Tuesday, June 05, 2007
PT Boat Torpedoed In 1943 Washes Up At San-O
There was strong ground swell Sunday night at San Onofre. It washed up this World War II coastal patrol vessel. The Navy has identified the ship as one struck in the bow by a single torpedo from a German U-boat while on patrol off San Clemente in 1943. It was the same U-boat that, coincidentally, washed up at San Onofre later that same year. Finally, the PT Boat has washed up near where its old adversary washed up 64 years earlier.
One of the guys I met at the Point verified what the Navy said. He seems to know a lot of the local history. His name is Foxbat. His cousin was a deckhand on the PT Boat. All the crew swam to shore. There was no loss of life. Only two crewmen were injured. His aunt has films of the crew swimming ashore and he told me that he has more pictures of the event "than you can shake a stick at." When he told me this, he actually pulled out a stick and shook it to make his point. I don’t think that before that moment I had ever seen anyone actually shake a stick to make a point.