Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Training Center (MTBSTC)

Pop arrived in Boston on December 22nd and was there through Christmas until January 8th.  He had completed his quartermaster (QM) training at the training center in Bainbridge, MD (photo, right) and it was time to learn the ropes of his new gig; quartermaster on a Patrol Torpedo (PT) boat.  Pop had volunteered for PT duty simply because "it sounded fun!"

Despite the time of year, Pop had no time to spend the holidays at home.  His future wife and mother-in-law made the trip from Philadelphia to Boston though, and visited him while he awaited the start of his PT Boat training.  As for the rest of the time, I can only imagine what Pop did to pass the time.  The photographs show plenty of beer though, often shared with a new friend, Cas Milewski.  Pop and Cas seemed to find plenty of watering holes during the two weeks they had to kill (photo, left).

On January 8th, 1944, the fun was over and Pop, Cas and several other sailors were transferred from Boston to the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons Training Center (MTBSTC) in Melville, RI.  It was here that he got his first taste at the high speed thrills of manning a PT.  It seems appropriate that if Pop couldn’t fly, he was at least in one of the fastest type of craft the Navy had.  Pop's QM training was now specialized for PT boat operations; he would also learn other duties onboard.

At the MTBSTC, Pop lived in Quonset huts on the base while he and other sailors went through their training.  These metal halls housed around two dozen sailors, their gear and cots along with a stove heater in the middle of the room. It was winter and not the best time to be on the water in New England, but crews did their best on shore and on the sea despite the snow and ice.  Just in time for the Spring thaw, their training was over and Jim had graduated; he was ready to be assigned to a combat MTB squadron.

Pop was immediately sent to Norfolk, VA after MTBSTC and on April 23rd, he boarded the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV-4) which set sail for Casablanca, Morocco the next day; Pop was on his way to war.

Other Photographs

A view of the Quonset huts at Melville from the bay beach; Winter 1944.

Jim Stanton, Cas Milewski and an unknown sailor on the beach at Melville, Winter 1944.

Pop in his hut during Winter 1944, trying to heat something up on the hut's only stove.
Pop had this image of a Huckins-built PT boat; the back of the photo had a note on it from a fellow sailor who commented about how terrible the boats were to train with.  I'm assuming Jim and this sailor both trained at some point on a Huckins boat while at Melville.

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