Fellow Woody Boater and Mid-West Reporter Chad Durren discovered this cool old photo album and offered to share it with the Woody Boater Community. Here’s Chad’s story…

If you’re a woody boat-a-holic like me, you spend countless hours scouring the web for anything boat related; boats, parts, manuals, photos, memorabilia, etc.

Years ago, I found an old photo album on eBay. It looked to be a keepsake or souvenir album featuring an old boat. I love old black & white photos from the past, especially if there’s a boat pictured. So I bid on it and won the auction for $9.99.


It contains 10 photos of a unique Chris Craft sedan and it’s passengers. Judging by their clothing, they were taken over the course of one day. Pictured were a man and his girlfriend (or wife) enjoying a day on the water.

Stamped into the cover of album is “US” – John Pirro – 1950.


When looking at vintage photos, I often find myself imagining what the people pictured were experiencing at that point in time. Was this a date? Was he shipping out to sea the next day? Why does she seem unhappy? In this case of this album, it almost seemed as if was spying on their personal moment.

It soon became clear to me, as with many of the pieces/parts that I find, that this piece didn’t belong to me. It belongs to John Pirro and/or his surviving family members.

I’m reaching out to the wooden boat community to help me find the proper owners of this album.

Who is John Pirro?

Chad Durren

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18 Responses to “Who Is John Pirro?”
  1. Dave P

    Any idea of where the boat was registered? Do the numbers indicate? That info and Ancestry.com is where I would start.
    Neat boat!

  2. chad

    Good idea. I wish there were a state letters on the hull.

    I have never been able to identify the boat model. I showed it to Chris Smith at Water Wonderland function a few years back and he recognized the hull shape but said he had never seen a CC sedan with that type of cabin. He mentioned that it was quite common for owners to customize their boats, sometimes quite early in their life. It proves that no matter how original you think your boat is, it could have been altered a year after it left the showroom floor.

  3. Tom

    The registration markings 10E is an Ontario Canada registration. I am looking into it further to locate what city (port).

  4. WoodyGal

    Beautiful pictures of a special occasion. A boat ride complete with a captain & photographer. Were they friends of John Pirro doing him a favor? A boat named “US”? It doesn’t look like Coney Islad or a public place where boat rides were common. A compelling mystery! Thanks Chad.

  5. Mike M

    This story is further evidence that wearing a Woodyboater has always gone over well with the ladies! Great story Chad.

    • chad

      The capped shoes and silk socks are a nice touch as well.

      • Texx

        That must have been before the days of the “No Shoes Policy” on classic wooden boats.

  6. Tom

    Just got an email back from Transport Canada and I should have an answer to where in Ontario Canada 10 E is within 7 days. Glad to see our government workers are hard at it.

    The sad face on the lady in the picture is easy to figure out since it is a Canadian picture, and barely any leaves on the trees and white stuff on the will in the back could have been taken early spring hence she is probably freezing cold!!!

    • DonD

      Jim,
      We’ve seen this before, from the dated end, even with brown leather cushions still extant?

  7. Dave P

    I think the name of the boat is “US” has in the two of us, or them , not U.S

  8. John Rothert

    Great Story, the kind of stuff the makes the site the best on the net for us boat nuts.
    John Rothert in VA.

  9. Al Benton

    John, I agree!
    Maybe this was a guy that just took delivery of his mail order bride and wanted to smuggling her across the border in a boat disguised with Chris-Craft peel-off stickers.

  10. ken MacStephen

    10 E is Cornwall, Ontario, West of Montreal on the St Lawrence River

  11. John Pirro

    Hi, I stumbled across this story and believe that I may know something about John Pirro. I think he was the Commander of the U.S.S. Abbot. I also think I may be related to him, my name is John Joseph Pirro Jr. My father is Sr. and my son is the John Joseph Pirro III. Here’s a link, and there seems to be a resemblance. http://abbot.us/DD629/captains/pirro.shtml