaged in conflict with the enemy in the Solomon Islands, as well as other places, were regularly involved with operations during the night and at the same time expected to work on board or ashore during the following day. After days on end with very little sleep, sailors found it difficult to stay awake during duty due to exhaustion. James Fahey, a sailor who saw duty aboard the destroyer U.S.S. Montpelier in the Solomon Islands during World War II, touches upon the subject of sleeping while on duty in his book, Pacific War Diary: "It is also hard to stay awake when you are in the Japs' back yard at two or three in the morning when you are standing lookout in front of the gun mount. You have had very little sleep to start with and while you are on the lookout for Jap subs or torpedoes your feet just buckle under you. You are dead tired and actually fall asleep standing up. You force yourself to stay awake but it is a losing proposition. You continue to doze off for a split second, your head droops, feet buckle under you and then you are awake again to do the same thing all over again. While this is going on the Mount Captain is walking back and forth pushing the fellows and barking at them to stay awake. It is really the Agony in the Garden. This is what you call torture. If the guns are firing, we have no trouble staying awake. When we stand watch in port at night and one of the fellows should doze off in the pointer's or trainer's seat, he gets two buckets of water in his face. Everyone goes up to the fellow asleep and someone puts his hands in front of his eyes; if he does not move, we know he is asleep. The bucket brigade then goes into action."

My father was reduced in rate from Quartermaster third class to Seaman first class for sleeping while on watch. My guess is that on a smaller ship, you did not have fellow sailors on watch in sufficient numbers to take care of each other. No one to give you the bucket of water in the face when you fell asleep. But of course, the officer on duty was likely to find you asleep, resulting in a visit to the Captain's Mast! Dad said that the most painful part of his punishment was the reduction in pay. According to The Bluejackets' Manual, 1943 edition, the sailors' handbook, the pay rate for a Quartermaster third class (pay grade 4) was $78.00 per month while a Seaman first class earned $66.00 per month, equating to a reduction of 15% in pay.

Crew Demographics

 

Regions of the United States where crew members of the PGM ships enlisted in the Navy.
Region of USA Number of Crew % of Crew % of total USA population in region - 1940 Census Ratio crew % to population % (crew % divided by population %)
New England 14 5 6.4 0.73
Mid Atlantic 44 15 20.9 0.71
East North Central 57 19 20.2 0.95
West North Central 27 9 10.3 0.88
South Atlantic 37 12 13.5 0.93
East South Central 23 8 8.2 0.94
West South Central 34 11 9.9 1.15
Mountain 18 6 3.2 1.91
Pacific 43 15 7.4 1.96
total 297      

New England = Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut; Mid Atlantic = New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania; East North Central = Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin; West North Central = Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas; South Atlantic = Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida; East South Central = Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi; West South Central = Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas; Mountain = Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Nevada; Pacific = California, Oregon and Washington.

The number of crew listed are those who served on the ships during a portion or all of the time between January 1944 and January 1946. Starting with the Report of Changes for October of 1944, the Navy Bureau of Personnel handed down a directive to stop recording the place and date of enlistment for those reporting on board for duty. Thus, there were a total of 132 men received aboard the PGMs during the time period when location and date of enlistment were not recorded. Therefore, the figures in the table above are for sailors who reported on board prior to October of 1944, with only a few exceptions.

The data in the table above reveals that there was a greater representation in the crew of the PGM ships from the Pacific and Mountain regions of the USA, compared to the relative populations of those areas in the 1940 US Census. The percentage of crew was almost twice what would be expected if the crew was drawn evenly from each region, in proportion to the population of that region. Conversely, crew from the New England and Mid Atlantic regions were under-represented in comparison to the relative populations of those areas.

The PGM ships departed for duty in the South Pacific from San Pedro, California. Before departing, a number of crew reported on board from the naval station at San Pedro. If naval bases on the west coast tended to have a greater proportion of sailors from the west coast than would be expected by the relative populations of those states, then it would not be surprising to find the results as reported above. However, it is important to keep in mind that some of the crew aboard the PGM ships had reported on board prior to ship conversions, when the ships were subchasers. These men reported on board at Philadelphia, New Orleans or San Pedro, depending on the ship. Three of the SC ships were commissioned at San Pedro, California (those later converted to PGMs 4, 5 and 8). An analysis of the remaining five ships, commissioned at either New Orleans or Philadelphia, revealed that 13.9 % of the crew were from the Pacific region and 1.9% from the Mountain region. These figures represent the men who reported aboard before the ships reached the west coast of the United States. Here again the relative number of crew members from the Pacific region was about twice that of the general population of the area. As of yet, I have not found any references regarding the relative numbers of men joining the Navy from various regions of the country. The data for the PGMs seems to indicate that men on the west coast were more inclined to enlist in the Navy. But this is only a very small sample compared to the entire naval forces during the war. Further investigation is needed here.

