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 Author  Topic: Huckins Information - MTBRON 4 and MTBRON 14
Andy Small

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Andy Small   Send Email To Andy Small Posted on: Dec 13, 2013 - 9:07pm
This photo taken of a Huckins PT Boat at Melville during the winter of 44-45 is interesting in that it shows the boat with an SO Radar positioned farther aft than shown in photos of MTBRON-26 boats. This may mean that the radar folds down forward? Also shows the later torp rack forward as well as what looks to be a forward mounted 20mm. Also has the later cockpit spray shield and what looks to be a signal hoist mast.

Does anyone have additional information on this photo, or an actual print of the photo? Also, are there any former MTBRON 4 or MTBRON 14 members that could provide additional information? And does anyone have any photos of MTBRON 14 Huckins operating in Panama? I've only seen photo of ones prior with the factory setup. I'm thinking this might have been one of the former Ron 14 boats? or maybe just a Huckins with local Melville mods.

Thanks for any assistance on this

photo



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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: Dec 14, 2013 - 3:35pm
Interesting...

That's exactly where the fake "radar" mast and dome was placed on the 70' Vosper MTB that was used as PT 73 on the old TV show "McHale's Navy."


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  Jerry N Gilmartin

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jerry N Gilmartin  Posted on: Dec 15, 2013 - 11:38am
Hey Andy,
I had posted these two photos of RON26 Huckins boats in Pearl Harbor I think it is PT263? a few years ago. They were taken by Chester Gralund of RON17. I think the two Rons were moored close together. This was around Christmas of 1944. I am not sure if this is what you were looking for. Jerry

PT263 RON26 view of Starboard side shows radar mast


Bow view of PT263 moored in Pearl Harbor. Taken from RON17 boat.




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Andy Small

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Andy Small   Send Email To Andy Small Posted on: Dec 15, 2013 - 8:40pm
Thanks Jerry,

That first photo is PT 262 and is a great shot of the Ron 26 SO Radar as well as the later Huckins 50 cal turrets. The second shot provided great location data on the forward 20mm.

My Radar question (on the photo I posted) is that this particular Huckins has the SO radar posted what looks to be about 4-5 ft farther aft than the RON 26 boats. Since all the other RON 4 Huckins photos I've seen are ones with the earlier Mark VIII torps, no forward 20mm, and sans radar, I was wondering if this was a photo of one of the former Panama Defense RON 14 boats (after the transfer to Melville) and if this was an example of the standard RON 14 Huckins setup?....or was this just a configuration done at Melville?...Since there seem to be no photos of RON 14 boats during the summer of 44, it's hard to know, unless there's a former crew member that could assist.

I am currently working on a 1/72 and 1/35 scale Huckins model kit and am planning to offer the parts to construct all the various configurations. These two photo will really help with this project! Thanks!

Andy


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Andy Small

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Andy Small   Send Email To Andy Small Posted on: Dec 23, 2013 - 12:37pm
Through research I am now 95% sure the photo taken in Melville was a RON 4 local modification, so I'm thinking either PT 95, 96 or 97. This setup most probably was a training configuration to directly support RON 26 trainees.

Question, are there any RON 4 vets who might be able to shed some light on the Huckins configurations used for training? This configuration may only have been a single boat. Also former RON 14 boats PT 101 and 102 were stripped of weapons (never had radar) and were used for boat driving and probably bumper drills with the newbies. I don't know what happened to PT 98 thru 100.

It seems that the RON 14 boats returned to RON 4 pretty much in their original MK VIII non-radar configuration.


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Andy Small

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Andy Small   Send Email To Andy Small Posted on: Dec 29, 2013 - 6:11am
Watched They Were Expendable and went back through all the film info posted. So with that info plus noticing the later style Huckins hull (PT 98 and later). I changed my assumption and guessed that the SO Radar Melville boat was PT98. That assumption was just confirmed today by another Melville photo

So the original posted photo is PT98 waiting to go into the floating dry dock. Of note, the new info confirmed the SO radar was set on the port side to be able to clear the aft 20mm when lowered aft. Later on this boat was stripped of all her weapons with just the radar remaining.


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Andy Small

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Andy Small   Send Email To Andy Small Posted on: Dec 29, 2013 - 6:20am
And I see I forgot to add that the Radar mast was centered about 30 degrees to port, and that the mast folded down to starboard, so a diagonal folding from port to starboard across the boat. Most unusual in my opinion.


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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: Dec 29, 2013 - 8:15pm
Andy;
Here are the pics I mentioned, All are from George Strong a crewman on PT 100 RON 14, they show some interesting items , but, the last one will be of most interest to you, it's of PT 100 RON 14 underway in the Panama Canal 1944, you will notice she has the SO-A radar mast and roll off torpedo racks, also 20 mm ammo storage boxes in front of cockpit. Enjoy.
Take care,
TED


PT 99 RON 14 MOORED TO FLOATING PIER TOBOGA PANAMA 1943


PT 100 RON 14 MOORED FLOATING PIER TOBOGA PANAMA 1943


PT 100 RON 14 ON MARINE RAILWAY TOBOGA PANAMA 1943


PT 100 RON14 GUNNERS MATE WITH 50 CAL AMMO BELT PANAMA 1943


PT 100 RON 14 CREWMAN FAKING DOWN LINE MORO IS. TOBOGA PANAMA 1943


PT 100 RON 14 CREWMAN AT WHEEL IN PANAMA CANAL 1943


PT 100 CREWMAN AT WHEEL IN PANAMA CANAL 1943 #2



PT 100 RON 14 SIMULATED TORPEDO ATTACK ON US BATTLESHIP


PT 100 RON 14 FIRING TORPEDO 1943 PANAMA



PT 100 RON 14 UNDERWAY IN PANAMA CANAL 1944







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Andy Small

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Andy Small   Send Email To Andy Small Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 - 2:39am
Thanks Ted! These photos of RON 14 boats have resolved many questions I had including several earlier photos taken in Florida.

On the SO Radar position, it confirms my offset cant to the left, but my placement was way off since it shows it just to the right of the center, but still folding down to the starboard to clear the aft mount. Also has a great view of the huge aft deflection rail maze due to the radar being positioned so far aft. I still believe the other PT98 photos confirm the placement of the forward 20mm to starboard due to the forward raft's placement to port, but would seem to me to cause some list issues to starboard.

These photos also make me question the list of Huckins used in the movie They were Expendable since the movie PT35 now only matches up with the PT97 configuration (which did not have the forward deck vents but had the one piece forward grab rail), which I don't recall seeing on any of the list of participating boats. I had originally thought PT35 was PT100 by the process of elimination, but this had been purely an assumption since I did not have any photos of PT100 to go by...until now. Oh well, all part of the snooping research process.

Andy


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Andy Small

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Andy Small   Send Email To Andy Small Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 - 4:17am
After a more careful look and locating a higher res photo, the Movie "PT 35" does show fake Mk8s torps, forward starboard gun mount deck plate, port raft, 20mm ammo cans, and several other items that reveal it to be one of the former RON 14 boats that would have been upgraded with the MK13s, forward 20mm and most probably, SO Radar. Since I do not have access to a good clear photo of the foredeck of PT98, I can only guess that PT35 is PT 98. It's not PT 99 thru 101 since there are no deck vents and not PT 102 since it has a once piece forward grab rail.

Semper Gumby!
Andy


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