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PT BOAT TRIVIA

THIS PAGE CONTENT LINKS

WANTING TO BUY A P.T. BOAT ?
WHERE ARE THE PT'S TODAY
PT BOAT BUILDERS
WHO ARE PT BOAT VETERANS
PT BOAT AREAS OF OPERATIONS (WWII)
PT BOATERS RECEIVING THE MEDAL OF HONOR
PT BOATERS KILLED IN ACTION (WWII)
HOW MANY PT BOATERS - SERVED IN WWII
PT BOAT LOSSES IN WWII
WELL KOWN VETERANS of PT BOAT SERVICE

WANTING TO BUY A P.T. BOAT ?
PT Boats, Inc., has attempted to keep up with these boats; but they have changed hands many times in over fifty years. At one time headquarters had reports of over 40 boats that we believed were different hulls, In 1996-97 three were known to be for sale. Prices ranged from $90,000 to $200,000.

Any one looking for a PT should not expect to find one that looks like it did during the war. These boats have been heavily converted. Essentially, one would be purchasing a hull and many of the hulls have been cut down to 65 feet.

For comparison, PT Boats, Inc., completed the restoration of Elco 617 in 1985 at a cost of $700,000. These 1987 dollars put the boat on static display. Putting a PT back in the water would cost even more.

Building your own PT replica is possible. PT Boats, Inc., has a collection of factory blueprints and microfilm reproductions. Copies can be purchased. The list is available by regular mail, not email.

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WHERE ARE THE PT's TODAY
Today roughly 18 US PTs have been located. These boats are in various states of repair and disrepair. PTs 617 and 796 are on static display in Newberry Hall, the PT Boats Inc. museum at Battleship Cove. Restoration of 617 cost over $700,000 and was completed in 1985. 796 restoration was finished in 1975 at a lesser cost. These two boats are on the National Historic Landmark Registry.

PT 309 was bought by the Admiral Nimitz Museum, Fredericksburg Texas in 1995 and is currently cradled near the battleship Texas outside Houston.

PT 658 was given to a group in Oregon in 1994; they are working to restore the boat.

A Vosper, PT 728, has been reconfigured to look like an Elco and is currently with the Fleet Obsolete in Kingston, NY where it is operational and where PT-48, PT459 and PT-615 are awaiting restoration. A few others boats may still be on the market.

Many PTs were auctioned and otherwise disposed of after the war and have been greatly modified. Many have been chopped to 65 feet. Some have had their deck lowered; most have had the original charthouse/bridge removed. Packard engines were replaced with diesels except in museum restorations.

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PT BOAT BUILDERS
US Navy PTs were predominately built by Elco Navy Division of Electric Boat Company, Bayonne, New Jersey, Higgins Industries in New Orleans and Huckins Yacht Corp in Jacksonville, Florida. Other builders include, Canadian Power Boat, which built 4 Scott-Paine design boats. Harbor Boat Building, Robert Jacob Yard, Annapolis Yacht Yard and Herreschoff also built (Assembled) PT's from Elco kits and others. The Elco Navy Division manufactured more USN PTs than the other seven. It was later absorbed by General Dynamics, which is still building USN vessels (currently a sub.) Huckins is still building yachts. Higgins went out of business many years ago. Higgins is best remembered for building landing craft.

More boat info here

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WHO ARE PT BOAT VETERANS
All men who served with and supported PTs are considered PT Boat veterans. This includes those serving in one unofficial tender or mother ship and 19 official tenders plus thousands who were assigned to Base Forces and other support units. There were roughly 80 shore bases for PTs around the world.

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PT BOAT AREAS OF OPERATIONS (WWII)
Theaters of operations for PT boats: Atlantic, Mediterranean, English Channel, Caribbean, Aleutians, Pacific.

Training: Melville (Portsmouth), Rhode Island.
Supplementary training: Taboga, Panama.

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PT BOATERS RECEIVING THE MEDAL OF HONOR
Two PT men were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor: John D. Bulkeley and Murray Preston. Bulkeley retired in 1988 as Vice Admiral after 59 years active duty.

Preston's award was for the rescue of a downed pilot in Wasile Bay, Halmahera Islands, Pacific Theater, while in Ron 33. Previously he had been in Ron 1. He died January 7, 1968.

Bulkeley received his award from President Roosevelt for "Breakout from Corregidor," the operation that took MacArthur, his family and Philippine officials out of the Philippines as the islands fell to the Japanese. Bulkeley carefully does not refer to this operation as a rescue. At that time he was in Ron 3, the squadron known as "The Expendables." In 1945 the movie, "They Were Expendable," based on White's book, was released. Actual PTs were used in the filming. Those boats came from Ron 4.

See all medal winners

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PT BOATERS KILLED IN ACTION (WWII)
Killed in Action PT men are counted at 331. A plaque in their memory can be seen in the reception area of Newberry Hall (PT Boats, Inc. Museum and Library.) KIAs are actual death in combat. Accidental deaths aren't counted. See Memorial

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HOW MANY PT BOATERS - SERVED IN WWII
Total thought to have served in all aspects of PT service: 60,000-64,000. It's impossible to determine number of replacements. Everyone didn't go through Melville MTBSTC and MTBRTU. Oft-published statements that PT men were all volunteers are untrue.

