The news media called them “The Plywood Navy.” The Japanese called them “Devil Boats.” Historian, author, and lecturer Brian L. Wallin brings to life the story of the US Navy’s Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons Training Center in Melville, Rhode Island, and the men who fanned out from the Ocean State with their small war craft to every corner of the globe.
Numerous rarely seen pictures trace the development of the PT Boat fleet and the story of how more than 11,000 officers and enlisted personnel trained at a large and hastily built facility on Narragansett Bay between 1942 and 1945. Brian recently presented this program for the Naval War College’s “Eight Bells” series. He draws upon the archives of the War College, the Naval Heritage and History Command, and the Battleship Cove PT Museum along with the personal memorabilia of PT crew family members to present rarely seen images of PT training and battlefront exploits from the frozen Aleutians to D-Day and the island campaigns of the Pacific.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Brian Wallin is a graduate of Stonehill College and earned his master’s degree from American International College. He has been a radio-television reporter-anchor in New England, contributing to major networks. He turned his career to health care administration, serving in executive positions in Massachusetts, Maryland, and Rhode Island and retired as vice president of Kent Hospital. He is also a trustee of the Varnum Continentals, a member of the US Naval Institute, and a docent at the Naval War College Museum. He writes for the online journal of Rhode Island history, Smallstatebighistory.com, and is the co-author of World War II Rhode Island (History Press, 2017).
Reservations for this dinner must be received by 5 pm Friday, February 9.
Call Scott Seaback at 401-413-6277 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TIME: 5:30 p.m. (social hour); 6:30 p.m. (dinner followed by program)
LOCATION: Varnum Memorial Armory Museum, 6 Main St, East Greenwich, RI, 02818.
FEE: $20 including dinner (filet wrapped in bacon, seafood pasta, roasted veggies, salad, rolls and butter, dessert, and coffee)