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 Author  Topic: PT in Nat. Geographic "Search for Kennedy's PT-109"
  David Waples

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Waples  Posted on: Mar 1, 2007 - 5:05am
Greetings,
I rented the National Geographic documentary "The Search for Kennedy's PT-109". In the early part of the movie there is a video clip of an Elco in color. It is a very dark green drab. The boat sports a single torpedo tube on the port and starboard sides followed by a series of depth charge racks. It appears to have a 37mm on the foredeck but there is no barrell. It is not one of the boats from this squadron filmed at Panama.

Anyway, I'm wondering if this is the paint scheme for the 109 boat. It looks like it might be about right but I'm not familiar with this video clip or boat, and their is no number on the chart house. There is large white number on the forward turret but I can't make it out.

Is anyone familiar with this clip and/or boat? Or even the paint scheme?

Thanks for your help.
Dave

David Waples

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Drew Cook

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Drew Cook  Posted on: Mar 2, 2007 - 1:19pm
Dave,

It would be interesting to see that color shot of the PT you mention in that documentary -- I'll have to hunt up that DVD in our library system, take it out, and watch it.

I've NEVER seen ANY color film footage of a Solomons-era PT, except a few seconds of (what I think was) PT 149 underway, and the boat was a very faded green. The brief footage was on one of several History Channel documentaries featuring PTs. I taped it, and have played that part of the tape over and over so much that the tape now glitches badly during the shot of the green 80' Elco.


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David Waples

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Waples  Posted on: Mar 2, 2007 - 8:37pm
Take a look at it if you can. Unfortunately there is no number on the chart house so I can't figure out which boat this is. There is a number on the forward turret but I can't make it out. The color in the film looks like a dark green drab but with a little more brown to it. A close match would be Testors Model Master FS-34086 Green Drab.

I think the film is protected as all my attempts to get a screen shot have resulted in a black screen.

The paint looks heavily faded and weathered. When I say faded I don't mean so much as lightened but maybe a better way to say it is oxidized.

I rented my copy from Netflix. Please look it over and let me know what you think.

David Waples

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Drew Cook

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Drew Cook  Posted on: Mar 26, 2007 - 7:32pm
Dave,

I just viewed a copy of that National Geographic DVD of "The Search For Kennedy's PT 109." I watched the 60-minute version, not the longer, two-disc "special edition."

The color footage of the 80' Elco in the beginning of the program you mention is from the wartime short subject documentary film "Giant Killers," which was basically a promotional/informational film on the building of Elco PT boats at their factory in Bayonne, New Jersey.

The hull and topsides of the boat you mention is actually in a two-tone medium and dark gray paint scheme -- not green or brown. On this DVD, the boat does look sort of green in the faded color footage at beginning, but, if you look at the very end of it again, as the boat moves off-screen, it is gray, and as I mentioned, I've seen the same footage on the "Giant Killers" film -- its definitely gray. There are a lot of brief bits of 80' Elcos underway in the documentary, all of them, I think, in Stateside waters, mostly shakedown cruises/tests, and all the boats are either all gray or have gray/dark gray camouflage patterns on the hulls.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the only color film footage of a green 80' Elco I've ever seen has been a few seconds (of what I think might have been a faded, light green PT 149 underway) on a History Channel program , titled "Night Raiders" or "Sea Raiders" or something like that. The color of that boat was a close match to Haze Green (5-HG).

I think the general consensus on the color of the 109 at the time of her sinking was that she was all green (not a camouflaged two-tone green/brown) -- in what shade is anyone's guess. She reportedly had been repainted in late April/early May of 1943, and sunk the second day of August, so...figure in three months of fading in the tropical sun...


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David Waples

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Waples  Posted on: Mar 28, 2007 - 5:40am
Thanks for the feedback Drew. It's getting close to paint time!
Dave

David Waples

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