Edgartown, its ears unconsciously expectant of the crash of bombs, had a thrilling experience Monday morn­ing when the quiet June air was blasted by what sounded like nothing less than a fleet of bombing planes. The sky proving as blue, and benig­nant as it should on a proper June day in Edgartown, the population, or a large part of it, followed the sound to the harborfront, and was rewarded by the sight of a fleet of menacing looking mosquito boats.
The vessels, duplicates of the craft which was brought in last July with Capt. A. Loring Swasey, Edgartown summer resident, at the helm, are technically known as P. T. or patrol torpedo boats, but are usually called mosquito boats, a sufficiently apt title because of the startling way in which they seem to fly up and down in the waves, and the terrific speed of which they are capable.
Their three engines have six ex­hausts, with sounds almost like those of bombing planes in action, and they carry three huge torpedoes, ready for immediate action, slung along either side. The boats are about sev­enty feet overall, their stems closely patterned after the clipper bows of the vanished schooner fleet. Their sheer is negligible and their super­structures so flattened and depressed as to give practically no wind resist­ance.


Given Warm Welcome

Here only briefly, the flotilla of P. T. boats disgorged most of their of­ficers and crews, who were immedi­ately given a warm welcome by the assembled crowd. The officers were invited to the home of Mr. and Mrs. William J. Tingue, where a number of the summer colony were hastily summoned to meet them at an infor­mal reception. The men of the crews met an equal hospitality and managed to see a little of the town in the hour or two in which the vessels were in port.
It developed that at least two of those on board had accompanied Mac­Arthur on his famous escape from Bataan to Australia, for it was the P. T. boats which were given this daring task, while others inflicted heavy damage on Japanese craft while the battle of Bataan was in progress.
The visit was a part of a training cruise, each boat carrying her usual complement of men as well as nov­ices who were being given an oppor­tunity to pilot the craft in strange waters. Most of the men were unac­quainted with the Vineyard, al­though a couple of them knew Cap­tain Swasey, but they were so pleased with their reception as well as the trip through the Sound and into the harbor that they expressed the hope and conviction that they would come again.
Life aboard a mosquito boat could be recommended only for the young and sound. So great is the speed at which these powerful boats proceed that their progress is far from smooth for those on board, at best, and in stormy weather is no less than pun­ishing. In addition, the vibration and the sound of the exploding engines is both nerve wracking and deafen­ing. But the P. T.s deliver the goods and their crews can take it.