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 Author  Topic: They Were Expedible
TED WALTHER

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TED WALTHER   Send Email To TED WALTHER Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 - 6:24pm
While watching this movie for the 1963 time, I have one question......Did ELCO pay for the fuel? It really seems that the 3 ELCO PT's (139, 141(Iles), and I think somebody here said 315?)did the majority of the action sequences, I know CDR John Ford did all of his PT time on ELCO boats, but this is really a pro ELCO movie! The Huckins PT's (99, 98, 100) were basically background for most of the movie
Any Ideas?????
TED.

P.S. yes I did spell it wrong to get your attention!

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bubbletop409

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of bubbletop409  Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 - 12:18am
Considering it was Elco 77's in MTB Sqd. 3 during the early days of the war, and a Huckins boat never met the enemy or fired a shot in anger, I am surprised they were included in the movie.

From what I have read regarding the Huckins boats they were less than desirable boats, exhibiting some poor handling traits in certain sea conditions.

Huckins probably paid for all the fuel just to get their tubs included in the film, TWE is the only footage I have ever seen of one underway.

Larry
62 Bel-Air
260 Eagle EXP
79 Cole TR-2

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Frank Andruss

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank Andruss   Send Email To Frank Andruss Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 - 4:34am
Larry, I am not sure where you got your information about the HUCKINS BOATS, but let me set you straight. Although certainly not a pretty looking PT BOAT, the Huckins in fact was a very good riding boat, even better than the HIGGINS and the ELCO. I became friends with Lt. Comdr.. LES GAMBLE, who was in charge of RON 26, and had experience with both the 77 Foot Elco and the 80 Foot as well. According to him, the Huckins boat was underrated and in fact was a very good riding boat. He said it certainly pounded much less than Elco or Higgins Boats, and was easy to steer and maintain. It was a bit slower than both the Higgins and the Elco boat, but had very good sea keeping qualities, in that it gave the crew a much drier ride than the HIGGINS PT. I agree that it's box type look could never compete with the look of the Elco eighty-footer, but more of these boats would have been made, but the Huckins plant could not compete with HIGGINS and ELCO in the amount of boats it could turn out. Mr,. Gamble certainly thought they were a good boat.


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TED WALTHER

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TED WALTHER   Send Email To TED WALTHER Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 - 6:40am
Larry and Frank;
This is what I have always read also, the Huckins was a better handling boat, also the craftsmenship and woodworking was outstanding. Mostly, everyone I have been in contact with over the years, who were on multiple types of PT's have stated this. PT 99(which was sold after the war and known as "Porkers Stern") was the last known Huckins PT. She was lost in a Noreaster storm in New England, I think around 1994-96.


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Frank Andruss

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank Andruss   Send Email To Frank Andruss Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 - 6:53am
Also, HUCKINS is still in business making boats to this day, which says plenty about their quality and craftmenship.


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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: Jul 11, 2013 - 8:34am
To add to Frank's comments:

I',m sure Huckins didn't pay a penny to have their boats in the movie. The fact is, John Ford had to deal with what ever the Navy furnished him. I'm sure Ford would have loved to have Elco 77 footers for reality, but that wasn't to be. In fact Huckins is a very, very private place when it comes to their war boats. Frank Andruss was fortunate in cracking open the door a tiny little bit for his first book "Building the PT Boats".

If you will note in the movie all the boats are configured with all types of mixed-matched and dummy parts. As much hoopla over how the Navy was dying to have a real story told here, it appears they gave them the bare essential of the real thing. If you notice Ford used the Huckins boats as little as possible. Only enough to show that it was a squadron of six boats - always in the far background. I'm sure Ford did not want to confuse the movie viewers, because the boats looked so different.

With all of todays technology and CG capabilities, I would love to see that movie remade, it would be great to see the Elco 77's rather then the mishmosh of Elco 80's and Huckins - maybe even 3D!!!! Just kidding

Dick . . .



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Will Day

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Will Day   Send Email To Will Day Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 - 3:29pm
My understanding has always been that the composition of the "Expendables" squadron had much more to do with boat availability than with esthetics. . .

Will

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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: Jul 11, 2013 - 3:30pm
My guess is that the better-looking boats -- the 80' Elcos -- were purposefully used as the Ron CO's and Exec's boats and for pretty much all the close-up and combat scenes.

I have read over the years the boats used in the film were from Ron 4, the training Squadron, and obviously they had two 80' Elcos and four 78' Huckins boats to offer the film company. I can't see any other reason there were only two 80' Elcos in the film.


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Frank Andruss

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank Andruss   Send Email To Frank Andruss Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 - 3:39pm
It is possible that these were the only boats the Navy would release for the film..................


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Will Day

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Will Day   Send Email To Will Day Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 - 7:03pm
What's also interesting is that years later two Osprey-class PTFs were used as Ron 3 boats in the film "MacArthur".


Will

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