The PT Boat Forum

Forum Category: PT Boats of WWII

Forum Name: PT Boats - General

Topic: Calling Gus, "Area51"

Hi Gus,
I saw your post in PT School and saw you were on the 497 boat in RON 33. I'm currently back-dating the 1/35th PT596 kit to the 495 boat and would love to ask you a few questions. If that is OK, please let me know.

Posted By: ducati650 | Posted on: Feb 19, 2007 - 2:58pm
Total Posts: 450 | Joined: Feb 19, 2007 - 10:01am

How may I help you?

Posted By: area51 | Posted on: Feb 20, 2007 - 4:03pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered

Hi Gus,

First off let me thank for the reply. It is an honor to talk with you.

I'm backdating the 1/35 scale PT-596 kit to a RON 33 boat, number 495 in the mid-late '44 time frame (Battle of Surigo Strait, Oct. 1944) and I saw in another post that you were assigned to boat 497 and RON 33. Were you part of the battle?

I have another post here with some photos of the work so far. Maybe you saw it. I was hoping you would willing to answer a few questions for me.

What I'm doing is using some photos of 490, 491 and 495 to try to get a handle on how the RON 33 boats were configured at that time. I'm assuming that the basic configuration of the boats was pretty close and using what ever photos i can get to try to pick out individual details when possible.

To that end I have modified the kit as follows:

Fabricated a domed SO radar and mast in place of the late war SO-3.

Removed the kits raft mounts from the cabin roof and will apply a larger "Star and Bar".

Made navigation lights and mounted same on cabin side instead of cabin roof.

Replaced the 37 mm mount with a 20 mm tripod type and mounted it forward of the bow hatch.

I'm modifying the 37 from late configuration to early.

Added handrails to cabin roof.

I will be adding an additional lightweight 20mm mount on both sides of the cabin, forward of the torpedoes.

Do you recall if these mods sound about right?

I think the camo pattern is 31/5P. Navy Green/Ocean Green or MTB Green/Navy Green, depending upon time frame, etc. I know later it got the Green2, Green 3, Black pattern (31/20L) but I want an earlier scheme.

Either of the 31/5P schemes calls for the desks to be Deck Green with the lighter camo color patterned on the desk. In the photos it looks like the decks and horizontal surfaces were one color (deck green?).

Do you recall if the decks were 1 color or patterned?

Did the RON 33 boats carry depth charges? How many? Where located?

Where was the smoke dispenser located? Stern? starboard side aft?

I'm sorry to have so many questions.
Thank you for any help you can provide.


Posted By: ducati650 | Posted on: Feb 20, 2007 - 6:40pm
Total Posts: 450 | Joined: Feb 19, 2007 - 10:01am

Ed -
My memory is a wee bit rusty, but I'll supply answers where I can.
It should be noted that not all the boats in a particular squadron
had comparable equipment. For example, we had 30 caliber
machine guns mounted on the side of the cabin. I don't recall
seeing other boats with them.

Our navigation lights were on the cabin side (I think).
Hand rails were on either side of the cabin roof.

We had raft mounts on the cabin roof, but I don't remember
any raft perched there.

Our 37mm was centered forward on the bow. 20mm was a little further
back and off to the side.

Our decks were one color - green

Our smoke bottle was on the fantail (rear center).

Sorry, but my memory is hazy re depth charges. I think we
had them just behind each aft torpedo, but I'm not sure.

Hope this helps,

Posted By: area51 | Posted on: Feb 21, 2007 - 3:02pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered

Thank you!!!!!!!!
That is great data and it answered a lot of questions I had. I really appreciate you taking the time to help me out.

When did you join RON 33 and how long was your tour?

The photos I have of the 490, 491 and 495 show them with 2 additional 20 mm , forward on either side of the cabin. This gave them 3 20mm and 1 37 mm on the bow. Do you recall this or have a guess as to when they might have been installed?

I have limited information of the 495 boat so I'm using what I have for it and where I don't, I'm trying to error on the side of doing what was typical for the range of boat numbers, in this time period and for RON 33.

I see from your profile that you are in Florida. What part? This summer I will be in Jacksonville, West Palm and Key West. If you are near any of these places, maybe I can buy you a beer or 2.

Thanks again,

Posted By: ducati650 | Posted on: Feb 21, 2007 - 3:16pm
Total Posts: 450 | Joined: Feb 19, 2007 - 10:01am