Comments  from Neil McDonald, Escondido, CA

[ Neil is an ex-PTF crew member. ]

    [ Email from Dan to Neil: ]
    Can you help confirm the history here. 
    I have two versions of what happened to 21 and 22. Maybe I have it backwards. 
    Also what became of 23,24,25.  

I forwarded your message to Bryan Herring.  He was OINC of 26 Boat.  Retired as Capt/USNR.  He has my copy of PT Boats at war - according to that book the 22 boat was aground on San Clemente but the date didn't look right.  I came in CRS-1 10/75 and the 22 was already wrecked (I think).  According to the book the 22 went aground early in '76.  Bryan also has my other photos - some of them were taken on the 24 boat.  I don't know what became of the 24 but he might.

Hey. Did you guys know that we are all entitled to the Cold War Medal?  No kidding.  Honors those who served on active duty from 1945 to 1990.  Check out the website - go to just about any search engine and type in Cold War Medal.  The Army is handling the paperwork - you have to send them a copy of your DD-214.  Won't get you a cup of coffee but will look pretty cool on the wall or wherever.

Here is one more - a group of pirates at their ease in their lair at NAB Coronado - 1976. 26 crew  (112809 bytes)


Here are the scanned photos.
There are a few of PTF-26 and PTF- 24.  The 41 boat photo is actually a Nasty (PTF-22?) dressed up by Hollywood for "MacArthur" w/Gregory Peck (1976?)  
Got some more around here somewhere.  Will keep looking

NAB Coronado (94610 bytes) 24 boat (120859 bytes) 81mm  (80679 bytes)
Aft 26 (88700 bytes) diving (140467 bytes) firing  (100849 bytes)
friends (100002 bytes) friends  (97996 bytes) pilot (95498 bytes)

I was less than successful in my attempt to copy the photos to a disk.  The Kinko's staff aren't very helpful.  A friend of ours has a scanner and I am going to see if she can scan them for me.  Will keep you posted.  I did manage to scan two PBR photos that I will attempt to send you. jpg (20158 bytes) jpg (414142 bytes)

Was just looking at Mike Klapka's pics from 26 boat.  In the picture with the officer's with the .50 cal belts on their shoulders. They are from left to right:
  • Lcdr Dan Vroom
  • Lt jg Smith
  • Lt Bryan Herring (sitting on 81mm ready locker)
  • Lt Bill Petit.
I have this same photo as I was aboard that day - gunshoot at San Clemente Island.
Neil MacDonald
Looked at website.  Interesting reader input.  I disagree with Jim West - it was my impression that the Osprey was intended for gas turbines - why else would there be that induction stack aft of the bridge?  That's what we were told it was meant for.  The napier/deltics drove us crazy - always breaking down.  There was a valve stuck in the overhead "softpatch" for the longest time - it had been blown out by the starboard engine.  Nobody got hurt though. The tech rep came out from England once - he told us that in New York City the fire department mounted them (Napier/Deltics) on flatbeds with pumps and that they could "knock down a brick wall" - we said that was cool but didn't help if we broke down at sea and had to limp home on one engine or call for a tow.

We were also told that the 24 boat did go to Viet Nam.  Supposedly it took an RPG in the area of the galley/wardroom on the port side.  All Vietnamese crew who were all killed - story was that they sent in a Seal Team to extract the boat - could have been a sea story though - like I said there were some pretty colorful characters in CRS -1 and SBU -13.  But when it rained you could see where a patch had been put on the port side for some reason.

I am still looking for the photo album - it has a lot of "gunshoot" pictures.  I will send copies when I find it.  I have photo taken on one of the Nasty's at Coronado that was made up by Hollywood for the movie "MacArthur" with Gregory Peck.  They made it up to look like an Elco '80 the 41 boat (Lt. Bulkley).  Even had fake torpedoes and gun turrets.  Looked pretty realistic - they did up two of them for the movie.

A partial list of CRS-1/SBU-13 crew:

  • Bryan Herring
  • Bill Petit
  • Joe Maurer
  • Frank Hershman
  • John Nikkel
  • Jim Greenough
  • Don Hewlett
  • Dan Vroom
  • John Hayden
  • Wade Sanders
  • Jim Gray
  • Ray Evanowski
  • Gerald Adler
  • Doug Peace
  • John Bear
  • Bill Schneider
I along with most of the above are plankowners in SBU-13 and Special Boat Squadron.  

Let me know if you hear from anyone else.
Neil MacDonald

February 24, 2000
Found your website via "Northern Light" search.  I was in CRS-1 (later SBU-13) from 1975-1981.  Was a crew member on PTF-26 (Osprey) and PB-757 (Mk III Sea Spectre).  Saw the story section - I knew Mike Klapka. There were some pretty colorful characters in that unit ex-Seals, ex-PBR sailors - we even had a Master Chief who had been at Tulagi with JFK! 

I had seen the PTF-26 tied up at NAS Alameda in April 1995.  It was being used as a harbor pilot boat I think. Then I saw an article in Sea Classics Magazine about a year ago that the "26 Boat" as we so fondly called her was in a museum in the Sacramento River Delta.  Supposedly they have a PBR and a Monitor also.  Think that they may have gotten some of their stuff from RivDiv 11 which was our sister squadron at Mare Island - I cross trained into PBR's there.  Got a few pictures that I could send.  

I believe that PTF-22 (Nasty) was wrecked on San Clemente Island in early '75 - I knew some of the guys who were aboard at the time - happened at 2AM and went aground on some rocks near China Point. It was up in a skid at CRS-1 for the longest time with the bow stove in.  We called it "Building 22" - it was stripped for parts I think and burned.  I think that the other Nasty's went to Israel but I'm not 100% positive - they just sort of disappeared and we cross trained into the MK III's which basically were dogs that couldn't get out of their own way.

Neil MacDonald
Escondido, CA