Torf, Philip M. ‘44

Torf, Philip M. ‘44

Torf wanted to get unlicensed engineers certificate but was unable to pass a test at Sheepshead Bay. He saw the announcements about the Cadet Corps, applied and was accepted. He took his preliminary training (Prelim he called, like the plebe period). He was given leave and travel time and went to see his family on west coast where he shipped out as engine cadet on John H. Couch, a new Liberty from Portland, OR. While unloading drums of aviation gas in 50 gallon drums at Guadalcanal the ship was struck by an aerial torpedo October 11, 1943. He is a member of the Tin Fish Club USMMA and he sent me a photo of the plaque with his name on it.


After the sinking he was quartered in the muddy dwelling of the Seabees until he was shipped to the west coast on a T-2. The deck cadet, Bob Davie, and Torf lost their sea projects and were given a test at San Mateo. Bob failed the test and was immediately sent to the navy as an apprentice seaman. Torf shipped out again and when he has his cadet time finished, the Maritime Commission needed officers; he was directed to do his advanced training on board ship to prepare for his license. He was a Special.

See Billy and Billy, Merchant Mariners at War, for interviews of Torf.


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