WWII Memories

Beaty's Boat PT 185, Squadron 11-2 , Funafuti, Ellice Islands

Tuvalu, formerly the Ellice Islands, is a group of atolls, lying south of the equator in the western Pacific Ocean, south of Kiribati and north of Fiji. Funafuti, the main island and capital, lies 1,046km (650 miles) north of Suva, Fiji. The other islands are Nanumanga, Nanumea, Niutao, Nui, Nukufetau, Nukulaelae, Niulakita and Vaitupu.

Area: Tuvalu has a small land mass scattered over a wide area, where islands on eight of the nine coral atolls are permanently inhabited. The land area is only 26 sq km (10 sq miles), although the atolls extend in a chain 595km (370 miles) long.

Topography: The islands seldom rise higher than 4.5m above sea level. Five have large lagoons, enclosed within the coral reef; the remaining four are pinnacles of land rising up solid from the sea bed. About 40% of the island of Funafuti is uninhabitable because of pits and an airstrip dug out of the coral by US troops during the 1939-45 war. This remains a source of tension between Tuvalu and Britain, which gave permission for the US action.

Climate: The mean annual temperature is 30°C (86°F), with little seasonal variation, though March to October tends to be cooler. Humidity is high. Trade Winds blow from the cast for much of the year. Although the islands are north of the recognised hurricane belt, severe cyclones struck, in 1894, 1972 and 1990. Rainfall is high, averaging 3,535mm a year. The wet season is November to February.

Vegetation: The heavy rainfall provides a more luxuriant vegetation than that on neighbouring Kiribati. Coconut palms cover most of the land.

Wildlife: Lizards and turtles and several resident species of birds are the most notable forms of indigenous animal life. Birds include the reef heron, white-tailed tropic-bird, terns and noddies.


MTB Ron 11
(Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 11)
The following are six of the twelve crews in the squadron.
Click on pictures for full size and crew member listing.


PT Boat 176


PT Boat 182


PT Boat 183


PT Boat 184


PT Boat 185


PT Boat 186

Top Row:  ( ? ), ( ? ), ( ? ), ( ? ), Don Miller, Roy Fay
Bottom Row: ( ? ), ( ? ), Herman "Hoppy" Hauprich, Mathews, Elmer Dokter


Anchors Away



Links to other PT Boat pages

US Motor Torpedo Boat (PT Boat) Lists
Knights of the Sea
Skip's PT Boats


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