USS PETO (SS-265)
US NAVY SUBMARINE THAT OPERATED
OUT OF BRISBANE SUBMARINE BASE DURING WW2

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visits since 9 April 2004

U.S. S. Peto (SS-265) operated out of Brisbane Submarine Base, in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia for its first five patrols. Mike Walsh, a crew member of USS Peto was assigned to USS Peto on 16 April 1944 and completed the remaining five patrols until the end of the Pacific War.  

Rescue of Lt. Brock and crew of the PBY on 25 July 1945 by
USS Peto on the 10th and last patrol for USS Peto

 

Rescue of Lt. Brock and crew of the PBY on 25 July 1945 by
USS Peto on the 10th and last patrol for USS Peto

 

Rescue of Lt. Brock and crew of the PBY on 25 July 1945 by
USS Peto on the 10th and last patrol for USS Peto

 

Rescue of Lt. Brock and crew of the PBY on 25 July 1945 by
USS Peto on the 10th and last patrol for USS Peto

On 25 July 1945, a Navy PBY landed near a mine field to pick up Lt. Brock who had been shot down by the Japanese. Lt. Brock had been operating off the U.S. Carrier Lexington, CV 16. A PBY, operated by Air Force Captain Harry Morgan, landed in the minefield and to pick up Lt. Brock but Captain Morgan sustained major damage to his PBY. A B-17 Flying Fortress operating as a member of the Air-Sea Rescue Group then dropped a rescue boat to Lt Brock and the crew of the PBY.

USS Peto was dispatched to the area to rescue the men. A welcome surprise awaited Lt. Brock as he came on board USS Peto. He was re-united with 2 other officers from the U.S.S. Lexington. Lt. Tom Sinclair and Ensign Hugh Donnelly who were shot down on a bombing mission on 24 July 1945. This last group were picked up and all eleven men were transferred to the submarine USS Gabilan on the evening of 30 July 1945. 

Scott Morgan, the son of the PBY pilot, Harry Morgan (now deceased), contacted Mike Walsh and Mike sent him the photos of his Dad and crew pulling alongside the USS Peto, along with a video of the re-enactment of the rescue. Mike Walsh had the pleasure of speaking to Anabelle Morgan, widow of Harry Morgan, who appreciated the info and photos that Mike had sent her

During USS Peto's tenth and last patrol, they picked up two American pilots and a New Zealand pilot, called Derick Morton. Mike Walsh has managed to locate Derick Morton and his wife Pamela, who now live in Christchurch. They have corresponded by mail for the last three years. Mike has also located the American pilots, one living in La Habra, California, and a son of the other pilot who died in 1975, in Rockland, Massachusetts.  Mike has shared photos and videos of a re-enactment of the American pilot's rescue.

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Captain and officers of USS Peto,
Guam August 1945 with rescued
New Zealand pilot Derick Morten

After USS Peto transferred Derick, he was flown to Sydney by the RAAF, just six hours prior to the arrival of his ship, H.M.S. Formidable.  He told they had one ripping party. About a week later he was married in the Goulborn Cathedral.  Mike Walsh made the comment "Seems like his bride was waiting on the tarmac!"

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

 I'd like to thank Mike Walsh, a crew member of USS Peto, for his assistance with this home page. 

 

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 Peter Dunn 2004

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This page first produced 9 April 2004

This page last updated 17 June 2007