[22] Afterwards, the PT mission in the Solomon Islands was deemed a success.[22]. The Japanese were initially cautious when operating their capital ships in areas known to have PT boats, knowing how dangerous their own Type 93 torpedoes were, and assumed the Americans had equally lethal weapons. Some boats carried a 20 mm (0.79 in) Oerlikon cannon. Starting in mid-1943, the old Mark 18 torpedo tubes and Mark 8 torpedoes were replaced. PT 48 was one of the first 4 boats to arrive at Tulagi, on 12 October 1942. Perhaps the most effective use of PTs was as "barge busters". Improvements upon Packard's World War I Liberty L-12 2A engine, the successive "M" for "marine" designated 3M-2500, 4M-2500, and 5M-2500 generations all featured slight changes and more power. The Wild Places. $14.95. However, the USN held two major designs as their standard PT boat and this included the ELCO 80-footer and the Higgins 78-foot. T. Garth Connelly, Don Greer, Tom Tullis, Joe Sewell, David Doyle "Elco 80' PT Boat on Deck" (Squadron/Signal Publications, Inc., 2010), An excellent compendium of information about the Elco PT boats can be found in ", Haruyoshi Kimmatsu, "The night We sank John Kennedy's PT 109" appeared in, This page was last edited on 18 December 2020, at 18:04. They dominated a specific part of naval warfare, that of night warfare in coastal waters, but in that part they were essential because neither other vessels nor aircraft could perform as they did. YachtWorld currently has 3 PT yachts for sale, including 0 new vessels and 3 used yachts, listed by experienced boat dealerships mainly in the following countries: United States. In June 1945 the squadron was shipped to the U.S. for refitting and transfer to the Pacific, but the war ended while still in New York. When World War II began, the small craft that came to be known as the PT boat was less than 40 years old. PT-59 (more on her later) is credited with sinking Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) submarine I-3 on December 9, 1942 near Guadalcanal. Maneuverability satisfactory with a turning circle of 368 yards. [30], One of two fully restored and operational PT boats and the only combat veteran of the two, PT-305 ("Half Hitch", "Barfly", "USS Sudden Jerk") is a Higgins 78-foot (24 m) boat, assigned during the war to MTBRON-22, and saw action against the Germans in the Mediterranean Sea. The 617 didn’t see much if any combat with the war’s end rapidly approaching. The origins of the PT boat can be traced back to the American Civil War. The PT boats at Guadalcanal were given credit for several sinkings and successes against the vaunted Tokyo Express. PT (Patrol, Torpedo) boats were small, fast, and expendable vessels for short range oceanic scouting, armed with torpedoes and machine guns for cutting enemy supply lines and harassing enemy forces. This article is about US Navy patrol torpedo boats in World War II. In order to evade return fire from the enemy ships, the PT boat could deploy a smoke screen using stern-mounted generators. The  PT-796 was added by the National Park Service’s National Historic Landmarks and the National Register of Historic Places on January 14, 1986. While its most famous exploits were in the Philippines in late 1941 and early 1942, particularly the evacuation of General Douglas MacArthur, these boats saw action in all theaters of the war. Now located in a New Jersey boatyard in awaiting restoration.[43]. Ability to make a maximum sustained speed of 39.7 knots; maximum speed 44.1 knots with heavy ordnance load. On early series of boats, this cannon was mounted on the stern. [3] Using his previous design from September 1914 and the previous unsuccessful bid for C-250, the new boat C-378 was completed and fully tested just in time to be cancelled by the Armistice. PT Boats, Inc., a nonprofit organization of World War II PT boat veterans, bought the boat in 1979 and began restoration work. Novato, California, U.S.A.: Presidio Press. $22.00. Forward of the chart house of some early Elco 77-foot (23 m) boats (PT20 through PT44) were twin .30 cal (7.62 mm) Lewis machine guns on pedestal mounts. [3] In February 1915, this Hickman sea sled demonstrated 35 kn (65 km/h; 40 mph) speeds in rough winter seas off Boston to both US and foreign representatives but again, he received no contracts. She was reclassified as a harbor patrol boat (YP 110) for the duration of the war. Bombing attacks killed and wounded crews even with near misses. Although they were the smallest US combat vessels of the war, they were among the most famous and most interesting. Later in the war, several more of these 20 mm cannons were added amidships and on the forward deck. There PT-728 allows up to 49 tourists the chance to ride on a "PT boat". [10], The average speed results from the 185 nmi (343 km; 213 mi) course were: Elco 77-footer (PT-21), 27.5 kn (50.9 km/h; 31.6 mph); Higgins 76-footer (PT-70), 27.2 kn (50.4 km/h; 31.3 mph); Higgins MRB and Philadelphia Navy Yard boat (PT-8), 24.8 kn (45.9 km/h; 28.5 mph). [7], The final PT boat design competitor was Huckins Yacht Corporation of Jacksonville, Florida. Their answer was found in the 37mm Oldsmobile M4 aircraft automatic cannon cannibalized from crashed P-39 Airacobra fighter planes on Henderson Field, Guadalcanal. Many PT boats became famous during and after World War II: 1. After a week of surviving on small islands with the help of natives, Kennedy and the 109’s surviving crew were rescued by PT-157. Then, three additional boats were built by Andrew Higgins of Higgins Industries in New Orleans. That the Elco 77-foot design be considered acceptable for future construction provided changes in the lines are made to reduce the tendency to pound in a seaway, and the structure be strengthened in a manner acceptable to the Bureau of Ships. Maneuverability satisfactory, turning circle not determined photographically, estimated 300 yards. This need for small, fast, versatile, strongly armed vessels does not … Having radar gave Navy PTs a distinct advantage in intercepting enemy supply barges and ships at night. was assigned during the war to MTBRON 22, and saw action against the Germans in the Mediterranean Sea. PT-796 is on display with her sister, the sole surviving Elco produced PT-617 at the privately run non-profit Battleship Cove. [45] The other six boats are in various states of disrepair, sunk or scrapped. PT-657, a Higgins 78-foot (24 m) boat, has been converted into a charter fishing boat. [10], Due to the problem with ingot loading, a 185 nmi (343 km; 213 mi) trial with the PTs fully fitted out was conducted on 12 August 1941. She is available for public viewing, and has portions of her hull cut away to display the cramped interior of the crew's quarters. PT-20 Class. Conducted 24 July 1941, this open-water trial, 190 nmi (350 km; 220 mi) at full throttle, would forever after be referred to by PT personnel as the "Plywood Derby." As a testament to the strength of this type of construction, several PT boats withstood catastrophic battle damage and still remained afloat. Completed and launched in the summer of 1945 by Elco, was assigned to Patrol Torpedo Squadron 42. At the same time, Henry R. Sutphen of Electric Launch Company (Elco) and his designers (Irwin Chase, Bill Fleming, and Glenville Tremaine) visited the United Kingdom in February 1939 at the Navy's request to see British motor torpedo boat designs with a view to obtaining one that could be used as a check on the Navy's efforts. Originally conceived as anti-ship weapons, PT boats were publicly credited with sinking several Japanese warships during the period between December 1941 and the fall of the Philippines in May 1942. Specifically, it was the PT-658 – the only World War II-era PT boat still floating. PT-305 ("Half Hitch","Barfly", "USS Sudden Jerk") is a Higgins 78-foot (24 m) boat, assigned during the war to RON22, and saw action against the Germans in the Mediterranean Sea. Structural weaknesses caused failures in transverse bottom framing, separation of side planking from framing and extensive failures of deck fastenings. In John Ford's 1945 war film, They Were Expendable, two 80-foot (24 m) Elcos were used during filming along with four former MTBRON 14 78-foot Huckins.[47]. [22] The Mark 3 and Mark 4 exploders were not subject to the same problems as the Mark 6 exploders on U.S. submarines' Mark 14 torpedoes. As PT boats were usually located near the end of the supply chain, their crews proved resourceful in bartering with nearby ships or military units for supplies and using munitions to harvest their own fish. After the war, the 617 was sold to a private owner and was used over the years as a yacht, as a salvage vessel and as a diving platform in Florida with the subsequent names of. WWII PT Boats. Maintained by an all volunteer group, it is powered by the three Packard V12 5M-2500 gas engines[39] and includes all weapons, electronics, equipment and accessories restored to appear as they did the day the US Navy accepted the boat, 31 July 1945. A 59-foot (18 m) barrel-back (which provided increased strength to the sides and deck), a unique double longitudinal planked (mahogany outer planking and Port Orford cedar inner planking) lightweight hull on bent laminated oak framing, she was the "featherweight" of transportable PT boat design, but was later rejected by the Navy during trials in 1941 after being deemed too short to carry 4 torpedoes, as well as being able to only launch torpedoes stern first, which was a procedure considered too dangerous by BuOrd. Some were converted into gunboats, which could be effective against enemy small craft, especially armored barges used by the Japanese for inter-island transport. Most probably due to the lateness in joining the PT boat program and unlike Elco and Higgins, the Huckins yard was never provided any government support to construct a larger facility prior to the war. Of those, 326 were 80 feet long—the largest in their class. By the war's end, most PTs had these weapons. The effectiveness of PT boats in the Solomon Islands campaign, where there were numerous engagements between PTs and capital ships, as well as against Japanese shipborne resupply efforts dubbed "The Tokyo Express" operating in