PGM Deck Logs

Deck logs (these are the detailed operational logs for ships)

NOTE: these are smaller true text files, 0.5 MB or less each, they are not complete transcriptions, but I am in possession of photocopies of the complete deck logs

PGM-7 (January through August, 1944)

PGM-4 (August, 1944)

PGM-3 (January through July, 1944)

PGM-3 (August 1944 through January 1946)

Scans of actual Deck Logs (image files)

PGM-3 4 JUN 45 reduction in rank for sleeping on watch (Quartermaster 3rd class to Seaman 1st class)

PGM-3 12 JAN 46 detachment from ship on the day the ship was decommissioned - he stayed to the end - GOING HOME! (last page of the log)

PGM-4 18 AUG 44 report on board for temporary duty

PGM-4 25 AUG 44 end of temporary duty

PGM-7 11 JUL 44 charged with sleeping below decks in disobedience of orders, found guilty

 

Ship Photos

Photos of SC-453 - PGMs one through eight were converted from subchasers (SC). This web page provides photos of SC-453, which was the prototype for the subchasers that were converted to PGMs (only 8 were converted out of several hundred SC ships). These photos provide a good view of the building of the wooden hull. Also of interest are the interior photos. Howard La Favre was assigned to the forward crew quarters in PGM-7, near the bow of the ship. These quarters contained fold-down bunks for 16 men. The ride on this part of the ship must have been particularly rough. My father (Howard) said he was very sea sick when his ship, USS PGM-7, sailed from San Pedro to Pearl Harbor in January of 1944.

Note also the photos of the "pancake" diesel engine used to power these ships. This was a new model, 16-184A, manufactured by the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors (the car company, Chevrolet, etc.). Electromotive Division (EMD) is best-known for their power plants for diesel-electric train locomotives. The new 16-184A was a radical design, 4 stacked layers of 4 cylinders each, in radial arrangement, thus "pancake." According to the deck logs I have read for PGMs, these engines needed a lot of repair work, including multiple overhauls during a period of just 2 years for some of them. This was a 2-stroke diesel of exceptionally light weight and high power. I need to do more research regarding the engine, but I think it may have been less reliable than the standard straight-eight cylinder diesel that was installed in some other subchasers. The straight-eight SCs were less powerful, with a top speed of 15 knots. Since the PGMs were intended to work with PT boats in the Solomon Islands, I believe the Navy decided in favor of the faster pancake-equipped SCs for conversion to PGM. The pancakes were supposed to have a top speed of 21 knots, but in practice I believe they rarely achieved more than 18 knots. Compare that to the PT boats, that could make 40 knots. Thus, the PGMs rarely left base in company with the PTs they were assigned to work with in a mission. Since they were slower, they needed to get a head start and then rendezvoused at the starting point of their patrol area.

List of Crew Members

The crew members of PGM 1 through 8, beginning with the men who reported aboard when these ships were commissioned as subchasers, are listed below for indexing purposes.

