Comments from Paul Simpson
Dan, a co-worker stumbled across your website and forwarded to me. I have enjoyed running through the site. I was the Coastal River Squadron One Ops Officer from mid-76 to mid-78. During that time Skip Kohler was OIC of PTF 24, Bill Snyder was OIC of PTF 26 and Jerry Warren was OIC of PTF 21. Unfortunately, I can't remember a whole lot of other names. Operating the boats out of Coronado was probably the best job a Lt. could get if you weren't too worried about long term career impact. I would still be a happy, old Lt. if I could have kept that job! Based on Skip's message, it sounds like Bill Snyder was the star of the group. In the post-Vietnam period, with nobody actively taking shots at us, we spent our time supporting SEAL/UDT workups, doing range surveillance at San Clemente, and providing OSA/KOMAR simulations during fleet exercises. There was one incident where several of the boats were part of the Orange force which was commanded by a reserve DESRON (maybe out of Seattle). COMORANGE wanted to have a meeting with the OICs onboard his destroyer before the exercise and couldn't believe it when they reported in less than full uniforms. Seems he didn't appreciate the "Terry and the pirates" informality.
About the time I reported to CRS-1, the PTF 22 had just been grounded on San Clemente. After that we had 20, 21, 24 and 26 in Coronado until they were turned over to PMTC, Point Mugu. As the 65-foot Specter PBs were delivered, the PTFs were were removed from service. The Specters weren't as much fun to operate but they didn't blow engines going past Ballast Point either. Seems like we always had engines being sent to Subic (the only alternative to sending them back to England) for repair.
Hey Skip, if you get this message, do you still have that flat ended canoe?
I got off active duty in December 1980 and spent the next 12 years in the Naval Reserve and working for Hughes Aircraft on naval defense contracts. Hughes has since been acquired by Raytheon. I am currently working on the LPD 17 program. Periodically I get a chance to go over to the Amphibious Base on Coronado and ogle the latest boats at Special Boat Unit. What a change 30 years has brought!
Paul L Simpson