Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Into the Pacific

Having requested sea duty, Bob was ordered to the Melville, Rhode Island, Torpedo Boat School. Before heading out from Washington, he broadcast the radio program This is War, which would be the first in a series designed to heighten Americans' awareness of the war.

After qualifying in all phases of PT boat operation, he was ordered to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 5, which operated in the Panama Canal Zone. There he served as executive officer and division commander of the squadron, and as commanding officer of PT-107. If you remember your history books, kids, JFK was on PT-109.

Following his PT boat tour, in November 1942 Bob was ordered to the 10,000-ton light cruiser USS Columbia, which had joined the Pacific Fleet in the Solomons.

Bob became assistant operations officer and intel officer on the staff of Commander Destroyer Squadron 5, and for his exemplary service he received a Letter of Commendation, with authorization to wear the Commendation Ribbon.

Above from Stars in Blue: Movie Actors in America's Sea Service by Wise & Rehill.

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