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 Author  Topic: Where did the PT Boat go?
Travis B

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Travis B   Send Email To Travis B Posted on: Nov 15, 2021 - 3:25pm
This is a long shot and has been on my mind for several weeks now. My Uncles Boat PT 380 from RON 28 was Sold after WW2 at government auction, the question is where did it go? My first step was to try and find the government auction paperwork but no luck with that. I have spoken to a Russian historian who says the 380 was not sold or sent to Russia. I am at a loss and really just looking to complete the boats history. If anyone on this great forum can point me in the right direction to help me find out what happened to PT 380 I would be forever grateful.

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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: Nov 16, 2021 - 8:03am
Travis;
This has been something of a mystery, as I am sure some sort of documentation exists in the National Archives, but we haven’t “discovered “ what entity was truly responsible for sale/transfer of the remaining 180 boats at Samar that were not destroyed. Chip Marshall was the only person actively researching this. I did come across a newspaper article from late 1940’s that stated 4 boats (including PT 366), we’re heading to Taiwan and ran into a severe storm and were damaged, and I think it said PT 366 and some USN crew were lost. I have this saved on my computer at home, I am currently out of the country.
Several boats were moved to Okinawa as a staging base, supposedly for movement to Taiwan.
Take care,
TED


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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: Nov 16, 2021 - 9:00am
Travis;
In addition:
The Foriegn Liquidation Commission was in charge of all sales/transfers of “unused” equipment. They handled all types of vessels at numerous locations around the globe.
I have a photo of a Higgins and a Vosper in Taiwanese Navy markings.
I also now an ELCO and a Higgins were used in Korea by a CIA backed outfit run by CDR Phil Bucklew USN. There is a write up of this group in Knights of The Sea, by a original RON 6 PT 113 Chief. Its a personal history written by CMoMM Calvert A. Posey, he worked with Phil Bucklew and CIA(Special Support Activity) in Korea and states they ran a Higgins PT and a ELCO out of Pang Yang Do, South Korea up into North Korean waters looking for North Korean radar stations and such. Retired USN in 1957 and stayed on working for the State Dept in South Korea until 1959.


The Boats in the Philippines were liquidated there.
We had a Filipino guy, pop up on the PT Boat messageboard for a few posts, he grew up near Base 16 ( Puerto Isabela, Basilian, Zamboanga, P.I), so he has to be at least 70-something. Two Squadrons were originally based here during war, Ron 21,24. But several other RONs ended up there as they built a big base there.
Anyway, he wrote he remembered seeing the boats after the war, being sold to locals and used as inter-Island Ferry boats and house boats. When I pressed him for more info and/or a photo or two, he disappeared-never responded. So many were sold to locals, but not 115.
One of the 1946 Foreign Liquidation Commission reports to Congress states 83 patrol boats were sold. I am sure this includes PT’s but can also include ASR’s, YP’s, PGM’s, and other small craft types.

That’s all for now.
Take care,
TED


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Travis B

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Travis B   Send Email To Travis B Posted on: Nov 17, 2021 - 6:32am
I did a google search on The Foriegn Liquidation Commission and came up with this site, https://archives.un.org/ I sent them a email and this is the response I received.

Dear Travis,



If this information exists in our archives, it will be part of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) which purchased a lot of surplus material following the end of World War II. This is the finding aid for UNRRA records.



Please note that we do not have staff who would be able to conduct research on your behalf, nor can we recommend an external individual who would be able to do it for you.



Best regards,

Alex

This is exciting! Over the weekend I will be searching the archives!

I have also found three documents on https://history.state.gov/

https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1946v11/d1044

https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1946v11/d391

https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1947v04/d475

The last link has confirmed the sinking of PT 85, 87 and 197.

"With respect to ships, boats, barges and floating drydocks of the Navy, signed custody receipts are held in the Navy Department for 585 craft as listed in Annex (B)2 hereto. Reports received in the Navy Department indicate that of the above craft three (3) Motor Torpedo Boats Nos. 85, 87 and 197 have been lost. Of the craft listed in Annex (B), not reported destroyed or lost, the Navy Department desires that the following types and numbers be recaptured and returned to the custody of the United States upon the conclusion of the Lend-Lease settlement agreement"




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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: Nov 19, 2021 - 7:42am
Travis;
Thanks for this link! Chip and I for years were interested in Lend-Lease PT’s sent to USSR. Specifically final disposition. Several ELCO’s were scuttled in a bay just off the Barents Sea.
This document is very interesting:
https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1949v05/d444
I am going through all these Docs.
Take care,
TED


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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 2, 2021 - 7:32am

Travis;

Just to add to the conversation,

Here is a little Jewel from Master Researcher - from The Late Chip Marshall.

When researching the PT boat records at the National Archives, I came across some information on PT boats and Operation Crossroads in material that had been recently declassified. Please note this is the ONLY hard evidence I have seen of PT boats being involved with nuclear weapons during or just after World War Two. The information comes from documents found in Record Group 19 (Bureau of Ships) file titled "Records Relating to Operation Crossroads 1946-1948."

