Many of the destroyed boats met their end by being dragged onto beaches and burned (Figure 7: Source, Source). Author has 1.5K answers and 1.6M answer views. 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. There were also four boats used by the USN in the war that were based on the Scott-Paine design and built in Canada. The craft was designed by Andrew Higgins based on boats made for operating in swamps and marshes. (Source). The popular term PT boat came from their US Navy designation of Patrol, Torpedo. Why don't libraries smell like bookstores? So, over 500 USN PT boats were built and saw action in WWII. 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. The Vosper was exported to Europe and not used Below we have a size comparison photo of the German E-Boat, the British Vosper and the American PT Boat. PT boats were only really useful for a navy at war. 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. Forty-three PT squadrons, each with 12 boats were formed during World War II by the U.S. Navy. I should mention that the US Navy has identified the wreckage of PT-109 in the Solomon Islands (Source). He served as a motorman on PT127 for most of 1945 and was there for the end of the war. By the end of the war, Elco had built 399 boats and Higgins had constructed 200. There were only 4 built during the Korean conflict (1951), so 809 were built just prior to and during WW2. (Source). Those may not count as ships, though. The Elco Naval Division boats were the largest in size of the three types of PT boats built during World War II. Required fields are marked *. But by 1947, the U.S. Navy had no more PT boats. Your email address will not be published. Initially, the boats were armed with Mark VIII torpedoes, leftovers from World War I that often proved defective. They depended on speed and hit and run tactics to survive. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply. His next command, PT-109,  became famous because of its ramming and sinking by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri. a British company Vosper built about 50; Huckins, another firm built about 18 more. Of those, 326 were 80 feet long—the largest in their class. These were seventy foot boats and bore the numbers PTs 368-371. deHavilland Mosquito) played significant roles in WW2. Figure 3: PT-32, one of the PT boats that evacuated MacArthur from the Philippines. 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. The PT Boats in the MTO came up against every kind of boat and ship the enemy could throw at them. built about 18 more. Unlike steel destroyers and battleships, these boats were made of  plywood and mahogany. Many of the smaller boats were eventually removed from combat roles and used as utility vessels (also known as small boats). The PT Boats in real life were roughly 80-feet long and 20-feet wide. PT boat duty was very dangerous and the squadrons suffered an extremely high loss rate in the war. The principal PT was Elco’s 80-foot-long boat. (Source). 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. 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. Their speed was 40 knots, they carried four torpedoes and typically one 40mm gun, one 20mm gun, and two twin-barrel machine guns. Early in WW2, four PT boats performed an important special operation by evacuating MacArthur and his staff and family from the Philippines (Figure 3). What are the release dates for The Wonder Pets - 2006 Save the Ladybug? Their effectiveness was hampered by ineffective torpedoes (fixed later in the war), limited armament, and lack of armor. JFK also commanded PT-59, with one of its actions dramatized in the movie PT-109. PT crews were not typically experienced sailors and received little training specific to their boat. By war's end, 326 of the Elco 80-foot boats were built. Hundreds, possibly thousands if you count all sides, of small craft, from opposing torpedo boats to fishing craft and (especially) barges. The four largest boats (89 ft, 94 ft, 98 ft, 105 ft) were aluminum boats built during the Korean conflict. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. The PT boats were small and generally limited to coastal operations. A single torpedo sight was used to aim all four torpedoes. by the USN, the Huckins was not used in combat. Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. 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. US PT boats sank two Japanese destroyers in the Solomons. 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. By 1943, Higgins’ once small 75-employee shipbuilding business had ballooned to more than 20,000 workers. The German ships were even bigger. 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. 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. Being of wood construction, the PT boats often suffered numerous hits and still remained afloat. I should mention that US was the world leader in the manufacturing of marine plywood during WW2. 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. Your email address will not be published. I decided to do some web scraping and pull together some statistics on PT boats into this post. 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. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. (Source). These were beautiful boats. American PT Boats - there were two similar types of American PT boats, ELCO and Higgins. The PT boats were small, fast, and inexpensive to build because of their wooden construction. Originally both boats were Vimalert powered Sparkman and Stevens designs. Many were destroyed by their crews to prevent capture. 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. While others were lost due to friendly fire and collisions. U.S. Navy patrol boats zip through the water during exercises of the U.S. east coast on July 12, 1942. 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. Some boats were fitted with more guns instead of the torpedoes. During this action, PT-59 rescued US Marines stranded on a beach while under fire. 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 built 199 PT boats for the US Navy immediately before and during WW2. For the remainder of the war, PT boats were built either by Higgins or Elco. The Vosper was exported to Europe and not used by the USN, the Huckins was not used in combat. ... but one that was built by the many hands that also built the Landing Craft and PT Boats … What does contingent mean in real estate? 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). Specifications. What is a sample Christmas party welcome address? As you can see in Figure 4, the Elco and Higgins companies dominated the production of PT boats. 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. As such, there is no recorded combat actions of Huckins boat crews in World War 2. The principal PT was Elco’s 80-foot-long boat. 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. Figure 1: PT-109 Crew. All Rights Reserved. The owner of mathscinotes.com will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. Elco built about 326 wooden boats, Higgins built about 200; and (U.S. Navy) All of this combined to create a light, powerful craft that was fast as hell. The wood components have long since decayed, but the torpedo tubes are still there. 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 … PT's 3 and 4 were 59' boats built by Fisher Boat Works. 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. Though injured, JFK was able to lead his surviving crew out of enemy-held territory. JFK is on the far right. How many candles are on a Hanukkah menorah? Their design was similar to the Fogal boats. Their use was almost exclusively limited to WW2 – four boats were built during the Korean War. The torpedoes were launched when the PT boat had been steered in the direction you wanted the torpedoes to go. My source files are here. Designs varied, but these boats were generally 80' in length and carried a beam (width) of 20'. A third manufacturer, Huckens of Jacksonville, Florida, built just 18 boats. Other types of boats, including tugboats and lightships, operated in the harbors and off the coast of Massachusetts. Figure 9: PT-105, a PT boat very similar to PT-109. © Mark Biegert and Math Encounters, 2020. a British company Vosper built about 50; Huckins, another firm Unfortunately, ships built of wood require careful maintenance and few PT boats survived into modern times. They were based on British designs, with American engines. Higgins Industries in New Orleans, Louisiana, produced 199, 78-foot boats. The US built 813 PT boats during WW2 and Korea (Figure 4). All content provided on the mathscinotes.com blog is for informational purposes only. The bulk of the PT boats built were 78 or 80 feet long (Figure 5). They were originally destined for the Dutch Navy, but were taken over by the USN when the Dutch forces were beaten by … See this article for an excellent discussion of the various PT boat classes. PT boat combat casualties were 331. In reality, they seldom … Figure 7: PT boat burning in the Philippines. 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. The Higgins and Elco Boat companies built a majority of Unites States PT Boats. 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. WW2 PT boats generally carried four torpedoes when configured for anti-ship duty. 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. Publication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. What are some samples of opening remarks for a Christmas party? When did organ music become associated with baseball? Who is the longest reigning WWE Champion of all time? 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. They were transferred to England and / or Canada. Those were bigger than I was expecting, but still not nearly as big as the large warships of the day. Ah, that my grandfather Joseph F. Latif, MMc2 PT 127, Rons 7 and 12 were still around. PT Boats were very active in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO). They were fast attack craft that were armed with torpedoes, depth charges, and machine guns. There were only 4 built during the Korean conflict (1951), so 809 were built just prior to and during WW2. I am always amazed when I read about how both wooden boats and aircraft (ex. The key was the development of waterproof adhesive in 1934. 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. How long will the footprints on the moon last? I have also read that poor glue quality affected the development of last-ditch wooden aircraft, like the Bachem Natter. His service on  PT-101 was very short. The construction techniques, materials, and engines used were very similar to Elco’s PT boat. Higgins Industries built 199 PT boats. More than 23,358 were built, by Higgins Industries and licensees.. At the war’s peak, Higgins’ factories were cranking out 700 vessels a month. While favorably received, Secretary of the Navy Jose… 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. See the "World War II US PT Boat Transfers" table for details. 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. … Temperature Sensing with a Bandgap Reference. Considering that hundreds of PT boats were built, it may be surprising to discover how few PT boats were actually lost to enemy action. 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. PT's 5 and the tentatively designated PT 6 were 81' boats built by Higgins Industries. This bit of history got me curious about PT boats and their history. 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. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. They measured 78 feet long, with a 20-foot beam. Many PT Boats made field installations of army artillery cannons, and the 37mm automatic cannons from the P-39 fighter plane. Higgins’ boat measured 78.5 feet in length. The Higgins PT Boats ruled this Theater. Figure 2: PT-109 on board SS Joseph Stanton. The US built 813 PT boats during WW2 and Korea (Figure 4). 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. Thirty-four boats were lost in combat, with one boat was lost due to ramming, JFK's PT-109. 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. 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. (Source). Higgins boats were the perfect vessel for the war front. The non-combat losses were due to weather or grounding, which was a problem for boats running in uncharted shallow waters. 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. By the end of the war, Elco had built 399 boats and Higgins had constructed 200. Although designed by a Boston naval architect and commissioned for the Boston Tow Boat Company, the Luna was built in Maryland in 1930. Excluding three prototypes, 527 PT boats were built for the US Navy and 283 were built for our allies (Figure 6). These were based at Melville, Rhode Island as part of RON 4. More than 100 were burned off a beach at Samar, Philippines. — John F. Kennedy, on how he became a hero. Higgins’ boat measured 78.5 feet in length. Were also four boats were armed with Mark VIII torpedoes, depth,. Cannons, and engines used were very active in the manufacturing of marine plywood during WW2 and machine guns of! 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