PT518 was placed into service on February 27, 1944 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. After final outfitting, it, along with the other boats of the Squadron, experienced its shakedown at the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Training Center in Melville, RI and in Miami, FL.
James M. Sanders
February 22, 2003
Lt(jg) Hutchinson DuBosque, USNR
May 25 2008
William H. Shaw, USNR
October 25, `1950 Click here for more information aboout Wm. Shaw.
William Hytowitz, Seaman USNR
Subsequent replacement members of the crew included:
Following the training exercises, the Squadron returned to New York to be loaded onto the decks of tankers; four boats per tanker. The tankers left in convoy CU25 for the trip across the Atlantic. PT518 was on the deck of the SS BENINGTON. The Squadron was off loaded at Glasgow, Scotland on May 31, 1944.
After two days of preparations, PT518 put out to sea, with other boats of the Squadron, for a two day journey to Portland, England. It arrived there on June 4th, one day before the planned D-day, the start of the invasion of Normandy. (The invasion was postponed by one day due to a storm.)
[Click here to see the tale "It's Going to be a Tough War!!"]]
On the morning of D-day, June 6, 1944, the crew of PT518 stood on deck watching wave after wave of airplanes, mostly DC-3s, passing over head on their way to France. These planes were carrying the paratroopers and towing the gliders that would be the first U.S. troops to be positioned behind enemy lines. It was an awesome sight!
During day light hours the boats would be dispatched from the line to do a variety of chores including the sinking of floating mines and ferrying personnel from ship to ship. From time to time, mostly at night, German planes would fly over to drop bombs, flares and mines among the ships in the landing beach area. The PTs would lend their firepower to the common defense.
In the late afternoon, PTs would be dispatched to go to assigned patrol areas and, there, they would spend the night patrolling at slow speeds, watching for and investigating radar contacts. Most of these patrols were recorded in the boat logs as "No enemy contact. Secured patrol and returned to ---". PT518 took its share of these patrols. A few were notable; most were very routine.
PT boats were called upon to do other duties such as carring mail and dispatches to the ships in the invasion area and to ferry VIPs about the vessels in the invasion beach area. On June 24th, PT518 ferried General Eisenhower, his staff and others to the beach.
The THORNBOROUGH vectored the PTs toward the land just north of Cape D'Antifer to investigate a 6-pip radar contact believed to be German E-Boats, R-Boats or trawlers. There was a heavy fog in the area so the PTs approached without German response until they were about 400 yards from the targets. The order was given to fire torpedoes and circle back to commence a gun attack.
While no torpedo hits could be confirmed, the Germans
did open up their deck guns and a fire fight ensued. A number of hits were
made by the PTs on the German vessels. PT513 took a hit on its 40mm gun
mount. Two of her crew were seriously wounded and one man slightly wounded.
PT515 and PT518 suffered no damage. The enemy was seen, by radar, to turn
and enter the port of La Harve. The THORNBOROUGH directed the PTs to return
to the patrol area.
On November 29, 1944, after the engines of PT518 were replaced, it along with the other boats of MTB Ron 35, departed for Glasgow, Scotland. Due to extremely heavy seas and an extended period of bad weather, it took two weeks to make, in reverse, the journey that had taken just two days in early June.
The Squadron arrived in Glasgow at 1358 hours on December 13th. Before leaving Portland, some crew members had been detached for transfer to the United States. Now, in Scotland, other members were likewise detached leaving only a few members to decommission the Boat.
On April 4, 1945, PT518 was towed down the bay by PT554 to Faslane, Scotland where it was loaded onto the deck of the tanker SS BENJAMIN K. HILL. The boat log for April 5th reads, in part:
"At 1030, on board the Benjamin K. Hill, the final inspection of the 518 was made by Commodore Koslov, USSR and LT. G. T. Sullivan, Executive Officer of MTB Ron 35. The boat was resealed by Commodore Koslov at 1120 hours. All details in connection with transfer of boat to USSR completed, ....The Boat Captain secured the watch and relinquished command."
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Last Revision: 01/05/2009