As you may or may not know, after the war, a group of Elco PT boats located at the Brooklyn (New York) Navy Yard were reclassified as Small Boats by the Bureau of Ships in 1946. Former PT boats, converted to remote control drones, were to be used for "Test Charlie" (the third atomic bomb testing) at Bikini Atoll. Apparently, the LCVP landing craft used for the first two tests could not get into certain areas quickly enough to gather the necessary post-blast information.

Instructions from the CNO's office followed: "PT Drone Boats and
also organization of Drone Boat Unit under CNO to cover transition period
from LCVP to PT Drone Boats. The Drone Boat Unit to operate in the
San Diego area and to include BEGOR and UDT team plus technical
personnel."

Another message from the CNO's office on 26 July 1946 included this
information (I only included the information applicable to PT boats): "(b) 6 PT boats radio controlled to be furnished by BuShips, including provision and installation of radio control equipment, sampling device, two Gieger Counters, and radio link. Radio beacon, flashing unit, anchor release, and smoke unit are not required. PT Boat conversion to be carried out at Terminal Island. (c) DEPCOMTECH to initiate request for mother ship to support. (g) PT Drone boats are to be equipped for sampling of surface water only. (h) PT Drone Boats to be painted yellow. (i) Aircraft to be used for conning of PT boats in same manner for LCVP drones.

On September 5, 1946, the US Navy Bureau of Ships ("owner" of the
boats) reclassified eight PT boats (486,487,505,557,559,614,615, and
618) as small boats. Each boat was assigned a "C" number and
retained at the New York Navy Yard for further disposition. A message was sent to the CNO "EIGHT PT BOATS ARE AVAILABLE AT NEW YORK X NO PLANS YET MADE FOR LIFTING THEM TO SAN DIEGO."

That is the last of the PT boat information in the Operations
Crossroads files. "Test Charlie" was never done and the Bureau of
Ships released the former PT boats again for disposal or transfer.
All eight of the Operation Crossroads boats were eventually sold off locally on the east coast of the United States.

The rest of this little diddy is supposition on my part and based on readings and the memories of others that could or could not be accurate. After the war, the only PT boats I know of that made it to the Japanese home islands (Okinawa is NOT included) are those boats returned from Lend Lease by the Russians in the 1950s and the four Elco boats transferred to the ROKNavy in the early 1950s.

The practice in other parts of the world for PT boats being returned from Lend Lease was to strip the boats of all military and electronic gear and sell off what was left. The procedure was necessary because the boats had literally been worked to death. No surveys were done of the individual hulls (that I have found) such as those done for the boats being returned by the Royal Navy.

However, a fair number of boats being returned from the Russians on their east coast had not seen any use. Some were still in their shipping cradles with the protective wrapping still in place. This information comes from a US Navy tug boat sailor and a USAF rescue boat sailor looking for a source of Packard parts. I know of one Vosper boat that ended up in the Japanese Maritime Safety Agency, one Higgins that went to work for the CIA in the Taiwan Straits, and a collection of boats consisting of one Elco, one Higgins, and two Vospers that ended up in the service of the Republic of China Navy. But I have not seen any evidence to suggest an American military unit operated PT boats in Japanese home waters except those I have already mentioned.

Now, getting back to the issue of PT boats and nuclear weapons, I don't know of any PT boats in the area of the Operation Crossroads Tests Able and Baker. Someone help me out here if I am wrong. By this time the boats had been collected, surveyed, and a determination had been made as to their individual fates.

And one quick note about the National Archives: all of the records are NOT there and the organization of those records does not make the efforts of any researcher easy. Having said all that, you would not believe the "high" one gets when a "gold nugget" is found. Truly amazing.

For those asking the questions, if you have ANY specific information (places, dates, boat numbers, etc), that will go a LONG way to finding out what really took place according to the records. If anyone has some additional information, opinions, or questions, please feel free to contact me.


Chip Marshall



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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: Dec 3, 2021 - 7:16am
Good stuff, thank you Ted for digging that up. Chip often gave us new (to us PT fans) PT history that he researched at the archives. He was also a heck of a nice guy and I sure do miss him.


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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 4, 2021 - 11:46am
Jeff;
Me too. If you learn anything you want to know, when you get to Heaven, Chip by now, must know the answer to every PT Boat related question.
Take care,
TED


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Travis B

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Travis B   Send Email To Travis B Posted on: Dec 9, 2021 - 12:36pm
Not sure if anyone else has ever seen this War Diary Dated 9/1-30/45.

It talks about the decommissioning of all PT Boat squadrons


I have included the link - https://catalog.archives.gov/id/77580676





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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 10, 2021 - 5:37am
Travis;
Good stuff! Maritime Foreign Liquidation Commission(MFLC) is next, as CDR Alex Michaud was in charge of Base 17/ PT disposal for USN, he later became COMPTRONSPACFLT(relieving RADM Bates )and later was transferred to the State Department, where he would become the head of the Maritime Division of Foreign Liquidation Commission.
Take care,
TED


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