Joseph Abbato, Ernest Abizaid, Stanley Abromovich, John Adams, John Adams Jr., Edward Adams, Paris Adams, Kenneth Adams, George Adams, George Addison, Samuel Adkins, Henry Akonom, Raymond Albert, Joe Allen, John Anderson, Raymond Anderson, Julian Archibald, Howell Armitage, Richard Arnold, Alvin Arnold, Francis Arthur, Donald Arthurs, Dale Axtell, Leon Babitz, Jim Badcon, Edward Bailey, Claude Baker, Moses Barnes, Edward Barniski, Robert Baro, Fred Barrett, Early Barrios, Sampson Barrios, Bernard Barrows, Delbert Bartholomew, Hollis Bastin, David Bates, Harold Bauldin, Sidney De Baun, John Bellack, Reynold Beltz, James Bentley, David Berkey, Emmanuel Bertsch, Paul Besler, George Bilstein, Walter Black, Leonard Blake, Leo Le Blanc, Kenneth Blank, John Bogan, Dan Boni, Howard Bowling, LeRoy Bradley, Ingram Bradshaw, Ima Branham, Benjamin Brewster, James Bright, Harold Briscoe, Karl Brown, William Brown, Anthony Browne, Robert Browning, Harold Brummeyer, William Buckley, Carl Bunner, Vernon Burgess, Ernest Busboom, Orval Busch, Henry Buteau, Thomas Bywaters, John Carmack, Thomas Carson, James Casey, Dente Casini, Harrison Chalmers, Leo Chappie, Joseph Chastain, John Di Cicco, Rinaldo Colasanti, A. Collins, Henry Corley, Duncan Cowart, Gazaway Crittenden, James Cronan, Robert Cummings, Jose Cunnanan, Harkless Cupp, Thomas Cussen, Bernard Cutler, Donald Daly, Walter La Damus, Gaston Dangles, Ray Davis, Glenn Davis, Henry Deal, Manson Delcambre, Peter DeLuca, William Demaree, Leo Deranleau, Arnold Derby, Jonathan Dey, Ralph Dickey, Robert Dillon, Alexander Dillon, Richard Van Doozer, Angus Douglas, George Dowd, Eugene Downing, Marvin Dreibelbis, Festus Drennen, Henry Duffy, Randle Durant, Harold Durck, John Dwarshuis, Mitchell Dyjak, Henry Earle, Fred Eller, Eugene Emma, Elmer Erickson, William Evans, Leo Evers, Edwin Falk, Donald Farson, Howard La Favre, Theodore Feldman, George Fernekes, William Fike, Domer Fisher, Horace Fletcher, Gayle Flint, Walter Floeter, Frank Frandeen, Stanley Freeman, William Freese, Oscar French, Elmer Fritz, Victor Gabrielson, Richard Gage, Edmund Gallagher, Paul Ganoe, Milton Gard, Clinton Gasper, Charles Gerding, Robert Gill, Norman Glisker, Thomas Godfrey, Robert Goggin, Bernard Golden, James Gordon, Louis Grako, George Grant, James Green, John Gribble, Bernard Grimley, Marsden Guild, John Hall, Byrne Hallett, Clinton Halliman, Wiley Hamilton, Russell Hannan, Joseph Hansberger, Homer Harding, William Hardwick, Mitchell Harmer, Oliver Harris, Fred Harris, Earl Harrison, Floyd Hartry, Frederick Hartsfield, Ollis Harvey, Ollie Harvey, Donald Heesen, Jackson Henry, Bernard Herman, William Heslop, Robert Hickey, Albert Hicks, Carl Hissem, Onnie Hithcox, Andrew Hoenninger, Richard Hogan, Howard Holzer, Raymond Hoots, John Hoover, Donald Hoover, Theron Horne, Richard Houlihan, Raymond Huddleson, William Huddleston, Albert Huegler, Linden Hughes, Wendell Humphreys, Howard Ingram, Robert Irvin, J. 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L. Tarrant, James Taylor, Victor Teall, William Terrill, Donald Thomas, William Thomas, Kenneth Thompson, James Threadgill, Vincent Tiliman, Walter Tisdale, Alfred Toone, Howard Toplitzky, Robert Trauscht, Lewis Treefun, Herbert Treitler, Sylvan Trent, Elbert Tucker, Paul Turner, James Tyson, Howard Tyson, Wilson Tyson, William Vanover, Albert Virostko, Guy Volpi, John Walden, Hugh Walker, Ernest Walters, John Warn, Dwayne Warner, Oran West, John Westwood, Henry White, Harvey Wilburn, Errin Wilkins, William Williams, Roger Williams, Parris Williams, Bill Wilson, Woodrow Wilson, Richard Wisswell, Jack Wix, William Wojtylo, John Wolfe, Arthur Wolszon, Bernard Wood, Francis Woodford, Phillip Worski, Martin Worster, Pearson Wosika, Dale Wright, Harold Wright, Edwin Wright, William Wysong, Allan Young, Jay Young, Neal Young, Ruben Zavala, Milan Zipay, Adolph Zlabis, John Zumwalt, Alexander Arevian Jr., Louis Baker Jr., E. Bryan Jr., William Butler Jr., Joseph Cowden Jr., Joseph Cush Jr., August Dhieux Jr., Robert Dyson Jr., Gerald Fitzgibbons Jr., Otto Foster Jr., Alcibiadis Garcia Jr., Dudley Gaylord Jr., Cornelius Greenlaw Jr., Jack Harris Jr., Guy Harris Jr., Sanford Hill Jr., Samuel Hoffer Jr., Stanley Kozinski Jr., George Lawrence Jr., Olaf Lindstrom Jr., Ralph Lomax Jr., Thomas Masl Jr., Roy McGahan Jr., Bethel McMullen Jr., Ruben Meadows Jr., Emmett Moore Jr., George Owen Jr., Augustus Page Jr., Kenneth Peak Jr., Herman Quick Jr., Jack Sibben Jr., Metro Skiratko Jr., John Speck Jr., Moses Tapp Jr., Martin Thach Jr., Charles Thomas Jr., Edwin Vernon Jr., Robert Waugaman Jr., Jesse Webb Jr., Wallace West Jr., Rush Woodford Jr.

 

Last Update: August 26, 2014