- Historic Sites
Tough, nimble, and pound for pound the most heavily armed ships in the U.S. Navy, PT boats fought in the very front line of the greatest sea war in history. But even today hardly anyone understands what they did.
July/August 1998 | Volume 49, Issue 4
Kennedy belonged to our happy few, our band of brothers, with George Cookman, our squadron exec, who died leading us in our first gunboat attack; Sid Hix, captain of the 108, killed in a raid on an enemy harbor when the smoke screen laid by the 105 came too late for him; Willie Monk, torpedoman first class in the starboard turret of the 105, who kept his fifties firing while flames from the red-hot guns flickered around him; Attilio Zichella, cook first class, who frantically poured buckets of water on Monk and me; Dave Payne, on whom I bestowed the rat; and a score of other young men smiling still so vividly in my memory. I have never seen the like of them.