Comments from Bill Van Ooyen
[ We want to hear from old and new PTF sailors]
Your PTFnasty site brought back many great memories. I'm sort of a bastard in the PTF boats, not having any prior experience with them prior to 72. I was a reservist drilling at Great Lakes when I heard that COSRIVDIV 21 would be formed at Bldg. 13, Naval Base, Great Lakes, Il. After an interview with the prospective Commander of CRD 21 I was assigned to the Division on 8 Sept. 72 as Assistant Maintenance Officer. We acquired the necessary equipment to set up maintenance & repair shops in Bldg. 13. PTF 17, 18 and 19 arrived first and latter 3 PG's were assigned. We were commissioned on 16 June 73 with 47 active duty personnel and 105 selected Naval Reservists. Our mission was to maintain craft to support coastal surveillance operations; develop small boat tactics; train personnel in the operation and maintenance of coastal craft in cold weather; conduct and support special warfare and naval inshore warfare operations; conduct and support special psychological and tactical cover and deception operations; and train the selected reserve component to support these tasks in the event of mobilization.
My primary job was with the maintenance and repair of the PTF's Napier Deltic engines, both in and out of the boats, assist in the hauling of the boats via our marine railway each winter for dryout and hull maintenance and any other jobs the Division active duty Repair Officer (EDO type) gave me. I also had the opportunity to spend underway time on 17 and 19 boat to become CDO/OOD qualified on PTF craft. Early in 76 we were informed of our decommissioning as of 1 July 76. My last fond memory was being sent to Brooklyn Navy Yard on 11 June 76 to expedite an engine change on 18 boat as they were transiting from Great Lakes, Il to Little Creek, Va.
Bill Van Ooyen COW4 USNR RET.