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For several years, I have been working intermittently towards collecting as much information as possible about Dad’s naval experiences in order to preserve the information for generations to come. I have always been interested in what it must have been like for the young men who defended our country and the rest of the free world during World War II. From time to time in the past, I have informally asked Dad questions, which he usually answered, despite some reticence to discuss those years. I first started documenting Dad’s experiences while in Florida in 1989. I videotaped him talking about his time in the Navy, and I have included much of that information in this work. (To indicate his words on the following pages, quotations from Dad are printed in red.)

A few years ago, because of my interest in the subject, Dad gave me a boxful of his navy photos and magazines. In 2001, I scanned in the photos, about 100 in all, which were taken during Dad’s wartime service. I printed and bound them into a book, so that I could go through them with Dad, later that summer, and record as much information as he could remember about each photo. Later, I asked Dad to send for his official Navy records, which he then forwarded to me. Over the past two years, I have spent many hours trying to organize and add to this information.

The vast majority of the photos herein were from Dad’s personal collection, unless otherwise noted. After scanning them, I edited them in Photoshop to improve their quality. In addition, I researched, in books and on the internet, to supplement Dad’s recollection. To the best of my knowledge, I have listed these resources in my bibliography and endnotes.

Throughout this work, there are various colored text boxes. Historical notes, supplementing Dad’s information, are shown in yellow boxes, and geographical notes are in blue. Official documents, recreated by me, are shown in light green boxes.

A significant amount of information is included from a book recommended by Dad, entitled At Close Quarters: PT Boats in the United States Navy by Robert J. Bulkley, Jr. Originally published in 1962, this book has been in and out of print several times. Fortunately, I was able to purchase a copy in 2003, and I would heartily recommend it to anyone who is interested in this subject. Another wonderful resource worth mentioning is the PT Boats, Inc., web site, as listed in the Bibliography.

Kathy J. (Karns) Curry
PT-342, second generation, and proud daughter
August 2004


This photo of Norval was taken in January 1945 at Hurtik Studio in Eldorado, Illinois, when Norval was home on leave.  On his shoulder can be seen the PT service patch and two stripes, which indicated his rank as MoMM2c, Motor Machinist Mate, second class.