PT Boat Odyssey: In the Pacific War with Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 16, 1943–1945
Robert P. Gelzheiser
During the Pacific War between the United States and Imperial Japanese navies, the author’s father, Francis Gelzheiser, deployed with Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 16A, from New Orleans to Panama to Seattle and to Attu Island in the Aleutians. After their return voyage, the PT boats journeyed to New Guinea, then battled Japanese kamikazes for the Philippine Island of Mindoro.
Like many World War II veterans, Gelzheiser only shared his recollections of combat later in life. The author chronicles his father’s experience, details the roles PT boats played in the war and examines why, despite America’s overwhelming wartime manufacturing capacity, the Japanese believed they could still win the war.