“Like every man-o’-war, a PT is made for only one purpose”

“Like every man-o’-war, a PT is made for only one purpose”
4th of july crafts
Image by Blue Mountains Local Studies
PT boats were a variety of torpedo-armed fast attack craft used by the United States Navy in World War II to attack larger surface ships. "PT" is the US hull classification symbol for "Patrol Torpedo". The PT boat squadrons were nicknamed "the mosquito fleet". The Japanese called them "Devil Boats".

This may be taken near the US forward PT base at Jayapura – From 1910 to 1962, the city was known as Hollandia and was the capital of a district of the same name in the northeast of West New Guinea. The northern part of Dutch New Guinea was occupied by Japanese forces in 1942. Allied forces drove out the Japanese after amphibious landings near Hollandia, from 21 April 1944. The area served as General Douglas MacArthur’s headquarters until the conquest of the Philippines in March 1945. Over twenty U.S. bases were established and half a million US personnel moved through the area.

All U.S. PT boats were powered by three 12-cylinder gasoline-fueled engines. These engines were built by the Packard Motor Car Company, and were a modified design of the 3A-2500 V-12 liquid-cooled aircraft engine.

The culmination of larger bore cannons resulted in the installation of the 40mm Bofors gun on the aft deck. [Seen here] Starting in mid-1943, the installation of this gun had an immediate positive effect on the firepower available from a PT boat. The Bofors cannon had a firing rate of 120 rounds/min (using 4 round clips) and had a range of 5,420 yards (4,960 m). This gun was served by a crew of 4 men, and was used against aircraft targets, as well as shore bombardment or enemy surface craft.

The original Mk 8 torpedoes and tubes were replaced in mid-1943 by four lightweight 22.5-inch-diameter (570 mm) Mark 13 torpedoes [Seen here], which weighed 2,216 pounds (1,005 kg) and contained a 600-pound (270 kg) Torpex filled warhead. These torpedoes were carried on lightweight Mark 1 roll-off style torpedo launching racks. The Mk13 torpedo had a range of 6,300 yards (5,800 m) and a speed of 33.5 knots (38.6 mph).

By war’s end, the PT boat had more "firepower-per-ton" than any other vessel in the U.S. Navy.

Format: B&W Photograph
Licensing: Attribution, non-commercial, share alike, creative commons. If you use this image you must attribute it to Blue Mountains City Library. Resale or any other commercial use is prohibited without our express permission. These same restrictions apply to secondary users.
Repository: Blue Mountains City Library www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/library/
Part of: Local Studies Collection, Jack Proctor archive (digital)
Provenance: Jack Proctor
PT Boats en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PT_boat
Early Aircraft Type Of Radar And Mast Used On Most PT’s By Mid-War. – www.ptboats.org/20-05-05-drawings-025.html
Mk XIII Torpedo on New Light Weight Roll-Off Rack, Most PT’s Converted To These By Mid-War – www.ptboats.org/20-05-05-drawings-027.html
PT Boat Bases – www.ptboats.org/20-04-05-ptbases-008.html
"Know Your PT Boat," July 1945, was created very near the end of WW II to use as an introduction to PT Boats for crews’ in training. www.hnsa.org/doc/pt/know/index.htm