News Index Links:

The Passing of Alyce F. "Mrs. Boats" Newberry

Newly Designed Web Site
The Family of Edward J. Behney Donate Elco Collection
Artifacts Donated
Surface Navy Association Honors PT's
VADM John D. Bulkeley Honored
J.M. "Boats" Newberry Honored
A Look Back At Our Higgins


Alyce F. "Mrs. Boats" Newberry, 88, Secretary/Treasurer for PT Boats, Inc. since 1946, died Wednesday, September 28, 2005 at Baptist Hospital Collierville.  A Memorial service was held Saturday, October 1 at Memorial Park Funeral Home in Memphis.  Mrs. Newberry was born in Crookston, Minnesota and raised in Minneapolis, graduating from Edison High School in 1934. She was very involved with the White Station High School PTA in the 1950’s and 60’s..  Her years with church organizations and school programs provided many lasting friendships including a 25 year monthly lunch group called Chat ‘N’ Chew.  She was preceded in death by her husband, James M. “Boats” Newberry, a brother, Alexander Forster, and a grandson, Steele C. Guthrie.  She is survived by her daughter, Alyce Mary Guthrie of Germantown TN, her son James E. Newberry of Germantown TN, her granddaughters Allyson Bethune of Olive Branch MS and Deborah Baker of Germantown TN and a grandson, James K. Newberry of Franklin TN and three great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers the family requests any memorials be sent to PT Boats, Inc.

Our Newly Designed Web Site.

As you will note our new web site has been completely redesigned and is currently being expanded to over 100 pages. The web site will be divided into two major sections. The Headquarters section with all of the pertinent organization information and the PT Boat Information section detailing the aspects of PT Boats and the PT Boat Service during World War II.

The PT Boat Information Section will be a vast expansion of our previous info pages. This new section is actually a site merger with the existing "Knights of the Sea" web site which will leave its existing location and be redesigned and merged into our site.

The combination of the Internet sites will enable visitors to browse and research a single site for a wealth of information on the rich history of PT. Boat Service.

The Family of Edward J. Behney Donates Elco Collection

Ed Behney Sr. was an Elco engineer. In 1946 he was named Chief Engineer of the Naval Division Bayonne New Jersey where he worked on PT design.

In 1948 and '49, he began commuting to Electric Boat Groton. The family moved to Connecticut permanently in 1950 when he became Project Engineer for PT 809, the only Elco PT built at Groton.

His son, Ed Jr., contacted headquarters in February after being referred to us by member Chip Marshall.

Ed Jr. sought the location of PT 809, the experimental post-WW II boat built by Elco. He hopes to restore the boat if it can be found. Chip thought we might know the fate of 809. But the last information PT Boats, Inc. received was that she was due to be destroyed in 1991. However the Navy records are mixed up. They incorrectly identified a PTF as PT 809.

Once Ed Jr. learned what we had on file about the boat, he described Elco memorabilia his father had kept and wanted to know if we'd be interested in any of it.

We accepted the Behney family's offer immediately and Ed Jr. began shipping the collection of photos, manuals, blueprints and specs to headquarters.

The collection includes a large framed cutaway rendering of what was then a future concept for a PT. Other interesting items are parts catalogs, 16mm film "Giant Killers," and even a 4x8 sheet of Elco marine plywood that still has not delaminated. Four volumes of assembly manuals applying to boats built for Russia under LendLease are included.

In the next few months more packages of photos will be coming. Ed Jr. believes there may be as many as 8000 altogether.

Needless to say, this is an extraordinary donation. It is a major addition to the archives and one for which we are most grateful.

Many thanks to Ed Jr., his mother, sisters and brother for entrusting Edward J. Behney's extensive Elco memorabilia

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Artifacts Donated

Some unusual pieces of memorabilia have been donated to PT Boats recently. For example, a navigation case and instruments. Also a pressure cooker used on PT 186 donated by Mrs. Thomas Alongi. Dog tags, crucifix and photos donated by Mrs. Andrew Verbiar, Ron 31. Silver plate flatware, plaques for Ron 24, 25, 27 and 28 donated by Mrs. Edward Pope. Models of PT 109 and PT 212 also donated by Mrs. Pope.

We are most grateful for these new items and thank the donors.

Here are a few items we would like to acquire: Radio and Radar manuals, Compass, Sextant, Barometer, Volume 1 Building the Navy's Bases, Abandon Ship Kit, Torpedo Director MK31, Pistol Signal AN-M8, Coffee Maker Silex type A, Anchor (25 lb).

