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PT BOAT MUSEUM

Visit our Museum at Battleship Cove, Fall River, Massachusetts. Where Over 4000 square feet is devoted to the 43 commissioned squadrons, some 80 bases and 19 tender ships. Exhibits, including two PTs restored to WW II configuration, the 78 foot Higgins, PT 796, inside the authentic WWII Quonset hut and the Elco 80 foot, PT 617, in the main building. Both PTs are National Historical Landmarks. Also available for viewing are memorabilia and artifacts from the 45 World War II PT squadrons, aboard the battleship, USS Massachusetts.

Shown above are the Museum main building which houses the PT 617 (shown above, right) and the attached Quonset which houses the PT 796. Both of the WWII Patrol Torpedo Boats, were restored by members of PT Boats, Inc.

Our PT Boat Museum is located at Battleship Cove in Fall River, MA
http://www.battleshipcove.org/pt-museum-history.htm

If you are planning a trip to visit the Museum, please contact PT Boats, Inc., for operating hours, dates and other particulars.


PT 617

Class: Elco 565-624 Series
Type: Motor Torpedo (PT) Boat
Launched: July 28, 1945
At: Elco Naval Division, Bayonne, New Jersey
Placed in Service: September 21, 1945
Length: 80 feet, 3 inches
Beam: 20 feet, 7 inches
Draft: 5 feet
Displacement: 54 tons
Armament: Four roll-off racks for Mark XIII 22.5-inch diameter torpedoes; one 40mm gun; one 37mm gun; one 20mm gun; two .50 caliber machine guns; 2-4 depth charges; smoke generator; two Mark 50 5-inch rocket launchers.

PT 617 was assigned to Patrol Torpedo Squadron 42, the only squadron commissioned after World War II. PT 617 participated in the Victory Loan Bond Drive in October and November 1945. After being sold on the civilian market, the boat was used as a yacht, in salvage and as a diving platform. PT Boats, Inc., a worldwide organization of PT veterans and others, bought the boat in 1979. Considerable work and funds went into restoring PT 617 to WWII configuration. On September 1, 1985, PT 617 officially went on display at Battleship Cove.

Of the three manufacturers of these versatile and highly maneuverable craft, Elco produced the largest number for the U.S. Navy. PT boats operated in the English Channel, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Aleutians, off the Eastern Seaboard, and throughout the Pacific. They saw major action in the Normandy invasion, the Solomon Islands, New Guinea and the Philippines. PTs performed a multitude of duties, including transporting dignitaries -- the most famous of whom was General MacArthur, both when he left Corregidor and when he returned. They also carried mail, rescued downed pilots, dropped and picked up spies, terrorized Japanese supply lines and harassed German E-boats.

PT 617, PT 796, and the National PT Museum on board Battleship Massachusetts represent the world’s largest collection of PT artifacts and memorabilia. The world’s only restored pair of PT Boats, PT 617 and PT 796 are two of five National Historic Landmarks on exhibit at Battleship Cove, the world’s largest collection of historic naval ships.

PT 617 is owned by PT Boats, Inc., headquartered in Germantown, Tennessee.



Higgins PT 796

Class: Higgins 791 Series
Type: Motor Torpedo (PT) Boat
Launched: June 23, 1945
At: Higgins Industries, New Orleans, LA
Completed: October 26, 1945
Length: 78 feet, 9 inches
Beam: 20 feet, 1 inch
Draft: 5 feet, 3 inches
Displacement: 48 tons
Armament: Two 22.4-inch diameter Mk13 torpedoes on roll-off racks; two twin .50 cal. machine guns; one 40 mm gun; one 37 mm gun; one 20 mm gun; smoke generator; two Mark 50 5-inch rocket launchers.

