PT Boats – August 1945

PT boat operating at Guadalcanal

In mid August, 30 squadrons of PT’s were in commission.  Nineteen were in the 7th Fleet.

Admiral Kinkaid could not foresee a need for patrol boats around Japan and Korea, so The 7th Fleet boats became the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons Philippine Sea Frontier.  The shooting was over but there were still jobs where they could be useful.

25-26 August – at Morotai, 16 PT’s under Lt.Comdr. T.R. Stansbury and Gen. Johnson got underway for a rendezvous with the commanders of the Japanese forces on Halmahera.  The Japanese commanding general was not there. That was unacceptable.

PT boat w/ native scouts aboard
(possibly PT-171)

The following day, BGen. Warren McNaught went with 6 PT boats and this time Lt.Gen. Ishii and Capt. Fujita, IJN commander were waiting.  The boats carried them to the 93rd Div. headquarters on Morotai.  It was here that they surrendered 37,000 troops, 4,000 Japanese civilians and a very large quantity of equipment.  This was the force that the PT boats had held at bay for almost a year.  The garrison commander, Col. Ouchi, reported that since 12 May, when 3 barges brought sorely needed supplies from Halmahera, not a single barge had crossed the 12-mile strait between the 2 islands.  Two of those barges were destroyed by PT boats when they attempted to return.

PT-174 at Rendova, Solomons, Jan. 1944

In the central Philippines, Pt 489 and 492 of Squadron 33 carried U.S. Army personnel and members of the Japanese surrender commission to isolated enemy outposts on Samar, Masbate and Romblon to accept the surrender of more than 500 enemy troops.

The Navy Depart. properly got rid of most of the PT’s; their job was done.  Because of their light wooden construction they could not be stored away for future use as the steel-hulled ships were.

All the boats in the western Pacific were carefully surveyed.  It was found that 118 hulls were defective due to broken frames, worms and dry rot, broken keels, cracked longitudinals * or battle damage.  These boats were stripped of all salvageable material and the bare hulls were burned on the beach at Samar.

Squadrons 4, 41 and 42 were being saved for training purposes and experimental work.

Behind the decision to cut the PT force so drastically, besides the obvious reason of economy, there was a realization that in the end of the old boats was the beginning of a new PT boat.  There were no major changes in design in the 80-foot Elco and the 78-foot Higgins, but with the war’s end, they could afford to take their time to redesign in light of 4-years worth of experience.

In 1951, the Navy accepted the first post-war PT’s.  They were all aluminum hulls and powered by 4 Packard engines of considerable higher horsepower than the original.  The first one built, PT-809 was built by the Electric Boat Co.  The overall length of the boat was 98 feet and the max beam was 26 feet.  PT-810 by Bath Iron Works; PT-811 by John Trumpy & Sons and the last experimental one, PT-812 was built by Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and equipped with gas turbines.  These boats operated as Motor Torpedo Squadron-1 from 1954-59.

* Longitudinals – (a system for framing vessels in which light, closely spaced, longitudinal frames are connected by heavy, widely spaced transverse frames with deep webs.)

Information derived from: “At Close Quarters, PT Boats in the United States Navy”  by Robert J. Bulkley

Click on images to enlarge.

##############################################################################################

Military Humor –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

##############################################################################################

Farewell Salutes – 

Anthony Bosico – Haverstraw, NY; US Navy, WWII, submarine service, USS Grouper & tender Proteus

Jerry Cruce – Grayson, GA; US Merchant Marine, WWII

William Duncan – Tofield, CAN; RC Army, WWII, 5th BC Coat Brigade/25th General Pioneers

Frank Greco – Hendersonville, NC; US Army Air Corps, WWII, Korea & Vietnam (Ret. 30 y.)

Charles Heath  Gauley Bridge, WV, US Navy, WWII, USS Wyoming

George Johnson – Terre Haute, IN; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division, artillery

William Lewis – McGuffey, OH; US Navy, WWII, PTO, radioman, USS New Orleans

Jack Meyers – Seattle, WA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, B-29 mechanic

Stanley Szuba – Linden, NJ; USMC, WWII

John Widelski – New Bedford, MA; US Navy, gunner’s mate, USS Wingfield & Bronstein

#############################################################################################

About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on February 28, 2019, in WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 111 Comments.

  1. The Packard V-12s in those PT boats were a thing of glory:

    Liked by 1 person

  2. BTW, is Robert J. Bulkley related to John Bulkley, the PT squadron commander who transported MacArthur off Corrigedor? He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his squadron’s heroics in the early days of the war in and around the PI — which was the basis for the 1945 John Ford film “They Were Expendable.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for posting this GP. I wondered what happen to all the PT boats at the end of WWII. Apparently similar fate to that of all the propeller-driven aircraft manufactured by so many companies across America at the dawn of the Jet Age: scrap heap.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great piece of the background on the PT boats and history gp, can’t recall reading much about the exploits of the PT’s during the war, seems like they were mainly rear guard echelon.
    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This brought a memory flooding back. When I was a kid I had a couple of PT boats as toys. My dad used to get me loads of WWII stuff as he served during the war mainly in Iceland. So found this post so fascinating thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s quite amazing the feats that the Americans pulled off during WWII when it came to shipbuilding’