If anyone has any of the above items stashed away, please donate to PT Boats. There is always the risk that your heirs won't realize how much the museum needs historic pieces like these.

Increasingly, stories are reaching us about PT artifacts being given or sold to military collectors who are only interested in profit.

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Surface Navy Association Honors PTs

Each year since 1994 the Surface Navy Association has recognized service personnel who distinguished themselves fifty or more years ago. Thus far SNA has recognized the Destroyer-Cruiser, Amphibious, and Destroyer-Escort, and Mine Warfare Veterans.

In 1999 two PT Boaters accept Historic Remembrance awards:

Rear Admiral John Harllee, USN Ret, Ron 1, 2, 12, 7th Fleet, MTBSTC and Robert W. Stanley, QM 2/c, Ron 33 were the recipients.

Congratulations, Admiral Harllee and Robert Stanley. The SNA awards were be presented at a luncheon January 13, 1999 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Alexandria, VA.

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VADM John D. Bulkeley Honored

VADM John D. Bulkeley
Secretary of the Navy John Dalton announced November 20, 1997 that an Arleigh Burke Class Guided Missile Destroyer will be named for the late VADM John D. Bulkeley (1911-1996) who received the Medal of Honor for evacuating General Douglas MacArthur from Corregidor on March 12, 1942. The USS John D. Bulkeley will be designated DDG 84. The keel is due to be laid April 29, 1999 and completion should take place in 2001.

Bulkeley was on active duty from 1929 until 1988. His PT service included Rons 1, 3, 2(2), 7 and 34. After returning to the States to confer with President Roosevelt and the Navy with recommendations for further use of PT boats, he commanded the PTs and minesweepers that made the seas safe for the landings at Normandy.

Following D-Day and Channel operations, he was assigned to the destroyer Endicott. President John F. Kennedy appointed him to command the Navy base at Guantanamo, Cuba where he faced down Castro in the famous cutting of the water line incident. Castro had claimed the Navy was stealing Cuban water.

His naval career continued with the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) where he ruffled military feathers by refusing to sign off on defective ships and planes if they weren't right.

The Admiral is buried in Arlington. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Alice, four children and several grandchildren.

Bulkeley worked closely with the founder of PT Boats, Inc., J. M. "Boats" Newberry, to make the organization a viable association. Newberry, Bulkeley and another PT veteran were on the site selection committee to determine the best three locations for the museum which were presented to the membership for a vote. Battleship Cove in Fall River, Massachusetts won.

According to his biographer Bill Breuer, he remains the country's most decorated military man. Breuer's book ,Seawolf, and another biography by Bruce Brachman, An Honorable Profession, are available through PT Boats, Inc.

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J. M. "Boats" Newberry Honored

J.M. "Boats" Newberry
On November 22, 1997 a plaque honoring the founder of PT Boats, Inc., J.M. "Boats" Newberry, will be unveiled by his widow Alyce F. Newberry, Treasurer of P.T. Boats Inc. "Boats" Newberry served on the Battleship Board of Directors from the time PT 796 joined the naval complex until his death in 1985. The ceremony will take place at Heritage Park adjacent to Battleship Cove in Fall River, Mass. Battleship Cove is the site of the organization's museum.

Attending will be officers and directors of the USS Massachusetts Memorial Committee's board, Don Shannon, PT Coordinator and Guy Archambault, Executive Vice President of Battleship Cove. Additional guests will be PT Boats, Inc.'s President, Claude Greenwell and Executive Vice President Alyce Guthrie who also serves as Board Secretary.

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A Look Back At Our Higgins

On August 14, 1976 PT 796 came to Battleship Cove. "It's a great day for me and all PT boaters," the bosun's voice rang out. James M. "Boats" Newberry, then president of PT Boats, Inc. and once chief bosun of Ron 9, spoke to a crowd of thousands assembled to welcome our Higgins to Battleship Cove.

PT 796 had traveled from Pensacola to Memphis on her own bottom after the Navy turned her over to Mr. Newberry in 1970. She rested on an island in the Mississippi River at Memphis until city fathers decided they'd rather not have a PT Boat museum.

She went overland to Deltaville, Virginia by truck. There she underwent restorative work before being towed to Fall River, Massachusetts.

After thousands of miles in the water, our Higgins was hauled out, placed on a concrete pad for several years and then moved under the protection of a Quonset.

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PT Boats. Inc. P.O. Box 38070, Germantown, TN, 38183
Tel: (901) 755-8440 , Fax: (901) 751-0522

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This site was last updated
Tuesday, October 18, 2005

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