Miscellaneous Views

PT 43-February 13, 1943

PT 43 underway off the US East Coast, October 1941. (PT Boats, Inc.)

During an attack on a group of Japanese destroyers on the night of January 10, PT 43, skippered by Lt. Charles E. Tilden, was damaged by shells from destroyer Tokitsukaze, forcing Tilden and his crew to abandon ship. As the helpless PT sailors fought for their lives in the sea, their boat continued running until it beached upon the Japanese-held Guadalcanal shore. Early the next morning, Japanese soldiers were seen inspecting the boat, so a New Zealand corvette was called in to hasten 43's demise; the results of the Royal New Zealand Navy's handiwork can be seen below. The photos below of 43's wreckage were taken in February 1943, after the Japanese had been run off Guadalcanal, and they show a team from MTB Flotilla One led by Commander Allen Calvert, the flotilla CO, inspecting the wreck of the 43 to see if it were possible to salvage the boat. All photographs courtesy PT Boats, Inc.

The crew that came with PT 43 to the Solomons, enroute to the South Pacific, October-November 1942. Front row, l-r: Ens. James J. Cross, SC2/c G.G. Rozell, GM2/c Clifford Batchelor, QM3/c L.D. Ellman, Ens. Andrew J. Floyd. Back row, l-r: TM2/c Patrick Holland, MM2/c Gerald R. Tigner, RM2/c Richard Ferchen, MM1/c Eldon O. Jenter, MM2/c Robert E. Marsh. Holland, Ferchen, Tigner, Marsh, and Batchelor all died riding PT 37 the night of February 1, 1943. Jenter was the sole survivor of the 37's destruction, which also claimed the lives of Ensigns James Kelly and John Duckworth. (PT Boats, Inc.)

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