New Georgia Sound (called "the Slot" by the Americans), was substantially undermined by defective Mark 8 torpedoes. In 1958, the 658 was sold to a private individual in the Oakland and Alameda, California area and renamed Porpoise. MTBRON 30 saw action in the English Channel as part of the Invasion of Normandy. On 1 June 1944, 8 boats were operational in Constanța: S-28, S-40, S-47, S-49, S-72, S-131, S-148 and S-149. She was transferred back to the United States in April 1945. During World War II the Elco Naval Division of the Electric Boat Co., in Bayonne, N.J., built nearly 400 patrol torpedo, or PT, boats for the U.S. Navy. [citation needed]. The Mk13 torpedo had a range of 6,300 yards (5,800 m) and a speed of 33.5 knots (62.0 km/h; 38.6 mph). She was acquired by Fleet Obsolete in June 2008 and moved to Kingston, New York for possible restoration. These torpedoes and tubes were replaced in mid-1943 by four lightweight 22.5-inch-diameter (570 mm) Mark 13 torpedoes, which weighed 2,216 pounds (1,005 kg) and contained a 600-pound (270 kg) Torpex-filled warhead. After the war, American military interviews with captured veterans of the Imperial Japanese Navy, supplemented by the available partial Japanese war records, were unable to verify that all the PT boat sinking claims were valid. This boat (designated MT-72) was a 72-foot (22 m) boat that became PT-69. Gen. The two Vosper boats in England were built by Vosper itself, and the first is in fairly good condition at Portsmouth. The Higgins 70' (British) boat did not complete this run because of engine trouble. He also granted permission for Elco, Higgins, and the Philadelphia Navy Yard to use his patented laminated keel, which increased hull strength, although neither Elco nor Higgins ever chose to use it on their boats. Higgins Industries of New Orleans, Louisiana produced 199 78 ft (24 m) boats of the PT-71/PT-235, PT-265 and PT-625 classes. Occasionally, some front line PT boats received ad hoc up-fits at forward bases, where they mounted such weapons as 37mm aircraft cannons, rocket launchers, or mortars. For example, the forward half of future President John F. Kennedy's PT-109 (Elco) stayed afloat for 12 hours after she was cut in half by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri. In an important note after winning the design competition for the smaller PT boat, George Crouch wrote that Hickman's Sea Sled design would be far superior "in either rough or smooth water to that of the best possible V-bottom or hard chine design". PT (Patrol, Torpedo) boats were small, fast, and expendable vessels for short range oceanic scouting, armed with torpedoes and machine guns for cutting enemy supply lines and harassing enemy forces. The M4/M9 37mm auto cannon had a relatively high rate of fire (125 rounds per minute) and large magazine (30 rounds). PT Boats, Inc., a nonprofit organization of World War II PT Boat veterans, bought the boat and restored her between 1995 and 2005. The Elco Naval Division boats were the longest of the three types of PT boats built for the Navy used during World War II. [3] In the summer of 1915, Lieutenants Hampden, Bremner, and Anson approached John I. Thornycroft & Company about developing a small high speed torpedo boat, and this effort eventually led to the Coastal Motor Boat which first went into service in April 1916. The quality of the restoration was extremely high, and the boat is on display inside a weatherproof building, on blocks out of the water. On the night of 13/14 October 1942, PT-48 engaged a Japanese destroyer at 200 yards (180 m). PT-9 was to serve as the prototype for all the early Elco PT boats. PT-41 was the flagship of Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three (MTBRON 3), based in the Philippine Is… After testing was completed, PT-3 was transferred to Canada in April 1941 under lend-lease. According to Robert McFarlane, the US Navy built the hulls of some PT boats partially from 3,000-year-old white cedar logs recovered from sphagnum bog in New Jersey.[11]. PT-617 was added by the National Park Service’s National Historic Landmarks and the National Register of Historic Places on December 20, 1989. The PT boat was built in very large numbers by the United States during World War II. Unlike the actual "planing hull" Huckins, which planed at 10-11 knots, the Elco and Higgins PT boats were intended to plane at higher speeds (PT 71 and PT-103 classes at around 27 knots, and the PT-265 and 625 classes at around 23 knots). Of the Elco boats, only three hulls (one restored) were known to exist as of 2016. This gun was served by a crew of 4 men, and was used against aircraft targets, as well as shore bombardment or enemy surface craft. Some 200 US gallons (760 l) an hour were consumed at a cruising speed of 23 knots (43 km/h), increasing to 500 US gallons (1,900 l) per hour at top speed. Full-load displacement late in the war was 56 tons. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources. PT boats lacked a large capacity refrigerator to store sufficient quantities of perishable foods.

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