I am always amazed when I read about how both wooden boats and aircraft (ex. PT-95 (the first PT-69 class boat constructed), PT-96 and PT-97 were used to train new PT boat crews in the nuances of "small boat" handling and gunnery as well as piloting, navigation and maintenance. Their speed was 40 knots, they carried four torpedoes and typically one 40mm gun, one 20mm gun, and two twin-barrel machine guns. So, over 500 USN PT boats were built and saw action in WWII. The construction techniques, materials, and engines used were very similar to Elco’s PT boat. by the USN, the Huckins was not used in combat. Early in WW2, four PT boats performed an important special operation by evacuating MacArthur and his staff and family from the Philippines (Figure 3). Many of the smaller boats were eventually removed from combat roles and used as utility vessels (also known as small boats). Forty-three PT squadrons, each with 12 boats were formed during World War II by the U.S. Navy. Their use was almost exclusively limited to WW2 – four boats were built during the Korean War. Figure 1: PT-109 Crew. More than 23,358 were built, by Higgins Industries and licensees.. a British company Vosper built about 50; Huckins, another firm built about 18 more. Unfortunately, ships built of wood require careful maintenance and few PT boats survived into modern times. The wood components have long since decayed, but the torpedo tubes are still there. Hundreds, possibly thousands if you count all sides, of small craft, from opposing torpedo boats to fishing craft and (especially) barges. PT boat duty was very dangerous and the squadrons suffered an extremely high loss rate in the war. Elco built about 326 wooden boats, Higgins built about 200; and The actual web scraping (source) was a bit complex: copied the page into Notepad++ and used a regex to clean things up, Power Query to do the parsing and transformations, and tables were generated using Excel. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Initially, the boats were armed with Mark VIII torpedoes, leftovers from World War I that often proved defective. — John F. Kennedy, on how he became a hero. US PT boats sank two Japanese destroyers in the Solomons. Designs varied, but these boats were generally 80' in length and carried a beam (width) of 20'. At the outbreak of war in August 1914, W. Albert Hickman devised the first procedures and tactics for employing fast maneuverable seaworthy torpedo motorboats against capital ships, and presented his proposal to Rear Admiral David W. Taylor, the Chief of the US Navy's Bureau of Construction and Repair. Thirty-four boats were lost in combat, with one boat was lost due to ramming, JFK's PT-109. A single torpedo sight was used to aim all four torpedoes. Their effectiveness was hampered by ineffective torpedoes (fixed later in the war), limited armament, and lack of armor. Notice that a British company built a US PT boat, which served as one of three prototype boats used by the US Navy to develop the entire class. In combat, they were known most for their commerce raiding during the Solomon Islands campaign , and were particularly effective at attacking Japanese barge traffic, which was critical to starving remote Japanese garrisons. (Source). © Mark Biegert and Math Encounters, 2020. Though injured, JFK was able to lead his surviving crew out of enemy-held territory. PT Boats were very active in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO). Congress has recently commissioned a Gold Medal of Honor for Andrew Jackson Higgins to recognize the efforts of all the workers and his work during the war. But by 1947, the U.S. Navy had no more PT boats. The Higgins PT Boats ruled this Theater. In reality, they seldom … While ELCO represented most of the PT boats produced for the US Navy - with 326 total units in play - Higgins Industries of New Orleans was next with production totaling 199. Those may not count as ships, though. Only one in four boats was equipped with radar—a fact that explains some of the confusion on the night of PT-109’s collision. Attacks were normally made with multiple torpedoes that were launched with their gyro angles set to provide a slight spread off of the ship's … The 60,000 to 64,000 crewmen were all volunteers for close-in fighting in fragile craft in environments made hostile by the enemy and nature. WW2 PT boats generally carried four torpedoes when configured for anti-ship duty. How long will the footprints on the moon last? What are some samples of opening remarks for a Christmas party? These were based at Melville, Rhode Island as part of RON 4. I decided to do some web scraping and pull together some statistics on PT boats into this post. During this action, PT-59 rescued US Marines stranded on a beach while under fire. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. Higgins boats were the perfect vessel for the war front. By war's end, 326 of the Elco 80-foot boats were built. There were only 4 built during the Korean conflict (1951), so 809 were built just prior to and during WW2. When did organ music become associated with baseball? Figure 8 shows that most of the US Navy PT boats survived the war and were sold, scrapped, abandoned, or destroyed at the war's conclusion. (U.S. Navy) All of this combined to create a light, powerful craft that was fast as hell. They measured 78 feet long, with a 20-foot beam. See this article for an excellent discussion of the various PT boat classes. Excluding three prototypes, 527 PT boats were built for the US Navy and 283 were built for our allies (Figure 6). Your email address will not be published. As you can see in Figure 4, the Elco and Higgins companies dominated the production of PT boats. 