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 Author  Topic: Colour Of PT-103 Class Torpedos?
PeterTareBuilder

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of PeterTareBuilder  Posted on: Aug 19, 2008 - 1:54pm
Hi there.

What colour was the warhead of the torpedos on the early war (the torpedos fired from the tubes) PT-103 Class of boat?

Thanks from PeterTareBuilder

"Give me a faster PT boat for I'd like to get out of harm's way!"

Total Posts: 494 | Joined: Jun 24, 2008 - 5:59pm | IP Logged

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: Aug 19, 2008 - 7:18pm
Hi PeterTare,
The explosive filled warheads were often unpainted, and they were cast from phosphor bronze (warhead filled with TNT) and the bronze would often be oxidized and smeared with grease for inside the tube. If it was a training or practice torpedo it was made of steel and ribbed inside and usually painted yellow. I have seen numerous photos of boats at Melville with the Yellow- Painted Warheads, and undoubtably these were all training practice torpedoes. The difference is the practice head was filled with water and then blown out with air to make the practice warhead float after the shot for ease of recovery. Steel was stronger than bronze, so they made the practice torpedoes heads from steel. Conversely, the bronze was partially filled with Torpex explosive (TNT mixed with Aluminum Powder) and the bronze construction material was better at not muffling or "holding in" the explosive force of the Torpex.
There really was no reason to paint the warheads of the torps in the tubes since they were inside and not visible, but I have seen them sometimes painted black or grey in color movies. The after bodies were usually bare steel again not painted but smeared also with grease. I hope this helps a little bit. By the way, Frank Andruss has 2 DVD's he sells called "PT Boats at war" Volume I and II and part of it shows them assembling torpedoes on a tender as well as loading them into tubes and greasing them down. Well worth the expense. You should ask Frank if he has any copies to sell!
Take care
Jerry G
PT658 Portland

Jerry Gilmartin

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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: Aug 20, 2008 - 2:31pm
PTB,

To add to what Jerry said, go back to Page 21 of the Message Board and open Dave Waples's post "Torpedo Tube Cover Information."

On Dave's post, you'll find a vintage color photo of PT 61 that Wayne Traxel posted, and the bronze color of the torpedo warheads are quite clear.

Wayne got that color photo and others from the 61's skipper at the time, Ken Prescott. BTW, it's believed the boat moored to starboard of the 61 in that photo, the torpedo tubes and (bronze) warheads of which can be seen, is none other than PT 109.

We all owe Wayne and Mr. Prescott a huge THANK YOU for that and the other PT 61 color photos -- they're almost priceless, historically.


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PeterTareBuilder

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of PeterTareBuilder  Posted on: Aug 20, 2008 - 2:42pm
Hi and *THANK YOU*!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is fantastic! What a great way to be able to add a wee bit of colour to what could otherwise be a very drab colour scheme.

You fellows are great.

In appreciation, PeterTareBuilder

"Give me a faster PT boat for I'd like to get out of harm's way!"

Total Posts: 494 | Joined: Jun 24, 2008 - 5:59pm | IP Logged


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