PBR 6927 Proud*Brave*Reliable
The Story of the acquisition and restoration of a Vietnam War era PBR MKII Navy River Patrol Boat, PBR 31RP6927
Acknowledgements and Thank You
Over the course of the acquisition and restoration, as well as the decades leading up to this achievement, I have crossed paths and interacted with countless unnamed individuals that will likely never know what a large part they played in getting me here. I wish I could go back in time and thank them all as life transpired. Rarely do we pay attention to the impact of life's leasons as they are happening, and only in hindsight, can we relate as to the true impact of these lessons called life. Through the perspective of age and wisdom, we can look back at the time in our lives when we were young and thought we knew everything, only to realize now, that we didn't know shit back then!
Thanks to everyone that educated, pushed and nurtured me along the way, ultimately giving me the realization that without you, I wouldn't be the individual that I am today.
Many stepped up to help during the restoration.
-John Johnston, a sidekick and co-driver on road trips and my co-driver in hauling both hulls home, as well as making the trip to New Orleans. Also a damn good diesel mechanic, welder and jack of all trades, even though I had to keep on him to do things my way.
-Jeff Hain-Matson, who lit the spark and fanned the flames by unknowingly sending me down this path. Always there for the heavy lifting and always finding the right guy to get things done. With a camera always at the ready, he is responsible for most of the pictures on this site. Without him, there wouldn't be much to look at. I'm all about getting things done, he's all about getting done, as well as documenting the journey.
-My daughter Emily, who was always at my side when asked and always willing to lend a hand, if even just to put up with my attitude when things weren't going well.
-Donna, my wife, who still has her sense of humor and is more awed by the accomplishment than I am.
-Allison, my youngest daughter, who really wasn't into helping out, but stepped up (literally) to the top of the tarp which was collapsed by an unprecendented heavy snowfall. That girl can sure move some snow!
-Dennis Ambruso, owner of PBR 721, who routinely phoned me from his boat in the middle of Long Island Sound, and harangued me about the 30 year project that I was undertaking. Putting an end to his constant ballbusting would only be accomplished by getting the boat finished.
-Jim Campbell and staff at Ultradynamics, without who's help, the project would have been dead in the water.
And the long list of friends and associates that used their special talents when called upon to make things happen: Tate Ostiguy, Todd Kirby, Kevin Wahl, Mac McClusky, Ron Fitzpatrick, Mike Seymour, Brian Platzer, Bob Grimes, Rodney Nowland, Bobby Nowland, Chuck Watford (forgive me for anyone I've missed)
Finally, my dad, Julius Pizzoferrato, who "didn't want another thing to do with any damn boats", and to my mom, Irene, who made him come out to help when I needed him as payback for all of his boats that I worked on in the past.
This was one of those priceless moments. The look on Emily's face when I told her to take the helm isn't for the photographer :)
During the course of the events that we paticipate in, we are often helped out with docking, launching, fuel, marina services, etc.
I need to thank Bob Barbier from Peoria, a crewmember of LST 325, for doing the local legwork on my behalf for the Illinois River trip.
Bob was able to secure all of the services and support needed at little additional expense to myself. Bob made the rounds, both in Henry and Peoria and worked out arrangements with the locals on my behalf.
Pat Ward and crew at National Marine Sales in Peoria provided use of the travel lift and transient docking at no charge. The boaters at National made sure that I didn't go hungry and kept me in adult beverages. Those folks know how to party! Jeff Calendra at Henry Harbor Henry, provided a dock as well as a close walk to the best bar and eating establishment in Henry. Jerry Read of Read Brothers Equipment in Henry, stepped up with a fuel donation as well as a bundle of absorbent pads to help clean our bilges after a fuel return line problem was disovered.
While in Aurora Indiana, Bob Erbs, owner of Aurora Landings provided dockage and the use of the apartment above the club, as well as some of the best damn pizza I've ever had.
Ron Abdon (Captain Ron), became my right hand man and first mate and showed me all of the sights and stops in the locale.
The Captain and Crew of the LST deserve thanks and recognition for allowing us to join their journey and making us a part of the experience. The ship was always open to us and we were never missed for chow call.
Two suppliers with excellent product and service are also worth a mention.
Primers, Paints and Anti-Skids were obtained from Top Secret Coatings, who color mixed to my specs based on the FS595 Standards. Resins, Mat and other composite compounds were obtained from US Composites.