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Forum Category: PT Boats of WWII
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Forum Name: PT Boats - General
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Topic: Elco 70 FT. Color Photo
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Here is an interesting photo I have come across showing her decks a natural wood color. When was this taken? Notice the two colors on the forward cabin structure. Any clues guys.

Frank

[image]http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p249/ptboats/FrankAndruss/70_Elco_Color_Photo.jpg[/image]






Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Feb 28, 2011 - 11:45pm
Total Posts: 3179 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am



Frank;
Is this really a 70 foot Elco? I don't see a 1 between the T and the next number. in fact the number looks like a 2. Were the first 77' boats(PT 20-23) natural deck at first? During acceptance trials/shakedown? I always thought they were painted .
TED



Posted By: TED WALTHER | Posted on: Mar 1, 2011 - 8:14am
Total Posts: 2887 | Joined: Oct 16, 2006 - 7:42am



Ted

In trying to check out that number on the bow, I could not see anything that looks like 10-19. You could be correct in that this might not be a 70 Footer at all.



Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Mar 1, 2011 - 8:40am
Total Posts: 3179 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am



Alex Johnson tells me that it is a 70 footer. You guys could just ask him to verify this ...

Garth



Posted By: TGConnelly | Posted on: Mar 1, 2011 - 1:44pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



It appears to me to be a 70' Elco based on the "PT 1"something on the hull, the cabin shape, and the torpedo tube type found on the original seventy footers. ALEX



Posted By: Alex Johnson | Posted on: Mar 1, 2011 - 2:40pm
Total Posts: 70 | Joined: Mar 2, 2007 - 12:07pm



[image]http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p249/ptboats/FrankAndruss/70_Elco_Color_Photo.jpg[/image]


Here are the original ELCO drawings for the 70' and first series 77' boats at the same scale and aligned.
[IMaGe]http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i204/alross2/comp.jpg[/IMaGe]

This looks like a 70' boat to me. Some of the key indicators are the 18" torpedo tubes (note the shape of the fore and aft saddles), the rectangular aft cockpit window, the distance between the stern and the aft-most cowl vents, the location of the after-most cowl vent in relation to the aft saddle on the torpedo tube, the rounded aft edge of the charthouse roof (as opposed to the sharp edge of the 77') and the parallel alignment of the forward-most cowl vents.

Al.



Posted By: alross2 | Posted on: Mar 1, 2011 - 3:14pm
Total Posts: 904 | Joined: Oct 30, 2006 - 8:19pm




This is a really confusing image -

Reference "Allied Coastal Force, of World War II, Volume II, Vosper MTB's & U.S. Elco's" by Labert and Ross" Page 129, drawings showing the Super structures of 70 & 77 footers. As well as the many other detail drawings by Al. My personnel interpretation is the chart house roof is fairly flat and the down turn at the aft end of the cockpit being more angular as shown in one of the drawings. Where the drawings show the PT 10-19 chart house being more bulbous and a rounder turn down at the aft end of the cockpit. Also the aft (#3) window shapes. With these items I would say its a 20-44. But, but the torpedo tubes configuration and their closeness to each other tells me its a 10-19. Oh well, I think the key is the top of the chart house section of the superstructure.

Hair pulling confusion, I quit, I'm going home now.

Dick . . .





Posted By: Dick | Posted on: Mar 1, 2011 - 3:14pm
Total Posts: 940 | Joined: Aug 27, 2006 - 6:36pm




Hair pulling confusion, I quit, I'm going home now.

Dick . . .


At least you have the hair to pull...[:-veryhappy-:]

Al



Posted By: alross2 | Posted on: Mar 1, 2011 - 3:59pm
Total Posts: 904 | Joined: Oct 30, 2006 - 8:19pm



Now that Al, mentioned those differences, I agree, this is a 70' Elco, I really missed that 3rd window being a different shape. Also the turret domes are different than those on a early 77' Elco.
O.K. I went through all of my photos, I have some around R.I. or N.Y., but most are of the New York to Miami trip, so this one with the natural deck this has to be before that.
I don't have a close up photo of PT 12(I only have a B/W overhead with what sort of looks like a Natural deck and another B/W shot with the group underway 11, 13, 14 and 9 are in this photo), PT 13 or PT 16(I have none of this boat).
The mystery continues.......



Posted By: TED WALTHER | Posted on: Mar 1, 2011 - 6:21pm
Total Posts: 2887 | Joined: Oct 16, 2006 - 7:42am



It's difficult to say where this photo was taken, although one small clue is the women to the right of the photo watching this boat move out. Wherever this was snapped is certainly close to shore as the women is watching from the dock. Also, in looking at the two men on the stern of the boat, the man to the right does not appear to be in Navy clothing. This is another one of those confusing photo's, which makes you wonder, where and when were these boats actually painted. We are lead to belive that the painting was done at Elco in Bayonnne, but very well could have been re-painted somewhere else. This is the first color photo that I have seen, which shows toe rails, and decking to be of the natural Mahoganey wood used in the building process, yet I have personel photos that show them fully painted in the basin tied up in front of Building 21.



Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Mar 1, 2011 - 6:48pm
Total Posts: 3179 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am



I think part of the I.D. problem is the foreshortened camera angle on the bow numbers. I think there might well be a "1" after the "PT".

Will

Posted By: Will Day | Posted on: Mar 1, 2011 - 6:58pm
Total Posts: 1896 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 4:19pm



If you look closely at the deck, you'll notice at least three different colors: the deck inboard of the toe rail has a greyish tint, outboard of the toe rail a more reddish tint, and the rub rails are somewhat lighter and tend more towards yellow. This is consistent with the materials used for the deck construction. Frame 254 of the 70' microfilm indicates that the outer decking was teak, laid in a chevron pattern; the covering board (the area between the toe rail and hull side) was mahogany; and, the rub rail was oak and spruce. This, and the two-colored charthouse, suggests to me that the boat was still in ELCO hands and not yet finished.

Al



Posted By: alross2 | Posted on: Mar 1, 2011 - 7:35pm
Total Posts: 904 | Joined: Oct 30, 2006 - 8:19pm






Posted By: alross2 | Posted on: Mar 1, 2011 - 7:35pm
Total Posts: 904 | Joined: Oct 30, 2006 - 8:19pm



It amazes me that Elco would go through so much Labor to get the boats completed. Why they would run the boats than bring them back to be repainted is a mystery. You drop the boats into the basin, run time trials, than bring them back, take them out of the water and paint them seems so labor intensive. When you watch the Elco Factory Film "Giant Killers" you get the feeling that the boats were ready to go once dropped into the water. Granted they most likely pieced the film together, but why paint later on. I'm sure they had the specs as to color schemes before hand. If this was the standard procedure, where were they painted, back at Elco? I have no evidence (photo's) that show any of the Elco boats being painted in other locations except the Elco Factory. I am going to call a friend of mine that worked at the old Elco site, to see if he knows anything.



Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Mar 2, 2011 - 6:34am
Total Posts: 3179 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am



To me it looks like a 2 after PT. Could be PT 20-26, 77' ELCO



Posted By: Gary Szot | Posted on: Mar 2, 2011 - 6:55am
Total Posts: 193 | Joined: Feb 12, 2007 - 1:00pm



Gary

I have blown up the photo to roughly 400% and I have to agree with you. It sure looks like the numeral 2, although the boat has all the curves and lines of the 70 Footer, per Al Ross's drawings.



Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Mar 2, 2011 - 7:11am
Total Posts: 3179 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am



Frank;
I don't feel this response is not within the time period of your photo here, but I do know that Fife's Shipyard in Glen Head, Long Island did paint some of the boats(However, my info here is mainly camoflage schemes), in addition they also installed the mufflers on alot of the boats, from the 77' Elcos until at least the 500 series 80' Elcos. I have also read in another source that they installed all the mufflers on Elco boats.
Take care,
TED



Posted By: TED WALTHER | Posted on: Mar 2, 2011 - 8:08am
Total Posts: 2887 | Joined: Oct 16, 2006 - 7:42am



Ted

I knew about Fife's, but like you, I thought they worked on the later boats and not the early ones. Why would they install Mufflers on the boats so far away from Elco. I have documentation that Mufflers were made for the boats from outside companies, but always thought they installed them at Elco. It makes no sense to bring the boats to Long Island to install Mufflers, but one can never say never, as we are finding out.



Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Mar 2, 2011 - 8:35am
Total Posts: 3179 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am



...and why is the forward part of the superstructure a different color? Is this another indication she was still at ELCO?

Will

Posted By: Will Day | Posted on: Mar 2, 2011 - 11:41am
Total Posts: 1896 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 4:19pm



Frank:
The 70 PT's and PTC's and early series 77 Elco boats(PT 20-44) did not have mufflers. The second-series 77 boats(PT 45-68) and the early 80 Elco's had them added at Fife's because, I seem to remember the first company that made them was a small marine manufacturer and boatyard near Fife's boatyard at Glenwood Landing, Glen Head, Long Island. maybe in Hempstead or Freeport I sort of want to think that the mufflers were an after thought, as a result of the British experiance in the English Channel. Our guys were not practicing on sneaking up on anybody at that time. They where firing practice torpedoes at targets in Narragansett Bay in true "They Were Expendable" fashion.
Look at the photo of PT 103 with Dick Kersey at the wheel, idling away from the Elco dock shortly after its launching, May 16, 1942. She has no mufflers. I believe this fell into the fitting out period which was after boat commissioning/squadron commissioning




Posted By: TED WALTHER | Posted on: Mar 2, 2011 - 12:44pm
Total Posts: 2887 | Joined: Oct 16, 2006 - 7:42am



Ted I knew about the non Mufflers in the first boats, but I know that Elco had contracts with several outside vendors, including Van Bleck Company, which made the majority of the muflers for the boats. Installing them was an Elco Job, but again we are finding out that it is possible that some work might have been done in other locations. Still, it makes no sense to me that the boats would have the mufflers installed so far away, when they certainly had qualified personel to do the job right on site. In speaking with my friend, Andy Shannahan, who worked at Electro Dynamic, he never heard of anyone other than Elco installing the mufflers, and was almost certain Elco did all of the painting on the earlier boats. He will do some research for me in the coming days and try and find out more. The biggest problem is no one is alive anymore to ask, and most of the companies that provided parts for Elco are long gone from the area.



Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Mar 2, 2011 - 1:39pm
Total Posts: 3179 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am



Having PTs worked on at Fyfe's Shipyard at Glenwood Landing, NY was apparently a common practice. AT CLOSE QUARTERS mentions that PT 71, 72, & 199 were overhauled there prior to being shipped to England. It also indicates that the 70' CPB boats that eventually became PT 368-371 were sent to Fyfe's for installation of ELCO fittings. This photo, cropped from a photo taken durng RON 18's commissioning (March 1943), shows a second series 77' ELCO in a cradle at the yard.
[IMaGe]http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i204/alross2/77ATFYFE.jpg[/IMaGe]

In his history of RON 37, Leo Brown writes:

In reference to her being painted gray, it was accordance with the contract between ELCO and the U.S. Government, which specified the gray.
It was only after the boats were completed and delivered that the determination as to which theatre of operations they would serve in was made. If they were destined for Europe, the gray paint was fine. But if slated for the Pacific, after acceptance by the Navy, they would be sent to a boat yard for painting in the green camouflage then being used in the Pacific island campaigns. The latter was the case for RON 37 boats. As they were accepted they were sent to a boatyard out on Long Island for the additional work. If memory serves me right, it was at the same yard that the bow 20m/m was installed and possibly the radar and additional radio gear.

Al



Posted By: alross2 | Posted on: Mar 2, 2011 - 2:45pm
Total Posts: 904 | Joined: Oct 30, 2006 - 8:19pm



Al
Thanks so much for the information as well as the photo. Still, why the need to send these boats to FYFE'S when Elco had everything it needed to complete these jobs right on site. They had more than one PAINT SHOP on site, not to mention 19 buildings which housed everything they needed to complete the boats. I hate to pound this into the ground, but it just makes no sence to me to drop a boat into the basin, than take it to another Ship yard, take it out of the water, dry it out, paint it or overhaul it when the Elco Naval Division had the resources to do it right on site. Orders for the boats were certainly known in advance, so why the need to repaint them. I guess this will remain a mystery unless we happen to find someone who really understands the process at Elco and the need to ship out unfinished work.



Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Mar 2, 2011 - 3:53pm
Total Posts: 3179 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am



I guess one thing to remember is that during the "early days" there was a lot that was not too well organized (a lot of OTJ training). I would imagine that many things were done ad-hoc and at various facilities until set standards were put in place. Look at how disorganized some of the early crew training was...

Will

Posted By: Will Day | Posted on: Mar 2, 2011 - 4:27pm
Total Posts: 1896 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 4:19pm



Farming jobs out to other yards has been a common practice for years and continues to this day. For instance, in 2003, Hodgdon Brothers down in Boothbay built SCHEHERAZADE, a large luxury sailing yacht. French & Webb, up here in Belfast, was subcontracted to build the cockpit because they were esteemed for their joinery.

Because few civilian boats were built during the war, boat yards needed work and the war effort required lots of production. It made sense to have one yard concentrate on construction and have other, smaller yards do work that might otherwise slow down production at the primary yard.

Al Ross



Posted By: alross2 | Posted on: Mar 2, 2011 - 4:43pm
Total Posts: 904 | Joined: Oct 30, 2006 - 8:19pm



Now this makes sense. If the reasons were as Al mentioned to speed things up and farm out some of the work to smaller boat yards, than we have a BINGO. I would guess that many smaller yards were all trying to obtain a piece of those Government contracts and this would be a good way for everyone to get a little bit of the Pie.



Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Mar 2, 2011 - 5:32pm
Total Posts: 3179 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am



BINGO!!!!
Speed things up and spread the wealth brother.

And as Al said; not all RON assignments were set in stone and some where assigned after shakedown. If you remember RON 29 boats were originally in Measure 31/5P during their shakedown. RON 37 was commissioned on 5 June 1944, so they were probably also slated to head to England, if things went south over there. However, in a color photo taken near Bayonne sometime in the weeks after D-Day, clearly shows the boat in what looks like Measure 31/5P.
TED




Posted By: TED WALTHER | Posted on: Mar 3, 2011 - 9:17am
Total Posts: 2887 | Joined: Oct 16, 2006 - 7:42am