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 Author  Topic: AUSTIN TRAINER
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: Mar 28, 2014 - 8:24pm
Tonight I was reading Knights of the Sea, and on page 76 it mentions that the Austin Trainer, (which was an ELCO 80 cockpit trainer built by the Austin Co. in conjunction with ELCO that was used at Melville in 1945), was brought to Memphis in 1968.
Was the original idea to use it in the projected restoration of PT 619, the boat that was returned from Korea around the same time, and sat outside for a few years in Memphis, before being destroyed??

What happened to the trainer after 1968? Where did it go?
Did they use it on the restoration of PT 617?

Also, was there anything saved from PT 619?
Take care,
TED
P.S. The photo of PT 619 on page 76, looks so sad, just like the boats up in Kingston, NY today.



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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 31, 2014 - 9:03pm
The Austin Trainer sounds neat -- I'd like to see a photo of that baby!


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  Jerry Gilmartin

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jerry Gilmartin   Send Email To Jerry Gilmartin Posted on: Mar 31, 2014 - 9:56pm
All, if you open Dicks book linked on this website, "An Administrative History of PT Boats" on page 108 Figure 25 shows a grainy photo of the Austin Trainer. It was supposed to be used for torpedo aiming training, but was not very successful. It looks to be basically a mock up of an 80 ft Elco boat's bridge and helm area.

Jerry Gilmartin
PT658 Crewman
Portland OR

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Jeff D

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: Apr 1, 2014 - 4:32am
Thanks Jerry, good memory. That would make a perfect bar for Frank's man cave!

Meanwhile, his grandkids could be out back playing with this other training device:

BuAer made available to MTBSTC one of its Special Device Sections Mechanical Torpedo Attack Teachers. This is a self-propelled cart which launches a self-propelled torpedo at a self-propelled target. This trainer requires a large area of smooth decking, and its use at Melville was limited.

It sounds like the worlds largest pinball game. Or maybe skeet shooting with really slow bullets.



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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: Apr 1, 2014 - 7:26am
Jeff, Drew and Jerry;
Another good photo is in Charlie's book about MTBTC/MTBSC. As I said KOTS states it was brought to Memphis in 1968......i was just wondering, where did it go??
Talk about a mancave!! Can you imagine a operational Austin Trainer in your mancave, then Captain Kirk's chair(with hidden beer cooler or kegenator in the armrest!) in front of a 84" flat screen TV? HEAVEN!
Take care,
TED


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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: Apr 1, 2014 - 1:37pm

Here is the photo from the book "AN ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY OF PTS, IN WORLD WAR II, OFFICE OF NAVAL HISTORY, 15 February 1946" Be sure to down load this free PT boat document as well as others on the "Free PT Documents" page. Just click on the link in the above masthead of this page. As a note there are some new document materials just post courtesy of Bridge Carney, the material consists of miscellaneous Deck Logs and Action Reports Bridge purchased from the National Archive while doing research.





In a Gunnery sub-department, Torpedo Fire Control, problems did arise. This was the problem of instructing officers in the proper methods and procedure of accurate torpedo firing. From August of 1943 to October of 1944, PTs in the Pacific fired few torpedoes, although the boats were designed primarily for that purpose. Instead they became high speed gun boats. In the European theatre, on the other hand, torpedo firing was common, and the boats continued to carry out their prime function as notably exemplified by the performance of MTB Squadron FIFTEEN in the Mediterranean. As a majority of the boats were in the Pacific, re-education for most of the returning boat officers in torpedo fire control was essential. In addition, all student officers were educated in this part of the Gunnery Departments program.

A Mark 4 Mod 0 torpedo attack trainer was procured from the Austin Company under a BuOrd contract in May 1944, but the trainer never proved successful. Limited training was possible, but either because of faulty installation or construction, this device never lived up to expectations. Efforts were still being made in August of 1945 to correct the deficiencies existing in the equation solving units of the device, for it was felt that these units were the seat of all the trouble.

The Training Center also possessed a British Torpedo Director Trainer which was used from the earlier days of the program. This Trainer is in no way similar to the Austin Trainer, and affords practice for torpedo shots made with seamans eye. There is no plotting element, and the training given is effective only for basic visual attacks.

BuAer made available to MTBSTC one of its Special Device Sections Mechanical Torpedo Attack Teachers. This is a self-propelled cart which launches a selfpropelled torpedo at a self-propelled target. This trainer requires a large area of smooth decking, and its use at Melville was limited.

Basic training in Torpedo Fire Control therefore devolved upon the maneuvering board, and this method of plotting and fire control was generally stressed throughout the program. It was probably the only generally satisfactory method of plotting radar data with the equipment that was on the boats.

Early procurement of synthetic training devices would have been an improvement in this department, and no doubt would have resulted in a better brand of torpedo firing than was exhibited by the PTs at Surigaio Straits. Another retarding factor in the teaching program was the size of the classes, seldom less than thirty and running as high as seventy. Because of the lack of individual instruction in such large classes, and because a majority of the class was left inactive while a handful were using some device as the British trainer, instruction suffered. In all fairness, this is not solely a criticism of the Torpedo Fire Control sub Department, but of many of the Departments at Melville.



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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: Apr 1, 2014 - 7:33pm
Jeff, this is a fantastic idea, I think I will get Stan to work on it right away. I would have to have built in speakers so I could hear the Packard Engines as well. Just what i need more ideas.


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