Stoneburner, S.D.

Stoneburner, S.D.: Ensign, Served on PT-127 ? to ?

2 thoughts on “Stoneburner, S.D.”

  1. My wife (Elizabeth Ann Stoneburner) is the daughter of S. D. Stoneburner. You have an extraordinary website. Thanks for your work.

    We are planning a trip to Australia in January. We’d like to visit the area where PT 127 conducted most of her operations. The best we can determine is that at least some of the time she was stationed with the USS Hilo in Saribe, Stanley Bay, New Guinea. So far we can’t place that location on the current maps. Do you have anything that at least can get us in the ballpark?

    Also her father was reassigned to the Mediterranean on or about February 9, 1944. We’re not quite certain when he joined the PT 127 crew. We have related docs if you want them for your site.

    Wes Coddou

    1. Hello Wes,

      Thanks for reaching out regarding the 127 boat and her crew. Some points related to your query below.

      (1) It appears that Ensign S.D. Stoneburner was among PT-127’s first crew. The Deck Logs that I have show him aboard on 10/15/42 and 3/15/43. If you download the logs you can read the day to day entries by his fellow ensign, Mr. Richardson. From my quick look at the logs it seems Richardson made all the entries — it would have been great if Ens. Stoneburner had completed some of the log entries then your wife could have seen entries in his own hand. Still, you might look them over carefully, perhaps there are some entries by her father and they may give further information about his time aboard. Unfortunately, the Deck Log for the next period of time 5/1/43 to 9/30/43 was not in the National Archives. Whether he was aboard during that period I do not know. If he left the boat prior to that it would be noted in the Deck Logs mentioned above.
      The logs contain the (mostly) mundane movements of the boat, comings and goings of crew, and sometimes mentions of engagements. Though the real paperwork regarding engagements are in the After Action Reports and War Diaries. The AAR and WD I have on the website provide information starting on March of 1943. He would have been aboard for at least part of that time. While the WDs are orderly, the AARs are not, so it is hit and miss for them. Was of the period prior to March of ’43 may be in the National Archives, I don’t remember. But, if you are in D.C. the National Archives makes for great place to spend a couple of days. Folks there are extremely helpful.

      (2) If you have not yet visited the PT Boat Forum you might give it a look. There are folks there that have much more detail as to crew assignments and boat movements and base locations.
      General PT Boat information:

      (3) Any information you’d like to share with the website would be great. Photos, documents, etc. They will be linked to Ens. Stoneburner’s page. Feel free to send any such to:

      (4) Some general notes about the 127 follows. It appears that the only place in Australia the 127 boat was located is Thursday Island. It is a remote place and would take some effort to get there. I hasten to add that there is probably nothing there leftover from WW2, but you never know. My trips to the Philippines to locate PT-related “stuff”, while interesting, yielded relatively little. Some concrete remnants here and there, some civilian locations that were in my father’s photos, etc. But, between the locals who quickly salvaged anything left behind and tropical environment there wasn’t much left.
      General Notes—
      Laid down 16 May 1942 by the Electric Boat Co., Elco Works, Bayonne, NJ
      Launched 13 August 1942
      Completed 29 August 1942
      Placed in service 4 September 1942 and assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron SEVEN (PTRon 7) under the command of LT Rollin E. Westholm, USN
      PTRon 7, assigned to the Southwest Pacific, had action in New Guinea waters at Tufi, Morobe, Kiriwina, Dreger Harbor, and Aitape, and in Philippine waters at San Pedro Bay and at Ormoc. The squadron based for a time at
      Kana Kopa, New Guinea; Thursday Island, Australia; Ferusson Island, d’Entrecasteaux Group; and Mios Woendi, Dutch New Guinea, but had no action at these bases. PT’s 127-132 were on detached duty at Thursday Island
      from June to August 1943 as Motor Torpedo Boat Division 19, under command of Lt. Comdr. Robert J. Bulkley, Jr., USNR. PTRon 7 was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for action in the New Guinea area from
      April 1, 1944, to February 1, 1945
      Transferred 15 February 1945 to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron TWELVE (PTRon 12) under the command of LT Weston C. Pullen, Jr., USNR
      PTRon 12, assigned to the Southwest Pacific, had action in New Guinea waters at Morobe, Dreger Harbor, Hollandia, and Mios Woendi, and in the Philippines at San Pedro Bay and Ormoc. It also based for a time at Kana Kopa,
      New Guinea, but had no action from this base. PTRon 12 was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for action in the New Guinea area from October 1943 to March 1944
      Placed out of service 26 October 1945, stripped and destroyed at Samar, Philippines.

      (5) Finally, a history of PT Boats in WW2 — “At Close Quarters: PT Boats in the United States Navy” by Robert J. Bulkley — Available on Amazon and below. The book does mention the 127’s role during the time your father-in-law was aboard.:

      I’m currently driving the ALCAN from Alaska to parts south, so my web access is hit and miss. I’ll email you directly as well as on the website.

      If I can be of further help, feel free to ask.


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