    The ship that the last of todays salutes served on the

    USS Wingfield ,

    Was Laid down 7th October 1943
    Launched 30th December 1943
    Commissioned 29th January 1944

    Four months from start to finish to build arm complete and launch and commission, would be impossible these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. PT boats from America, Canada, Britain and other allies were awesome. Their contributions to victory in several theatres of WWII has not received the credit they and their heroic crews richly deserve.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. VeraMaureen Jenner

    You have a gift for ensuring your facts are easily absorbed by wrapping them in such readable text. Thanks so much for taking the time and trouble to complete yet another riveting update.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. My father was a navy corpsman during the Pacific War. He once told me about a destroyer that was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. Since he’d always wanted to ride in a PT Boat, he got permission from his ship’s doctor to go to the destroyer to assist the wounded. It was a PT boat that carried him to her.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Zeer gede informatie over die boten .Ik stond er van versteld dat ze in hout gemaakt werden.En spijtig dat ze nadien allemaal verbrand werden

    Liked by 1 person

    • Het is een schande dat ze werden vernietigd, maar het was gewoon niet rendabel om ze mee naar huis te nemen, vooral in de vorm waarin ze zich bevonden. Sommige zijn er nog steeds, ze zijn opgeknapt, maar ze zijn erg duur.

      Like

  11. Thank you again for sharing. I am blessed.
    Sincerely and with gratitude.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on Truth Troubles.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for the information, I appreciate you posting it. I am going to reblog this one for you Sir.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. All of those PT boats discarded and yesterday I saw a trailer for the imminent sale of the one and only German E-boat and the asking price is £5 million ($6.7 million). It would have been more if it had worked!

    Liked by 1 person

    • WHOA! I didn’t know there were any left at all, no wonder the price was so high!! You always have such unique information, John! I know there are some PT boats for sale, but I can’t afford their price either, lol.

      Like

  15. I enjoyed this post – very informative. Fast, cheap and lethal. The PTs filled an important gap in coastal defence and narrow waterways. The design concept is valid even now and serves as a poor man’s (nation’s) navy.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Great info about the PT’s!
    And the humor was super humorous! I snort-laughed! 😀
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Excellent little boats even if they were not built to last. They did a remarkable job in difficult circumstances, it’s just a shame more didn’t survive.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Sounds like they at least salvaged some of the materials from the PT boats and used some of them to develop an improved model. Finding ways to improve is always a good thing in my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. The story of the men that manned these PT Boats needs to be told

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I can tell I’m going to be coming here often. I had no clue the role PTs played after the war was over. Someplace in there is a great book.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Especially liked the corpsman cartoon–as I once was one.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I love military boats, as long as i am not forced to got with them. 😉 I hate swimming! 😉 Thank you for another great piece of information. Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I never realized that the first PT boats were wooden. That would have been something to contend with — better to dispose of them and start again. People from the Pacific NW and New England sometimes wonder at our lack of wooden boats here in Texas. The reason is mostly biological; there are creatures that love to eat them — any wooden boat here tends to be trailered, and kept out of the water. I suspect our critters are at least related to the destructive little borers of the Pacific.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. PT boats always remind me of JFK’s story, which is how I first heard of them…

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I found the cartoon pretty good too. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Mostly just from reading and movies, I developed a fondness for those boats, and a fair amount of respect for the sailors who would take them out .

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Thank you, GP. Very interesting information.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Great cartoons and info about PT boats later in the war. Did you ever watch McHale’s Navy back in the 60s?

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Even PT boats have to evolve. Sigh. As for the cartoon, I’d probably go for the geek to be more dangerous in this day and age. 🙂 –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Always wanted a PT boat of my very own! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Interesting. Any idea what model JFK’s PT 109 was?

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Never really gave the PT boat’s demise a thought. This is truly interesting and thought-provoking, GP!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Terrific post on the PTs!! As the son of a PT Radioman, I really appreciate this excellent information that you shared with your readers. And I learned a few things, too! Thank you for that. Keep up the great work. Steve

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Interesting read. I don’t know if you are aware, but the National World War II Museum in New Orleans has restored a PT boat. For a charge, they take people out on the lake on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I received the quarterly report from them, and there’s a couple of articles I want to post here. They are always growing and adding to the museum. Thank you for bringing that up!

      Like

  35. Those boats must have been fun to ride in at high speed, but you have to imagine how loud they were.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. PT boats of wooden construction were not a match for the steel-framed warship but they played a role during the war. PT boats were also used as part of the “welcoming committee” of Admiral Oldendorf at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Thirty nine PT boats were lined up to meet Admiral Nishimura force at the entrance of Surigao Strait.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those PT crews were like mosquitoes on a hot summer day! They took a lot of chances, and did their job expertly. Thank you for adding to the post, Rose. You sure know your P.I. history!

      Liked by 1 person

      • The PT crews are brave men! I try to read as much as I can about the Pacific theater. I still have a lot to learn especially from you. I’m reading Sea of Thunder right now and it’s a fascinating read about Halsey, Kurita, Ugaki and Evans (Commander of USS Johnston).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Admiral Ugaki not only duped Adm. Halsey, but sent the last kamikaze up on a mission to Okinawa after hearing the Emperor’s surrender speech. I’m sure you’re learning info I am not aware of, I have never read that book.

          Liked by 1 person

  37. That’s an interesting overview of PT boat action and their evolution, GP.
    Great carton too! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: