THE FATE OF PT BOATS

WHAT HAPPEN TO ALL THE PT BOATS?

US Navy PT's surviving World War II were auctioned and sold by the Maritime Commission. Unfinished boats were in various states of completion at the end of the war. Some of these were completed even though Navy contracts were canceled; these would not have been finished out as combat-ready boats. Boats in "theater" were disposed of in sales to other countries or destroyed. China is have thought to have gotten some. Some were given to Yugoslavia, Cuba appears to have gotten at least one somehow. Others have turned up in Finland, Great Britain, Argentina, and the Philippines.

Some Lend-Lease boats that went to the USSR were returned in Turkey; but dates and places are unknown. Others stayed in Russia; but because of the Cold War, tracing them was impossible. Four were given to the Republic of Korea. The ROK Navy gave one of those, PT 619, to J.M. Newberry, founder of PT Boats, Inc., in 1969. He arranged for her transport back to the States and brought her to his home in Memphis where the boat was cannibalized and then destroyed in the mid-80's.

PT Boat burning - November & December 1945 - Samar, Philippines

According to "At Close Quarters", 99 were losses of one kind or another, 121 were burned at Samar in the Philippines, after decommissioning of squadrons. Some Lend-Lease boats, which included Vospers as well as Elco and Higgins, were destroyed by Great Britain. (Boats in the US Navy were Higgins, Huckins and Elco.)

At this point it is wise to remember that PT boats were only inventory to the Navy Department. They were intended to be expended, like pencils or paper clips. At the time it was deemed far too expensive to maintain small wooden vessels that no one could see any use for. Jeeps and aircraft suffered the same fate, many unceremoniously dumped off decks of aircraft carriers. No one at the Navy Department want to risk letting PTs fall into the hands of an enemy or a smuggler.

New owners transformed PTs into diving platforms, sightseeing boats, dinner cruisers, yachts. They were used for fishing, salvage, oystering, ferrying. The Elco boat that PT Boats, Inc. restored and now on exhibit, was rumored to have been used to make porn movies.





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

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This site was last updated 10//17/2003