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Thread: US Navy PT Boats in WW2

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    Member SpeedyHedgehog's Avatar
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    Default US Navy PT Boats in WW2

    [FONT=Verdana]There were three types of US Navy PT (Patrol Torpedo) boats built during World War Two (seeing service in both the Pacific and Mediterranean):[/FONT]

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    [FONT=Verdana]Elco (Electric Launch Company) - 77 foot and 80 foot - 326 80' boats were built, more than any other variant.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]Higgins Industries - 199 boats built (78 foot)[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]Huckins Yacht Company - 18 78 footers built, none saw combat[/FONT]
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    [FONT=Verdana]Bayfront[/FONT][FONT=Verdana] Park, Miami early in the war[/FONT]
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    [FONT=Verdana]Melville[/FONT][FONT=Verdana], Rhode Island[/FONT][FONT=Verdana] - the PT Boat training center[/FONT]
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    [FONT=Verdana]PT 333 off NY August '43[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana]Initial armament, in addition to torpedoes, was a 20mm cannon aft, and 2 twin .50 cal MG mounts. This, however, varied widely throughout both theaters.[/FONT]
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    [FONT=Verdana]Starboard .50 cals[/FONT]
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    [FONT=Verdana]Elco 80' forward .50 cal turret[/FONT]
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    [FONT=Verdana]20mm[/FONT]

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    [FONT=Verdana]Later boats had 40mm cannon added[/FONT]

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    [FONT=Verdana]PT 596 showing, I believe, 40mm aft, 20mm forward, .50 cal forward, and a twin .50 mount in front of the 40mm.[/FONT]
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    [FONT=Verdana]PT 109 before entering service, with “109” on the 20mm mount.[/FONT]
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    [FONT=Verdana]PT 109 carrying 94 survivors of the USS Northampton 1 DEC 1942, Tassafaronga, Guadalcanal. This was prior to John F. Kennedy assuming command.[/FONT]
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    [FONT=Verdana]JFK and crew of PT 109, 1943 (obviously prior to being cut in half by a Japanese ship)[/FONT]
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    [FONT=Verdana]PT 174, operations out of Rendova, Solomon Islands, January 1944.[/FONT]
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    [FONT=Verdana]PT 243 Philippines, 1945 [/FONT]
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    [FONT=Verdana]Morobe[/FONT][FONT=Verdana] River[/FONT][FONT=Verdana], New Guines[/FONT]
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    [FONT=Verdana]PT Boat with natives, Morobe River[/FONT]
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    [FONT=Verdana]PT 190 Philippines 1945[/FONT]
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    [FONT=Verdana]I believe this should read 80-foot.[/FONT]
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    [FONT=Verdana]PT 168[/FONT]
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    [FONT=Verdana]PT 209 rescues crew of CG4A glider from Operation Dragoon (Invasion of Southern France) August 1944[/FONT]
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    [FONT=Verdana]September 11, 1943 – The moment the USS Savannah is hit by a German radio-controlled Fritz X bomb off Salerno. PT Boat in foreground.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana]This link lists all PT Boats: http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ships/ships-pt.html[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana]2 more excellent websites: http://www.geocities.com/pt_king/[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]http://www.pistolpackinmama.net/pb/w..._ae158d4d.html[/FONT]
    Last edited by SpeedyHedgehog; 05-22-2009 at 11:46 PM. Reason: correction

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    Great pictures...

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    ANZAC Moderator Ngati Tumatauenga's Avatar
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    I believe that's a 37mm mounted forward. Many PT boats in the Solomon's were retrofitted with the nose cannon scavenged off USAAF P-39's to improve their firepower.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ngati Tumatauenga View Post

    I believe that's a 37mm mounted forward. Many PT boats in the Solomon's were retrofitted with the nose cannon scavenged off USAAF P-39's to improve their firepower.
    You're right. I ran across those in my photo search. I found far more photos than I thought I would and it's difficult to keep track of all the weapons. I believe Kennedy's PT 109 was fitted with one of those before they were cut in half, but I'll have to go back and check that to be sure.

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    PT 163




    My father was a Torpedoman's Mate and served on the USS Mobjack, a PT Boat Tender, sometime between 1943 and 1945. He was also on a Destroyer Tender and a Submarine Tender during those years, so I'm not sure exactly when he was on the Mobjack.

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    Im suprised a kamikaze would have went for a PT boat?

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    PT boats may not have been able to fully control a sea-lane but the hit-and-run tactic served it's purpose. Disrupting the enemy and forcing them to waste valuable resources repelling them.

    Gutsy sailors to a man.

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    Pt patrolling of coast of New Guinea

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    Thanks! Great post about a little known part of the US Navy in WW II. They are showing the movie "They Were Expendable" later today on TCM, great movie about PT boats in the Phillipines! A little over the top in the claims made about the damage they did to the Japanese but still very interesting.

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    I really like the Elco class, they were obviously an inspiration for the norwegian Tjeld class that were bought by several countries.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Britishhawk View Post
    Im suprised a kamikaze would have went for a PT boat?
    I think the divine wind would lose face if it returned intact, not sure they had enough fuel for a return flight.

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    Senior Member Pandemonium's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Britishhawk View Post
    Im suprised a kamikaze would have went for a PT boat?
    you had to be very lucky to break through the airforce defence, then fly air filled with iron, hundreds of guns aiming for you, you need to get at the right altitude , wich is only a few feet above the sealevel, at full speed still avoiding the bullets, wich is almost impossible because you can't realy manoeuvre anymore, I believe you just take what you can get at that moment. It could also be that the pilot was already dead and this was a "lucky" hit

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