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PT BOAT LOSSES IN WWII
Out of 531 PTs placed in US Navy service, 69 were lost: 5 - destroyed by enemy surface ship gunfire; 1 - rammed by enemy ship; 1 - rammed enemy ship; 1 - enemy aircraft strafing; 4 - enemy bombings; 2 - kamikaze attacks; 5 - enemy shore batteries; 4 - enemy mines; 1 - damaged by enemy fire then destroyed; 2 - lost in transit, tanker torpedoed by enemy. Total: 26 lost by enemy action.

Additional losses: 18 - grounded in enemy waters and destroyed to prevent capture; 3 - destroyed to prevent capture; 3 - destroyed by US aircraft; 2 - destroyed by Australian aircraft; 2 - destroyed by US ships; 1 - destroyed by enemy shore fire or wild shot from US warship; 5 - grounded/destroyed outside enemy waters or in storms; 6 - fire or explosion in port; 3 - collisions. Total: 43 lost by accidents, friendly fire or sea conditions.

Above figures do not include fates of Lend-Lease boats.

See more info here

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Well Known Veterans of PT Boat Service and
Famous People Who Were Associated with PTs
Information from: WW II PT Boats, Bases and Tenders Museum and Archives
Most men serving in PTs shortened "squadron" to "Ron." We continue the practice.
Some ranks and rates will be the ones held at retirement and some will be those held during WW II service. Unfortunately, our information isn't always clear.

Anthony B. Akers, (Deceased) Ambassador to New Zealand, Ron 3

Lt. J. Paul Austin, (Deceased) Chairman of the board Coca Cola, Ron 25

Ens. Howard Baker, White House Chief of Staff, Reagan Administration; former Tennessee Senator; Ambassador to Japan. Ron 44, MTBSTC

CO William C. Battle, former Ambassador to Australia, Democratic nominee for governor Virginia 1969, President Fieldcrest Mills, Inc. Rons 10, 9, 5, 39; PTs 580, 166, 171; Staff Southwest Pacific Operations

Lt. Charles A. Black, husband of actress Shirley Temple Black, Ron 21

Lt. John D. Bulkeley USN Ret, (deceased) President of the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), most decorated military man in US history, recipient of the Medal of Honor for the breakout from Corregidor which took MacArthur and party out of the Philippines. Bulkeley cut the water line to the Guantanamo Naval Base when Castro accused the base of stealing water. Rons 1, 2(2), 3, 7, 34 PT 41. Retired as Vice Admiral in 1988 after 59 years active duty in many ships and stations including PTs. In December 2001, a guided missile destroyer, DDG 84, commissioned bearing his name. The USS John D. Bulkeley’s first CO is Carlos Del Torro who was born in Cuba but raised in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City.

Lt. jg Michael Burke,
(deceased) CBS Sports, Yankees, Knicks and Rangers executive; author Outrageous Good Fortune. OSS; Ron 15; PT 209

MoMM Harold E. Christensen, (deceased) National AAU Middleweight Boxing Champion; Rons 4, 22; PT 312; PT Raiders

LCDR John H. Clagett, author of 15 books, Rons 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 3(2); PTs 111, 11, 40, 47, 37

Lt. Bernard A. Crimmins, (deceased)all-American Notre Dame 1941; Rons 8, 21, 25; PT 321

Lt. Cleveland E. Dodge Jr., Dodge Fibers, Seal Pak Teflon gasket process patent; Rons 26, 4; PT 262, 261

LCDR Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (deceased) in charge of small boats in the invasion of Southern France; he was USNR, but his "flag boat" was a British riverboat in TG 80.4. He also was part of the Beach Jumpers who operated with PTs in the Med.

Lt. Paul B. "Red" Fay, former Undersecretary of the Navy, JFK administration; author, The Pleasure of His Company; Ron 10; PT 167

LCDR John Harllee, Chairman Federal Maritime Commission 1963-69; author; Ron 1, 2, 12, Chief Staff Officer MTBRons 7th Fleet; PTs 16, 20, 190; MTBSTC. Retired as Rear Admiral.

Andrew Jackson Higgins Sr. (deceased) owner Higgins Industries, built PTs and landing craft.

Lt. Michael J. Holovak, football coach of PT Raiders and general manager for Houston Oilers. Rons 7, 8

Frank Huckins, (deceased) Huckins Yacht Corp., built 18 PTs for the US Navy.

