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Forum Category: PT Boats of WWII
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Forum Name: PT Boats - General
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Topic: Use of 55 gal drums for transits and operations
http://www.ptboatforum.com/cgi-bin/MB2/netboardr.cgi?cid=101&fid=102&tid=3555



I'm trying to locate information and photos on the use of 55 gal fuel drums as aux tanks for PT transits and extended operations during the war.

I've been able to find reference to Ron 15 using 12 drums for some of their operations early on (anyone have a photo?)

Also, drums were lashed to the stern of the Huckins PTs during part of their transits from Florida down to Panama. Did other types do this also?

For a major transit from Midway to Pearl, Ron 26 built special metal frames mounted on top of the Huckins' engine compartment (between the radar mast and 40mm) to hold 42 drums.

Any others? Be very interested to know if the Elco's used the 55 gal drums to extend their range. I know fuel bladders wereused by boats, but am more interested in the use for the 55 gal drums stuffed on top of the decks

Thanks!
Andy



Posted By: Andy Small | Posted on: May 4, 2014 - 8:08am
Total Posts: 223 | Joined: Nov 20, 2013 - 9:04pm



Andy,
On March 12-13, 1942, John Bulkeley evacuated General MacArthur and his party from Corregidor to Mindanao. Each of Ron 3's remaining boats (PT's 32, 34, 35 +41) were loaded with 20 55-gallon drums of aviation gas. The 20 drums weighed a total of 8,000 pound and were "lashed together on the deck". Bulkeley and his men lacked the time or the facilities to strengthen or modify their boats beforehand. On the first stage to Tagauyan island in the Cuyo group, Lt (j.g.) Vincent Schumacher of the 32 boat dumped his remaining drums overboard to increase speed when he though he was being pursued by a Japanese destroyer. It turned out to be Bulkeley's PT-41.
Unable to continue due to a flooded engine room and loose shafts and struts, Schmacher had the back-up rescue ship, The submarine U.S.S. Permit shell and sink Pt-32.
Hope this helps a little.

Ross Fisher


ross@dupagels.lib.il.us

Posted By: ROSS FISHER | Posted on: May 4, 2014 - 3:55pm
Total Posts: 80 | Joined: Jul 23, 2008 - 10:03am



Thanks Ross!

Andy



Posted By: Andy Small | Posted on: May 4, 2014 - 6:36pm
Total Posts: 223 | Joined: Nov 20, 2013 - 9:04pm



Andy,

I have definately seen a photo of drums on a Ron 15 boat. Now I just have to find it.

Steve

Posted By: Nuge210 | Posted on: May 19, 2014 - 1:14pm
Total Posts: 321 | Joined: Jun 4, 2008 - 7:50am



PT255 with 55 gal drums returning from Midway March 1945 photo PT259PT255NiwilliwillmHarborKauaiHarborHawaiienroutefromMidway1945_zps033894b4.jpg

PT255 in Kauai Harbor returning from Midway with 55 gal drums on deck.



Posted By: Andy Small | Posted on: May 30, 2014 - 1:13pm
Total Posts: 223 | Joined: Nov 20, 2013 - 9:04pm



Had some issues with posting the photo. Been too long since I last did one and sort of forgot the process. Sorry for the repeat.

Andy



Posted By: Andy Small | Posted on: May 30, 2014 - 1:20pm
Total Posts: 223 | Joined: Nov 20, 2013 - 9:04pm



PT255 with 55 gal drums returning from Midway March 1945 photo PT259PT255NiwilliwillmHarborKauaiHarborHawaiienroutefromMidway1945_zps033894b4.jpg



Posted By: Andy Small | Posted on: May 30, 2014 - 1:25pm
Total Posts: 223 | Joined: Nov 20, 2013 - 9:04pm



Andy;
This building still exists, this is what today is the cruise ship/ferry terminal building at Nawiliwili Harbor, Kauai. This harbor was shelled by a Japanese Submarine. " At around 1:30 a.m. on the moonlit night of December 30, 1941, an enemy Japanese submarine estimated to be about 4 miles offshore shelled Nawiliwili Harbor with least 15 5-inch shells in what was the only attack on Kauai during WWll." A house was hit, which was located about 400 yards astern of PT 255 in your photo. Also a Shell Oil Company gasoline storage tank, which was across the road behind this building was punctured by a dud, and a Cane field was set ablaze by a star shell, several duds hit other landed on a mans front porch, and another dud landed in a road and a truck ran it over, the rest of the rounds landed in the harbor. Nobody was injured.

It turns out the IJN Submarine was I-3(this is the same submarine sunk by LT. Jack Searles in PT 59 at 0703 9 December 1942) , here is the account from :http://www.combinedfleet.com/I-3.htm

"7 December 1941: The Attack on Pearl Harbor:
Arrives at her assigned patrol area in the easternmost sector of Kauai Channel between Oahu and Kauai with I-1 and I-2. SubRon 2 is arrayed to the northeast and northwest of Oahu. Its mission is to reconnoiter and attack any ships that try to sortie from Pearl Harbor.
27 December 1941:
I-3 receives an order from ComSubRon 2 (aboard I-7) to shell Nawiliwili Harbor, Kauai, on 30 December.
30 December 1941:
Arrives off Nawiliwili and conducts periscopic reconnaissance of the Wailua River estuary. After sundown I-3 surfaces and fires twenty 5.5-inch HE shells at the breakwater and a nearby building identified as a warehouse. Most projectiles fall short of the target and only one house is damaged by shell fragments. One shell perforates a large gasoline storage tank, but fails to explode. The total damage is estimated to $500. " Boy, this is just like the comedy movie "1941"!! LOL!
Take care,
TED






Posted By: TED WALTHER | Posted on: May 30, 2014 - 4:30pm
Total Posts: 2843 | Joined: Oct 16, 2006 - 7:42am




oops! how do you delete this extra post?




Posted By: TED WALTHER | Posted on: May 30, 2014 - 4:30pm
Total Posts: 2843 | Joined: Oct 16, 2006 - 7:42am