PT 796, nicknamed “Tail Ender,” patrolled the Caribbean and East Coast waters and was temporarily part of Post War Squadron 1. She initially carried full armament; however, her assignment changed and armament was removed. Assignments included the Navy Operational Development Force and Naval Ship Research Development Laboratory in Panama City, Florida, where she performed high-speed towing work to develop specialized equipment for use in Vietnam riverine warfare operations. In 1961, she joined her present berthmate Destroyer Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. in Washington, DC, where each participated in President Kennedy’s inaugural celebration. Although she is a Higgins boat, PT 796 was painted with the hull number “109” and towed as a float in the President’s inaugural parade. She was actively used until she was decommissioned on July 7, 1970, and signed over to J.M. “Boats” Newberry, founder of PT Boats, Inc. After resting in a cradle in Memphis, Tennessee, for several years, PT 796 was restored by PT Boats, Inc. and brought to Battleship Cove on August 14, 1975.

PT 796, PT 617, and the National PT Museum on board Battleship Massachusetts represent the world’s largest collection of PT artifacts and memorabilia. The world’s only restored pair of PT Boats, PT 617 and PT 796 are two of five National Historic Landmarks on exhibit at Battleship Cove, the world’s largest collection of historic naval ships.

PT 796 is owned by PT Boats, Inc., headquartered in Germantown, Tennessee.



Japanese Suicide Demolition Boat

Type: Japanese Suicide Demolition Boat
Length: 19 feet, 2 inches
Beam: 62 inches
J.M. “Boats” Newberry, founder of PT Boats, Inc., located this Suicide Demolition Boat in Kerama Retto, Okinawa, and arranged for its transport back to the United States. In 1972 Newberry placed the boat at Battleship Cove. The design appears to be that of a semi-submersable.

A US Army report in PT Boats, Inc.’s archives indicates that 1000 of these boats were to attack Allied Forces assaulting Okinawa. They were concealed in artificial and natural caves. These one-man boats were made of light plywood with reinforced wooden beams. Many were powered by US made Gray Marine four and six-cylinder engines. Horsepower was between 70-80. They carried two depth charges, 260 pounds each, which were released by hand or on impact with their targets. They were painted green.

Elaborate attack plans were found in the caves along with information indicating that many amphibious units had been set up in out-of-the-way coastal installations. When discovered, none of the amphibious squadrons’ personnel were located, leading G-2 of the 77th Division to call the discovery “mysterious.”

On display in an original Quonset Hut, the Demolition Boat has been compared to Japanese “Shinyo” (meaning “seaquake”) boats but does not match a Shinyo’s characteristics.

“Special Attack” was the Japanese phrase used to describe tactics that generally involved the loss of a human operator. Laden with explosives, special attack boats were used in a suicidal fashion against American vessels in the Pacific during World War II. However, very few attacks were successful, as these boats were easily spotted and were frequently destroyed before they were deployed.

The Japanese Suicide Demolition Boat is on display at Battleship Cove, the world’s largest collection of historic naval ships, and is owned by PT Boats, Inc., headquartered in Germantown, Tennessee.


The Boats are supported by contributions from members of PT Boats, Inc. intent upon seeing this piece of American history survive. Membership is open to anyone interested in preserving the story of the little wooden boats known as the Mosquito Fleet. Please see the "Join Us" section.




The PT Boat Museum Location:
Headquarters and Archives Location:
Battleship Cove
5 Water Street, P.O. Box 111
Fall River, MA 02722-0111
Phone: (508) 678-1100
Fax: (508) 674-5597
PT Boats, Inc.
P.O. Box 38070
Germantown TN 38183
Phone: (901) 755-8440
Fax: (901) 751-0522

Visit the Battleship Cove Web Site @ http://www.battleshipcove.com






PT Boats. Inc. P.O. Box 38070, Germantown, TN, 38183
Tel: (901) 755-8440 , Fax: (901) 751-0522

This Website Copyrighted © 2013 by PT Boats, Inc.

This webpage was last updated
Monday, April 29, 2013

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