During World War II, Germany's U-boat campaign was strangling Great Britain by cutting off her supplies from the United States. After Pearl Harbor, the United States joined this Battle of the Atlantic.
The Navy, desperate to halt
the carnage, needed more antisubmarine
More than three hundred PCs went to war. Nearly fifty thousand men served on them. PCs were rough riders but rugged ships, and their depth charge attacks helped defeat the U-boats. Then, they crossed the Atlantic and Pacific. Many became control ships that led landing craft in invasions.
During their battles, the crews sent submarines to the bottom, blasted aircraft from the skies, and sank small ships. Nevertheless, they suffered losses of ships and men.
After the war, most PCs went to scrap yards. Some continued their duty in the U. S. and other Navies for decades. Now, only a few decaying skeletons remain of the PC fleet. This book tells their story.
These ships are no longer "The Forgotten Fleet"
This book is about the PC Patrol Craft that fought in World War II. Almost 50,000 men served on 361 of them. Even so, PCs received little acclaim. One naval historian called them "The Forgotten Fleet."
So that the world will not forget them, a former PC sailor wrote this book. He tells the story of PCs in World War II.
The author draws from his and his shipmates' experiences and memories. He uses old photographs and drawings. From them, he describes what life was like for sixty-five men crowded aboard these small ships. He portrays the fearful times when tossed and torn by raging seas. He recounts the terrifying battles against submarines and kamikazes and when leading landing craft to the invasion beaches.
The author then tells of the postwar destruction and loss of these ships to history. Only a few rusted gutted relics of PCs remain. They are the only memorials to them and the men who sailed them in World War II.
Reader Review #1
This 400 page book contains the histories of every PC, AM, PGM, and PCC of WWII. It describes exploits, victories, casualties, and humorous stories of more than 175 PCs in the Atlantic, in the Mediterranean, off Normandy, and in the Pacific. Many crew members are named. It tells which shipyard built each ship, what foreign nations got some, and which ones got names. More than 170 photographs and drawings show the ships in action, and 33 tables give details about the ships, their construction, their achievements, their losses, and other important information. PCs not only blasted submarines, but sank other ships and destroyed aircraft, and they led most of the invasions in both oceans. It's here. And there is more to read about days aboard a PC.
Every PC is listed with dates of launching, commissioning, and other important events. Learn how they built PCs. See details of their design. Read about the exploits of more than one hundred and seventy-five PCs and those the Navy converted into AMs, PGMs, and PCCs. Find out what happened to these ships after World War II.
Reader Review #2
The book's description of life aboard a PC is particularly fascinating. To put it mildly, these 174' vessels (by way of comparison, Flower class corvettes were 200' in length) were "lively". They pitched and rolled with a vengeance, and seasoned sailors aboard larger ships were amazed at the fearsome battering a heavy sea could inflict on a PC.
"PC 486 was escorting an American submarine returning from war patrol. The sea was rough with waves towering over the mast of the PC, which was often lost to view from men on the submarine. As the two vessels soared above the waves together, the Skipper on the submarine signaled to the PC, "We have an extra periscope on board. You're welcome to use it." The two ships disappeared from each other's views. A few minutes later they rose on the crest of waves into each other's views. Back flashed a reply from the Skipper of the PC, "Thank you, but we are below periscope depth."
Life for the 70 man PC crew was cramped and difficult. The constant battering and seasickness wore down even experienced sailors. But the hardship bred both camaraderie and an absence of formality not found on larger ships.
I highly recommend this book both to students of the US Navy and would be PC modelers. There is a wealth of technical information between its covers and even a set of fold out plans. But the books most valuable legacy is the way in which it captures the essence of life aboard these tough little ships. William Veigele can take pride in having written the definitive book about PCs and in doing so he has preserved their memory for future generations.
400 Pages, paperback, 6"W x 9"L, 118 b+w photos
A: Technical characteristics of the PC Class
Notes: 18 pages
What Other Readers have said:
. . . a job "Well done."
You have made PC sailors proud of our heritage.
There are no words that can describe what a wonderful job you did in writing.
. . . bringing to the forefront the history of the PC Patrol Craft as a historical event.
. . . a fine job . . . something that has been needed for a long time.
It is beautifully done and don't think you missed a ship in the entire PC fleet.
I started to thumb through the book and got so engrossed that three hours later I got to my other mail.
Putting it all together in one reference book is great.
The pictures and illustrations help put it all together.
I will cherish this book.
. . . fantastic book.
I get excited with every page . . . absolute excitement.
. . . very happy ex-sailors . . . reminded of good things they just might have forgotten.
The most accurate book about PCs.
I started it and couldn't lay it down until it had been finished.
. . . one of the best books . . . masterpiece. Well written and wonderfully illustrated.
It will remain in my library as a prized possession. .
. . evoked the special characteristics and atmosphere . . . aboard PCs . . .
What Reviewers Wrote:
. . .
especially recommended .. . . The first book to cover the entire history
and many exploits of the wartime Navy's 173-foot steel-hulled sub-chasers,
this handsomely produced .. . . effort is truly a must for naval buffs
as well as ship modelers.
" Sea Classics Magazine. "
Dr. Veigele does an admirable
job of bringing to life the 361 little ships and the nearly 50,000 men
who went to sea in them during WWII. I recommend this.. . . history
of an important class of ship .. . .
" Internet Modeler. "
A substantial tome on an underreported
topic. Probably the only - but certainly the best - book on PCs. . .
" Stone and Stone World War II Books. "
What a remarkable gift Bill
Veigele has given the patrol craft veterans and all those interested
in the naval history of World War II. [It is] the consummate account
of this class of forgotten ships .. . . P C Patrol Craft of World War
II is the definitive history of the 173-foot subchaser .. . .
" Patrol Craft Sailors Association Newsletter."
Book Feature of the Month.
A five Star Review.
" World War II Bookstore Web site."
None [PCs] has been preserved,
however, and their exploits are largely forgotten. "Patrol Craft of
World War II", is an effort to rectify this oversight. The 400 page
hardcover volume examines every aspect of the PC . . . It is supplemented
by 118 b&w photographs, and 30 pages of excellent drawings .. .
. These drawings . . . provide invaluable information for the model
builder as well as anyone curious about the nuts and bolts of these
hearty vessels. The book's description of life aboard a PC is particularly
fascinating. I highly recommend this book both to students of the US
Navy and would be PC modelers. There is a wealth of technical information
between its covers and even a set of fold out plans. But the book's
most valuable legacy is the way in which it captures the essence of
life aboard these tough little ships. William Veigele can take pride
in having written the definitive book about PCs and in doing so he has
preserved their memory for future generations.
" Warship ."
|Wm. J. Veigele, Ph.D., USNR Ret. PC 793|
Bill Veigele enlisted in the Navy in 1943. He went to Boot Camp at the Great Lakes Training Center. Then he attended Diesel Schools at the University of Illinois and the Navy Pier in Chicago. He trained at the Small Craft Training Center in Norfolk and the Submarine Chaser Training Center (SCTC) in Miami. In Portland, Oregon he helped put PC 793 in commission. Veigele served as a MoMM on PC 793 for twenty-two months in the Pacific. After discharge from the Navy he received a commission in the Naval Reserve. Lt. Veigele was Commanding Officer of Research Reserve Co. 9-21 in Denver, Colorado. He retired from the Naval Reserve in 1968.
Dr. Veigele earned a B. A. and an M. A. in mathematics and physics from Hofstra College and a Ph. D. in physics from the University of Colorado. He was a university professor and did research and management for companies and government agencies.
He has seventy publications including two books. Dr. Veigele also was a member of the Board of Directors of the Patrol Craft Sailors Association.
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PC Patrol Craft
of World War II (paperback)
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