The PT boats were small, fast, and inexpensive to build because of their wooden construction. Figure 3: PT-32, one of the PT boats that evacuated MacArthur from the Philippines. PT boat combat casualties were 331. They were fast attack craft that were armed with torpedoes, depth charges, and machine guns. Though injured, JFK was able to lead his surviving crew out of enemy-held territory. 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. PT boats were only really useful for a navy at war. There were only 4 built during the Korean conflict (1951), so 809 were built just prior to and during WW2. 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. Being of wood construction, the PT boats often suffered numerous hits and still remained afloat. By war's end, 326 of the Elco 80-foot boats were built. How long will the footprints on the moon last? Figure 7: PT boat burning in the Philippines. Below we have a size comparison photo of the German E-Boat, the British Vosper and the American PT Boat. 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. But by 1947, the U.S. Navy had no more PT boats. The German ships were even bigger. What are the release dates for The Wonder Pets - 2006 Save the Ladybug? The popular term PT boat came from their US Navy designation of Patrol, Torpedo. What does contingent mean in real estate? For the remainder of the war, PT boats were built either by Higgins or Elco. © Mark Biegert and Math Encounters, 2020. 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 … Higgins Industries built 199 PT boats. PT's 3 and 4 were 59' boats built by Fisher Boat Works. 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. I have also read that poor glue quality affected the development of last-ditch wooden aircraft, like the Bachem Natter. Higgins’ boat measured 78.5 feet in length. Early in WW2, four PT boats performed an important special operation by evacuating MacArthur and his staff and family from the Philippines (Figure 3). U.S. Navy patrol boats zip through the water during exercises of the U.S. east coast on July 12, 1942. Your email address will not be published. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. As such, there is no recorded combat actions of Huckins boat crews in World War 2. While favorably received, Secretary of the Navy Jose… Figure 1: PT-109 Crew. The torpedoes were launched when the PT boat had been steered in the direction you wanted the torpedoes to go. Higgins’ boat measured 78.5 feet in length. 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. They depended on speed and hit and run tactics to survive. 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. This bit of history got me curious about PT boats and their history. By the end of the war, Elco had built 399 boats and Higgins had constructed 200. American PT Boats - there were two similar types of American PT boats, ELCO and Higgins. The owner of mathscinotes.com will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. Figure 9: PT-105, a PT boat very similar to PT-109. 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. The US built 813 PT boats during WW2 and Korea (Figure 4). At the war’s peak, Higgins’ factories were cranking out 700 vessels a month. I should mention that US was the world leader in the manufacturing of marine plywood during WW2. So, over 500 USN PT boats were built and saw action in WWII. The Vosper was exported to Europe and not used by the USN, the Huckins was not used in combat. I am always amazed when I read about how both wooden boats and aircraft (ex. The Higgins and Elco Boat companies built a majority of Unites States PT Boats. PT crews were not typically experienced sailors and received little training specific to their boat. Specifications. Other types of boats, including tugboats and lightships, operated in the harbors and off the coast of Massachusetts. Unfortunately, ships built of wood require careful maintenance and few PT boats survived into modern times. 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. built about 18 more. by the USN, the Huckins was not used in combat. 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 … 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. See this article for an excellent discussion of the various PT boat classes. Many PT Boats made field installations of army artillery cannons, and the 37mm automatic cannons from the P-39 fighter plane. See the "World War II US PT Boat Transfers" table for details. JFK is on the far right. When did organ music become associated with baseball? These were based at Melville, Rhode Island as part of RON 4. Author has 1.5K answers and 1.6M answer views. Designs varied, but these boats were generally 80' in length and carried a beam (width) of 20'. Many of the destroyed boats met their end by being dragged onto beaches and burned (Figure 7: Source, Source). (Source). The Elco Naval Division boats were the largest in size of the three types of PT boats built during World War II. Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. The non-combat losses were due to weather or grounding, which was a problem for boats running in uncharted shallow waters. During this action, PT-59 rescued US Marines stranded on a beach while under fire. I should mention that the US Navy has identified the wreckage of PT-109 in the Solomon Islands (Source). 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. deHavilland Mosquito) played significant roles in WW2. The Higgins PT Boats ruled this Theater. The PT boats were small and generally limited to coastal operations. Of those, 326 were 80 feet long—the largest in their class. What are some samples of opening remarks for a Christmas party? Required fields are marked *. Originally both boats were Vimalert powered Sparkman and Stevens designs. The PT Boats in real life were roughly 80-feet long and 20-feet wide. Considering that hundreds of PT boats were built, it may be surprising to discover how few PT boats were actually lost to enemy action. 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. 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. PT boat duty was very dangerous and the squadrons suffered an extremely high loss rate in the war. (Source). 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. Hundreds, possibly thousands if you count all sides, of small craft, from opposing torpedo boats to fishing craft and (especially) barges. (Source). There were only 4 built during the Korean conflict (1951), so 809 were built just prior to and during WW2. These were beautiful boats. 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. As you can see in Figure 4, the Elco and Higgins companies dominated the production of PT boats. JFK also commanded PT-59, with one of its actions dramatized in the movie PT-109. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. — John F. Kennedy, on how he became a hero. Their effectiveness was hampered by ineffective torpedoes (fixed later in the war), limited armament, and lack of armor. 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. A single torpedo sight was used to aim all four torpedoes. Initially, the boats were armed with Mark VIII torpedoes, leftovers from World War I that often proved defective. a British company Vosper built about 50; Huckins, another firm built about 18 more. (Source). (Source). Their use was almost exclusively limited to WW2 – four boats were built during the Korean War. 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 Industries in New Orleans, Louisiana, produced 199, 78-foot boats. Those may not count as ships, though. … Higgins boats were the perfect vessel for the war front. The craft was designed by Andrew Higgins based on boats made for operating in swamps and marshes. Their design was similar to the Fogal boats. Unlike steel destroyers and battleships, these boats were made of  plywood and mahogany. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. The key was the development of waterproof adhesive in 1934. 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. The Vosper was exported to Europe and not used A third manufacturer, Huckens of Jacksonville, Florida, built just 18 boats. 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. They were transferred to England and / or Canada. 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. The principal PT was Elco’s 80-foot-long boat. He served as a motorman on PT127 for most of 1945 and was there for the end of the war. 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