Here is the patch I told you about yesterday.
It represents Patrol Torpedo (PT) Boat Squadron 23. My grandfather continued to feel a strong connection throughout his life to his time with the men who served in this squadron. Each new grandchild upon entering the family received a t-shirt or a sweatshirt with the words PT Boater emblazoned across it, Bubba’s message to each that this was significant to him.
As the oldest grandchildren in the family, my sister and I were privileged (although at 15 and 13 we felt more burdened than honored) to travel with our grandfather to the National PT Boat Museum at Battleship Cove in Fall River, Massachusetts. He wanted to share this significant part of his life with us. As the family photographer, he made sure to document the trip as well. That’s my sister and me posing under the big guns.
One of the many things I loved about my grandfather is that he always asked us to take pictures of him. Did he know how much we would someday appreciate his forethought in handing his camera over to us?
Of course, I was thrilled when my son as a Cub Scout went and slept on one of the ships at Battleship Cove. My husband, MJ, pointed out the displays for PT Boat Squadron 23 and our son dutifully acknowledged them. Some day he will appreciate it, just like I do now.
We don’t know on which boat in Squadron 23 Bubba served. My mother as his next of kin can order his Military Service record through the National Archives. That is our next step in the hunt for his p.t. boat.
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