The PT Boat Forum

Forum Category: PT Boats of WWII

Forum Name: PT Boats - General


Seems as though not much out there contains Higgins PT Boats during the building process. I need to ask you guys if you can spare any good quality pictures of the boats in the building stages, being put into the water, trial runs, deck construction, Higgins Hellcat shots, weapons systems, engine installation, workers at the Higgins plant. You get the picture. I have roughly 20 or so pictures, but need more. Any help you guys have would b awesome..........

Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Dec 27, 2008 - 3:38pm
Total Posts: 3191 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am

Hey Frank! Here's the best I've seen on the web:


It's the Higgins Factory photos from Gene's PT King website...

You have all of the other photos I have...has anyone bought that new book on Andrew Higgins? Any PT factory stuff?

Grandson of James J Stanton
RON 15 PT 209 and RON 23 PT 243
Check out:

Posted By: newsnerd99 | Posted on: Jan 1, 2009 - 5:14pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered

Here's some from [url][/url]:


Posted By: Jeff D | Posted on: Jan 2, 2009 - 3:31am
Total Posts: 1960 | Joined: Dec 21, 2006 - 1:30am

Thanks for sharing those great photos. The differences between Higgins and Elco are interesting. I know that the Elco boats started their life inverted. Does anyone know about the Higgins boats? All these photos show here right side up all the time.

Having modeled the Elco cradle I thought the Higgins cradle was interesting. Most of what I see appears to be wood compared to the Elco cradle which is steel with wood supports.

Does anyone know what those squares are at the base of the hull on the stern? There are 4 of them. I don't recall seeing these before.


David Waples

Posted By: David Waples | Posted on: Jan 2, 2009 - 5:50am
Total Posts: 1629 | Joined: Jan 2, 2007 - 9:55pm

Could someone PLEASE email me at and please tell me how would one credit these photos, please? ASAP?



Posted By: TGConnelly | Posted on: Jan 2, 2009 - 8:13am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered

For citiations, see

Suggested credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-USF35-1326]

Posted By: Alex Johnson | Posted on: Jan 2, 2009 - 9:22am
Total Posts: 70 | Joined: Mar 2, 2007 - 12:07pm

Glad to be of service David. The hellcat was an experimental boat by the way so what you see...

Garth, search the link I posted for "torpedo boat" and you can find out bibliographic information about the images such as year taken. For example, from the bow shot with the sign "keel laid...":


Production. Motor torpedo boats (wooden). Planking a new seventy-eight-foot motor torpedo boat at a large Southern shipyard. These speedy wooden vessels are built of prefabricated parts and sections under roof. When the hull is ready for launching and fitting it is removed from the plant to nearby water. Higgins Industries.

Hollem, Howard R., photographer.

1942 July.

Title and other information from caption card.

Actual size of negative is C (approximately 4 x 5 inches).

Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington Division; 1944.

Safety film negatives.
United States.

United States. Office of War Information.

1 negative : safety ; 5 x 7 inches or smaller.

LC-USE6- D-006857

LC-USE6-D-006857 DLC (b&w film neg.)

Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection (Library of Congress)

Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division Washington, DC 20540

(intermediary roll film) fsa 8b09530


On the search results page, clicking "gallery view" will bring up thumbnails. On the thumbnail page, clicking "Display Images with Neighboring Call Numbers" may show similar images.

Posted By: Jeff D | Posted on: Jan 2, 2009 - 10:27am
Total Posts: 1960 | Joined: Dec 21, 2006 - 1:30am

Hey Jeff,
Thanks for the heads up on that Site,hours of searching there!
Thanks Mate


Posted By: Michael | Posted on: Jan 2, 2009 - 12:53pm
Total Posts: 218 | Joined: Aug 6, 2007 - 7:25pm


Thank you so much for all of your efforts to get these put onto the message board. It sems as though Higgins Industries did not do as good a job of taking photo's as did Elco. With Elco I have over 200-275 photographs. Higgins has hardley any. I would like to use these but they must be at least 300 DPI, and buying them is cosly.........

Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Jan 2, 2009 - 6:59pm
Total Posts: 3191 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am

Frank and anyone else -

When you search the American Memory site, the images are in JPEG form but there are usually also uncompressed TIFF versions which should be high resolulton enough for publication. Hope this ehlps.


Posted By: Alex Johnson | Posted on: Jan 2, 2009 - 7:48pm
Total Posts: 70 | Joined: Mar 2, 2007 - 12:07pm

Yah man Michael, I've spent lots of hours getting lost there.

I hear you about the resolution Frank, the larger the better. Besides fitness for print, trying to glean details from fuzzy photos makes for hard modeling. As Alex mentions there are higher resolution .tif images for some of the photos but not for these. They have .tif versions in addition to the .jpg files but they are the same size in pixels, half of what I've posted. I downloaded the tif files and blew them up double.

If available, the high resolution .tif images are fantastic. I only found a couple of Higgins boats in the large size including three color shots They are about 190MB in size.

Posted By: Jeff D | Posted on: Jan 2, 2009 - 9:56pm
Total Posts: 1960 | Joined: Dec 21, 2006 - 1:30am


I went into the files and tried to copy the comprsssed files, but it won't let you copy them in the Tiff format. I think that is done on purpose so that you wont just take them and use them. Dave, get in touch with Jerry Gilmartin. I think he has the plans for the Higgins Cradle. After all, they have the real deal............

Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Jan 3, 2009 - 2:46pm
Total Posts: 3191 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am

Frank . . .

Go to the Text Link and -Try a Right-Click on your mouse then choose save to disk while holding down the mouse right button. It should down load to your computer not your web browser.

Web browser do know who to display .tif ( TIFF ) files.

Dick . . .

Posted By: Dick | Posted on: Jan 3, 2009 - 3:14pm
Total Posts: 1263 | Joined: Aug 27, 2006 - 6:36pm

Hello Dave,
I have a few pictures of our steel and wood 78 foot Higgins cradle. You can clearly see it is made from steel I-beams and has wooden pads in several spots to protect the boat from damage. Also I have an idea what those square boxes are on the stern of the Higgins Hellcat. I think they may be square zinc anti-corrosion plates. I can show you what they look like on the 78 foot boats up above the rudders. If they are not zinc plates, then I think they may have something to do with making the boat go faster, since the Hellcat could do reportedly 63 knots! I think LT Bob Searles of Guadalcanal fame was her skipper for test runs on Lake Ponchartrain during 1944. Jerry

Here is the empty steel cradle on our barge after launching the boat last July


Here is a good view of the underside of boat on cradle you can see how the wooden pads are positioned


Here is aview from the forward port side of the boat of the cradle


Here is the entire cradle sitting on the barge


Here is more detail of the aft part of cradle


Here is a view showing those square zinc anti corrosion plates over each rudder


Here is another view of those square zinc plates on PT 631 builders photos


I hope these are helpful. Jerry

Jerry Gilmartin

Posted By: Jerry Gilmartin | Posted on: Jan 4, 2009 - 10:33am
Total Posts: 1245 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 11:16pm