Lt. jg John F. Kennedy, (deceased) 35th president of the United States; Rons 2, 4; PTs 59, 109, 10; MTBSTC

Lt. William A. Klopman, Klopman Mills--became division of Burlington Industries, President of Burlington Industries; Rons 29, 11; PTs 556, 555, 179

Joe Kuharick, All-star football player Notre Dame, Washington Redskins Head Coach, MTBSTC

Lt. Cdr. Elgar "Gar" Laux, (deceased) retired vice chairman New Chrysler Corp., Ford Motor Co. executive; Ron 22, PT 313

Lt. Walter H. "Wally" Lemm, (deceased) former Houston Oilers head coach; Ron 8; PT 114; PT Raiders

Lt. William F. "Bud" Liebenow, skipper of PT 157, the boat that rescued the crew of PT 109; Rons 9, 2(2)’ PTs 157, 199; Special OSS Europe

Lt. Henry Loeb, (deceased) Mayor of Memphis, TN, Loeb Enterprises; Ron 29 PT 553

Lt. Carl Maddox, (deceased) football coach LSU, Mississippi State Athletic Director; Ron 28; PT 383

Lt. Clinton "Red" McClain, NY Giants, SMU football coach; Ron 9; PTs 155-159

Lt. Torbert H. MacDonald, (deceased) US House of Representatives Congressman (D-Mass.), Chairman Subcommittee on Communications, JFK roommate at Harvard, Ron 12; PTs 194, 193, 190

Lt. Richard W. McEwen, former Chairman of the Board, Burdines Department Stores; Ron 18; PTs 370, 371

Cdr. J. Alex Michaud USN (Ret.), owner Michaud Motor Coaches, Commander Philippine Sea Frontier; AGPs 2, 6, 13; Bases 5, 17, 21; FEMU (Floating Equipment Maintenance Unit); commanding officer Task Unit 93.4.60.

Lt. jg John N. Mitchell, (deceased) Attorney General of the United States, Nixon Administration, convicted in Watergate aftermath; Ron 37; PTs 536, 541

Capt. Robert Montgomery, (deceased) First President of Screen Actors Guild; played the part of Lt. John D. Bulkeley (changed to Brickley in movie) in "They Were Expendable;" Rons 5 and 4. XO PTs 107, PT 68 and XO PT 114. Division Commander of PTs at Panama. Bronze Star. Also light cruiser USS Columbia CL 56 and USS Barton DD 772 at Normandy.

CBM James Madden "Boats" Newberry, (deceased), Founder of PT Boats, Inc.; Principal Organizer of Petroleum Equipment Institute formerly the National Association of Oil Equipment Jobbers; owner Newberry Manufacturing Co.; President Gas and Oil Equipment Co., JMN and Associates, Inc. and Fences Inc.; held controlling interest Southland Chemical and was a partner in Oilman’s Equipment Co. USS Texas BB 35; USS New York BB 3; USS Osborne DD 295 (these ships 1926-1929); Ron 9’s Chief Boatswain’s Mate; PT 155 et al; Chief Master-at-Arms for the Repair Training Unit of the Melville Rhode Island PT training base (MTBRTU).

Cdr. Henry Ringling North, (deceased) Ringling Circus; Ron 15

Lt. Jack B. Olson, Lt. Gov. of Wisconsin; Retired Ambassador to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas; Ron 4; PT Raiders

Cdr. Paul T. Rennell, (deceased) First Executive VP of Pan Am; Commanding Officer of Ron 21

S1/c Don Rickles, Actor and comedian; USS Cyrene AGP 13, a PT tender.

Lt. jg Raymond P. Shafer, Governor of Pennsylvania 1967-71; Ron 27; PT 359

Preston L. Sutphen, Sr., (deceased) Vice President Electric Boat Company, builder of PTs

Lt. Preston L. Sutphen, Jr., (deceased) son of Sutphen Sr.; Rons 29 and 36

Harold Thorkilsen, (deceased) retired as CEO of Ocean Spray Cranberries, units unknown

LCDR Malcolm Toon, former ambassador to several countries including the former USSR; NBC News consultant on Russian affairs; Ron 9; PT 155

Lt. Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, (deceased) millionaire. Rons 12, 1; PTs 192, 196

Lt. George Vanderbilt, (deceased) millionaire. Intelligence Officer, Ron 12; PT 196

Lt. Byron White, (deceased) Supreme Court Justice, retired 1993; Intelligence Officer Ron 10

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Among those who rode as passengers aboard PTs: Numerous admirals, generals, senators and other politicians as well as the King of England.

Frances Langford Evinrude, USO singer entertained PT men. While at Green Island in the Solomons she was aboard a PT. Hosted regional PT meeting known as a bull session about 1970 at her restaurant in Florida.

Gen. and Mrs. Douglas MacArthur and son; Presidents of the Philippines Quezon and Osmeña; Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, Col. John Eisenhower, Adm. Chester Nimitz, King George VI of England.

Gen Roy Stanley Geiger, USMC, 1st Marine Air Wing at Guadalcanal, First Marine Amphib Corps at Bougainville, Guam, Peleliu and Okinawa, Command of 10th Army.

Actors Ward Bond, Ray Milland, Robert Montgomery, Tyrone Power, John Wayne. Moviemaker John Ford. Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal.

Eleanor Roosevelt, Eddie Rickenbacker (rescued by PT); Col. Charles Lindberg.

USO Show entertainers at PT bases in the Pacific: Patty Thomas, Bob Hope, Frances Langford, Joe E. Brown, Jerry Colona, Martha Raye; Ray Milland, Tyrone Power; Candy Jones; Jack Benny.

Randolf Scott, actor, visited seven PT sailors in hospital at Tulagi January 1944

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This site was last updated 10//17/2003