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 Author  Topic: First Higgins PTs, but which?
siege1863

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Jan 7, 2009 - 8:46pm
While training at Camp Shelby in Mississippi, a soldier in the 37th Infantry Division took a trip to New Orleans to see a Tulane vs Alabama football game and to see the sights. Among the photos he took on this outing are these two gem! The soldier captioned them Navy speed boats and they are of the dock at the Higgins Boat Company. The first is of a pair of Higgins PT boats. The second is of one of the earliest LCPs . The photos were taken November 8-9, 1941.

My question is, which PT boats are these? According to a list of boats found on line, PT-5 was completed March 1941 and became Royal Navy MTB 269 in April 1941. Likewise, PT-6 was completed February 1941 and became MTB 270 in April 1941. Would these two boats have been transferred to the RN and out of the yard by the time of the soldier's visit in November 1941?

The next higgins boat, PT-70, was completed June 1941 and redesignated YP-107 in September 1941. However, PT-71 was not laid down until December 1941, well after the visit. Clearly, these are identical boats and at about the same stage of completion. I do not see any way these could be PT-70 and PT-71.

Thoughts?





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Dick

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Dick   Send Email To Dick Posted on: Jan 7, 2009 - 11:57pm

They appear to me to be PTs 5 & 6, base solely on the shape of the upper deck structure.

PT-70's upper structure again had a different shape, the chart house front view had three sections to it, the center was flat and the two outer walls angle back about 30-45 degrees from the flat center section. The photos posted above clearly show the chart house with an entire flat front.

PT-71 through PT-84 Upper deck structure was also different. The structure was much longer and the two gun tubs were nearly mid ship, at the near end of two long sidewalls from the bridge area. An interesting note, the gun tubs weren't in line with each other like later Higgins boats. The Port side tub was several feet further back mid-ship then its Starboard counter part.

Gene Kirkland's PT King website on Yahoo has some great early Higgins build photos PT-71 through PT-88 which demonstrate the above configuration. Be sure to check them out.

This configuration isnt really seen anywhere, or I, hadnt seen it before. At least not until I started my Higgins drawing projects. The Higgins engineering drawings I had purchased were very confusing and many contradicted each other. With more study I found the drawing were actually showing two different configurations. A very early design then a mid-stream design change on the first Higgins order. With PTs 71 87 in the early configuration and PTs 88 and on, with the more familiar configuration.

Also Frank Andruss has a nice shot of PT-6 along side another boat, maybe some day when Frank has some time he can dig it out of his archive files and post it.

Dick . . .




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Robert Orrell

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Robert Orrell   Send Email To Robert Orrell Posted on: Jan 8, 2009 - 1:43am
Hi! Seige

Here's a shot of PT 6 (2).




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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Jan 8, 2009 - 7:08am
There were two PT 6 boats built by Higgins. The first one was of the Sparkman & Stevens design, which Higgins did not like. The second, he built himself. The photo you have is PT 5 and 6 (first one) scaled up to a lenth of 81 feet. I will throw a few photo's here later on. The second PT 6 was called Prime.

Higgins also built a seventy foot design, which he sold to Finland. I also have a picture of that boat called MBR-2. PT-5 had Vimalert engines. The first PT 6 and 5 did not meet Navy Standards.


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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Jan 8, 2009 - 8:52am

Here are some Higgins pictures. PT-6 by itself and two with PT-6 & MRB-2.

Would love the history on MRB-2 if anyone has it.

Frank











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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Jan 8, 2009 - 1:35pm
By the way, was this photo of PT 5 and 6 taken at Bayou St. John. Thanks ...........


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Dick

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Dick   Send Email To Dick Posted on: Jan 8, 2009 - 2:09pm

Frank,

Great shots, we can always count on you coming up with something and unselfishly sharing it with all of us. Thanks for the photos

Dick . . .




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siege1863

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Jan 8, 2009 - 6:38pm
I do not know where the photos were taken. The soldier was everywhere in New Orleans, including the French Quarter. He even took a plane ride over the city and snapped a number of photos.


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