(This story was provided to me by the son of a man who skippered an 85-foot Rescue Boat, an extended modification of the famous PT Boat. He was one of the early sponsors of this site, and goes only by the name “Proud American”.
(There were various sizes of Rescue Boats, the majority 63-footers. And only 2260 servicemen served, so a rare treat indeed to be able to remember this service. They are collectively remembered at US Crash Boats where also can be found the a history of the various boats, this 85-footer, ASR 85 Foot – Design 379, aka Type II, with only 140 put into service.)
My father later in WW2/Pacific, was a commander of a search & rescue squadron. One piece of equipment that he spent quite a bit of time on was an 80 ft rescue boat. Similar to the PT boats that were famous in the Pacific only a bit longer, they had some enhancements to the engine compartment, namely a water injection system for added horsepower on a short term basis. Anyway, one day my father was on his way out, and the port had a longer “no wake” zone. As the boat was leaving he got to the narrow channel just a bit earlier than this PT. Now the commander of the PT arrogantly pushed his throttle a little past the speed limit. My father, as he tells it, was not going to swamped by this arrogant bastard, increasing his speed to maintain the lead, avoiding the wake.
To say the least the response from both was to continue this tit-for-tat. Both were way out of bounds on regulations at this point and Full Ahead! Good ole dad, knowing he was going to face the wrath from the port commander, just couldn’t lose the race, and his last chance was to reach up and apply his water injection button.
He did win the race. The PT had to react and slowed down, to avoid going aground in the channel. Of course he was called on the carpet for “Wilfull disregard” of regulations. But being the first boat out of the channel was his saving grace. That arrogant S*B from the PT was not going to be officially reprimanded, so neither was my dad.
With a chuckle, as my dad told me the story, everybody has to follow the rules, just make sure you’re winning when breaking the rules. And during the dressing down that they both received, was the only time he would meet, in person, the commander of PT 109….
(My personal note: Stories like these are gems, and I searched the CrashBoats Crew List and not a Lt Commander Quentin McHale is listed.)