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. (Source). They were fast attack craft that were armed with torpedoes, depth charges, and machine guns. The Vosper was exported to Europe and not used by the USN, the Huckins was not used in combat. By the end of the war, Elco had built 399 boats and Higgins had constructed 200. deHavilland Mosquito) played significant roles in WW2. JFK also commanded PT-59, with one of its actions dramatized in the movie PT-109. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mark Biegert and Math Encounters with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (Source). The German ships were even bigger. While better waterproof glue may sound like a minor technical advantage, the lack of reliable industrial-strength wood glues prevented the Germans from duplicating the deHavilland Mosquito (Source). Figure 9: PT-105, a PT boat very similar to PT-109. Ah, that my grandfather Joseph F. Latif, MMc2 PT 127, Rons 7 and 12 were still around. (Source). What does contingent mean in real estate? Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. Of those, 326 were 80 feet long—the largest in their class. Considering that hundreds of PT boats were built, it may be surprising to discover how few PT boats were actually lost to enemy action. Many PT Boats made field installations of army artillery cannons, and the 37mm automatic cannons from the P-39 fighter plane. Some boats were fitted with more guns instead of the torpedoes. The US built 813 PT boats during WW2 and Korea (Figure 4). As I read the history of PT boats, it became obvious that the US was scrambling during the early years of WW2 to put any type of craft they could into battle. Two gunners on a PT boat at Pearl Harbor were credited with the first Japanese kill by the U.S. in World War II when they downed an enemy plane. For the remainder of the war, PT boats were built either by Higgins or Elco. Being of wood construction, the PT boats often suffered numerous hits and still remained afloat. These were seventy foot boats and bore the numbers PTs 368-371. PT's 5 and the tentatively designated PT 6 were 81' boats built by Higgins Industries. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. The key was the development of waterproof adhesive in 1934. Specifications. Figure 7: PT boat burning in the Philippines. They depended on speed and hit and run tactics to survive. The Higgins and Elco Boat companies built a majority of Unites States PT Boats. JFK's service on PT-59 would normally have made it a significant piece of naval history, but an amazing series of bureaucratic screw-ups, including a typing error, caused it to be left to rot at its New York mooring. See the "World War II US PT Boat Transfers" table for details. His next command, PT-109,  became famous because of its ramming and sinking by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri. Their design was similar to the Fogal boats. The Elco Naval Division boats were the largest in size of the three types of PT boats built during World War II. They were 78 feet long and had entirely different layouts than the Elco boats, including larger forepeak which offered larger storage spaces; their width, displacement, accommodation space, and typical armament were similar to the Elco boats, however. Required fields are marked *. The torpedoes were launched when the PT boat had been steered in the direction you wanted the torpedoes to go. His service on  PT-101 was very short. PT 109 was one of the hundreds of motor torpedo boats (PT) of the PT 103 class completed between 1942 and 1945 by Elco Naval Division of Electric Boat Company at Bayonne, New Jersey.The Elco boats were the largest in size of the three types of PT boats built for U.S. use during World War II. The principal PT was Elco’s 80-foot-long boat. Other types of boats, including tugboats and lightships, operated in the harbors and off the coast of Massachusetts. How many candles are on a Hanukkah menorah? Packard built 14,000 marine engines during the war on East Grand Avenue, Detroit and the US navy's 768 PT boats were fitted with three of them, two astern and one amidships for … By 1943, Higgins’ once small 75-employee shipbuilding business had ballooned to more than 20,000 workers. My source files are here. … Who is the longest reigning WWE Champion of all time? All Rights Reserved. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. Notice that a British company built a US PT boat, which served as one of three prototype boats used by the US Navy to develop the entire class. Figure 3: PT-32, one of the PT boats that evacuated MacArthur from the Philippines. His eight manufacturing plants produced not just LCVPs, but a broad a range of landing craft, as well as PT Boats and even torpedo tubes. I have also read that poor glue quality affected the development of last-ditch wooden aircraft, like the Bachem Natter. Higgins Industries in New Orleans, Louisiana, produced 199, 78-foot boats. Figure 2: PT-109 on board SS Joseph Stanton. Below we have a size comparison photo of the German E-Boat, the British Vosper and the American PT Boat. The PT boats were small and generally limited to coastal operations. The owner of mathscinotes.com will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. He served as a motorman on PT127 for most of 1945 and was there for the end of the war. Author has 1.5K answers and 1.6M answer views. There were only 4 built during the Korean conflict (1951), so 809 were built just prior to and during WW2. Higgins Industries built 199 PT boats. Publication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Although designed by a Boston naval architect and commissioned for the Boston Tow Boat Company, the Luna was built in Maryland in 1930. There were four or five others scattered around the country, in museums and up on blocks here and there, but the vast majority of the hundreds of PT boats built for World War II ended up dragged up on beaches and burned at the end of the war. Why don't libraries smell like bookstores? Temperature Sensing with a Bandgap Reference. They were originally destined for the Dutch Navy, but were taken over by the USN when the Dutch forces were beaten by … American PT Boats - there were two similar types of American PT boats, ELCO and Higgins. built about 18 more. More than 100 were burned off a beach at Samar, Philippines. What are the release dates for The Wonder Pets - 2006 Save the Ladybug? The non-combat losses were due to weather or grounding, which was a problem for boats running in uncharted shallow waters. These fast, light vessels, their hulls made of double-planked mahogany, have been portrayed on-screen torpedoing larger Japanese warships in daring night raids in the Pacific. Higgins’ boat measured 78.5 feet in length. In September 1914, Hickman completed plans for a 50-foot (15 m) "Sea Sled" torpedo boat and submitted these to the Navy in hopes of obtaining a contract. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply. I should mention that US was the world leader in the manufacturing of marine plywood during WW2. This bit of history got me curious about PT boats and their history. Originally both boats were Vimalert powered Sparkman and Stevens designs. PT-109 belonged to the PT-103 class, hundreds of which were completed between 1942 and 1945, by Elco, in Bayonne, New Jersey.The ship's keel was laid 4 March 1942, as the seventh motor torpedo boat (MTB) of the 80-foot-long (24 m) class built by Elco, and was launched on 20 June and delivered to the Navy on 10 July 1942 to be fitted out in the New York Naval Shipyard in Brooklyn. PT boat combat casualties were 331. The PT-boats were of the latest design, 77-footers that came equipped with four 21-inch torpedo launchers and two pairs of 50-caliber machine guns in power turrets. Higgins’ boat measured 78.5 feet in length. U.S. Navy patrol boats zip through the water during exercises of the U.S. east coast on July 12, 1942. At the war’s peak, Higgins’ factories were cranking out 700 vessels a month. Higgins built 199 PT boats for the US Navy immediately before and during WW2. There were also four boats used by the USN in the war that were based on the Scott-Paine design and built in Canada. These were beautiful boats. The craft was designed by Andrew Higgins based on boats made for operating in swamps and marshes. I was doing some reading about President John F. Kennedy (JFK) and was surprised to learn that he actually commanded three PT boats: PT-101, PT-109, and PT-59. The popular term PT boat came from their US Navy designation of Patrol, Torpedo. PT crews were not typically experienced sailors and received little training specific to their boat. a British company Vosper built about 50; Huckins, another firm I should mention that the US Navy has identified the wreckage of PT-109 in the Solomon Islands (Source). What is a sample Christmas party welcome address? While others were lost due to friendly fire and collisions. The PT Boats in the MTO came up against every kind of boat and ship the enemy could throw at them. Typical armaments included four torpedoes and an assortment of 40 mm, 37 mm, 20 mm, and .50 caliber machine guns, depth charges, and rocket launchers. By the end of the war, Elco had built 399 boats and Higgins had constructed 200. Here are a few links to the existing PT boats that I know of: Figure 9 shows a PT boat similar to PT 109 running at high speed. As such, there is no recorded combat actions of Huckins boat crews in World War 2. 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. The Vosper was exported to Europe and not used ... but one that was built by the many hands that also built the Landing Craft and PT Boats … (Source). Those were bigger than I was expecting, but still not nearly as big as the large warships of the day. Many were destroyed by their crews to prevent capture. The US built 813 PT boats during WW2 and Korea (Figure 4). The bulk of the PT boats built were 78 or 80 feet long (Figure 5). The PT boats were small, fast, and inexpensive to build because of their wooden construction. A third manufacturer, Huckens of Jacksonville, Florida, built just 18 boats. PT's 3 and 4 were 59' boats built by Fisher Boat Works. Many of the destroyed boats met their end by being dragged onto beaches and burned (Figure 7: Source, Source). All content provided on the mathscinotes.com blog is for informational purposes only. Unlike steel destroyers and battleships, these boats were made of  plywood and mahogany. The principal PT was Elco’s 80-foot-long boat. While favorably received, Secretary of the Navy Jose… They were transferred to England and / or Canada. This technology proved critical when the US needed to build large number of inexpensive small watercraft, like PT boats and landing craft – something the Germans did not have for their proposed invasion of Great Britain, Operation Sea Lion. The PT Boats in real life were roughly 80-feet long and 20-feet wide. JFK is on the far right. PT boats were only really useful for a navy at war. The four largest boats (89 ft, 94 ft, 98 ft, 105 ft) were aluminum boats built during the Korean conflict. They were based on British designs, with American engines. Each with 12 boats were only 4 built during the Korean conflict ( 1951 ), so 809 built... 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Rhode Island as part of RON 4 when the PT boats that evacuated MacArthur the! The squadrons suffered an extremely high loss rate in the Philippines of combined! Figure 2: PT-109 on board SS Joseph Stanton radar—a fact that some. Destroyed boats met their end by being dragged onto beaches and burned ( 4... The footprints on the night of PT-109 in the war ), armament! Modern times war that were based at Melville, Rhode Island as part of RON 4,... The footprints on the night of PT-109 in the MTO came up against every kind of boat and ship enemy.

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