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 Author  Topic: Mothballing PT Boats


Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TED WALTHER   Send Email To TED WALTHER Posted on: May 25, 2017 - 7:31am
Earlier this month when emailing Chip, I came to the conclusion that the dehydration tests performed at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on PT 47 and PT 59 in March 1945, were performed with the idea of finding a way to store PT Boats for the long term, after the war was over. I have no idea if the intention was to store the boats for future use or sale, or both. But Chip has found documentation showing that the PT Boats given to Norway in 1951(PT 602-606, PT 608-612,) were stored in some fashion at the Brooklyn Navy Yard annex in Bayonne.

Today, here is an except from an article on mothballing U.S. Navy vessels after the war:
Wooden ships

The US Navy at the end of WWII still had wooden-hulled vessels in use; most notably minesweepers, yard service boats, landing craft, and of course the famous PT boats. An entire procedure was developed for preserving wooden craft in reserve. The smallest of the types were craned ashore. For the others, all minor equipment was removed, and a rot-inhibitor sprayed onto the hulls. On minesweepers, the rust preventative compound was applied liberally to winches, reels, etc. Smaller craft, such as the PT boat below, were covered with a ventilated oiled canvas apron to run off rainwater.

The photo above from the November 1945 issue of All Hands magazine shows an optimistic outlook for mothballed PT boats. The reality was somewhat different. With no tactical niche in the postwar navy, PT boats were viewed as much of a burden as asset. Over 100 of them were destroyed in the Pacific to save the expense of shipping them back to the USA. The photo below shows a row of PT boats at Samar, Philippines after the end of WWII. They were stripped of any and everything useful, driven aground at high tide, then burned at low tide to further recover remaining steel.

The same largely held true for plywood landing boats, wooden yard punts, and the such. During WWII these were viewed as semi-disposable from the start. A procedural maneuver after Japans surrender moved them from vessels to command property, like jeeps or typewriters. This cut the bureaucratic red tape needed to quickly get rid of many of them.

The "Command Property" reference in regards to PT Boats, is when the were reclassified as Small Boats and given a C- number.

Take care,


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Will Day


Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Will Day   Send Email To Will Day Posted on: May 25, 2017 - 11:26am
Thanks, Ted. Interesting stuff...


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Jeff D


Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: May 25, 2017 - 2:55pm
Yes, interesting thanks Ted.


One can dream...

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