Hazardous Duty Afloat

Panay120top Lib2 Sailors do not get enough credit for accepting their share of danger in the Republic’s service.

The recent discussion on the site of the USS Liberty Incident broght to mind the sinking of PR-5, USS Panay on 12 December, 1937 near Nanking, China.

I have always been interested in the fate of this 19 knot gunboat because my uncle was in the ship’s company as Chief Quartermaster.

I discussed "The Sand Pebbles" with him in 1969.  He said it rang true except for the political "load" that Hollywood had imparted to the film.  He said that, in fact, the US had been openly supportive of the Kuomintang throughout this period.

Pat Lang




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4 Responses to Hazardous Duty Afloat

  1. Dan says:

    Hi — Been wondering as i read through this. Why did McGonagle get the medal of honor? It’s not clear what he did to earn the award on the day of the Israeli attack.

  2. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Dunno. Different times? Hughes, the CO of Panay only got the NC. Uncle John carried him to sick bay with both of Hughes legs thouroughly f—-d up. pl

  3. canuck says:

    I Googled for you. Details about the Captain McGonagle’s Congressional medal of honor.

  4. oofda says:

    Captain McGonagle was awarded the MOH for keeping his ship afloat by directing damage control efforts while suffering from serious injuries. The ship could have sunk not for the crew’s skillful and heroic efforts.

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