The PT Boat Forum
http://www.ptboatforum.com/cgi-bin/MB2/netboard.cgi


Forum Category: PT Boats of WWII
http://www.ptboatforum.com/cgi-bin/MB2/netboard.cgi?cid=101&fct=showf


Forum Name: PT Boats - General
http://www.ptboatforum.com/cgi-bin/MB2/netboard.cgi?fct=gotoforum&cid=101&fid=102


Topic: PT 486 Oct-Nov 1944
http://www.ptboatforum.com/cgi-bin/MB2/netboardr.cgi?cid=101&fid=102&tid=4156



Just back from a National Archive visit and found another rabbit hole. In Oct-Nov 1944, PT 486 was down in Norfolk undergoing experiments that involved internal wood and steel cribbing, additions of iron and concrete ballast as well as an internal destruction setup. Was wondering if anyone knew what kind of project this was under?



Posted By: Andy Small | Posted on: Sep 26, 2016 - 10:59am
Total Posts: 265 | Joined: Nov 20, 2013 - 9:04pm



Andy;
Can you post this? If not PM me with info.
Tke care,
TED



Posted By: TED WALTHER | Posted on: Sep 26, 2016 - 2:18pm
Total Posts: 3064 | Joined: Oct 16, 2006 - 7:42am



Here are some photos. The boat looks to be basically a hulk with no sign of equipment, weapons or engines (shafts seem to be missing)

3683-2.jpg
3683-3.jpg
3683-4.jpg
3683-5.jpg
3683-1.jpg

Posted By: Andy Small | Posted on: Sep 27, 2016 - 8:50am
Total Posts: 265 | Joined: Nov 20, 2013 - 9:04pm



wow

Jimbo

Posted By: Jimbo Melanson | Posted on: Sep 28, 2016 - 6:40am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



very interesting pictures!
Hopefully in the near future this boat can take to seas once again.
ThePTboater



Posted By: ThePTboater | Posted on: Sep 28, 2016 - 3:05pm
Total Posts: 136 | Joined: Jan 17, 2016 - 1:28pm



Andy;
I have a few ideas, but I have to do a little more research.

As for the photos, I could only think of one person to ask, for his input. I had some ideas and asked about the possibility, here is my letter and lower is his response:

I hope all is well up in the "PT Boat center of the universe". An interesting set of photos, of PT 486 in Norfolk, Virginia Oct 1944, has come to light. http://www.ptboatforum.com/cgi-bin/MB2/netboardr.cgi?fid=102&cid=101&tid=4156&pg=1&sc=20&x=0
Any ideas what this cribbing/bracing might be for? Would this be enough bracing for additional fuel bladders? I am thinking, that this was an experiment to modify boats to carry extra fuel for the run from Toguchi, Okinawa to Kyushu, Japan for opening stages of the Invasion of Kyushu Japan, "Operation Olympic" originally slated for 1 November 1945. You know this part of the boat, Any ideas?
Take care,
TED

he is going from the bottom up.

So the first picture is bracing for the thunderbolt . Looking at it I could only think the steel bracing is supporting a lot of deck load.
I think you could be right about additional fuel.
The only thing is that putting it that far forward would challenge the planing characteristics. But not sure. The cribbing isn't square to the hull ,but pitched to be level with the planing hull. So my question would be, what does the thunderbolt need to operate. Generator or hydraulics. Battery bank? With such large fire capacity, ammo stores?
My guess .

So until I find something more, we could go a few directions with these photos.

Back story: When RON 12 showed up with 40mm's at Morobe, then CDR Bowling got 12 from the Australians for his RON 21 boats. Originally, in November 1943, the Thunderbolt was rejected by Seventh Fleet in favor of the 40mm. 7th Fleet ,after seeing the results of RON 12 and RON 21, requested 30 40mm's be shipped out. PT 138 RON 7 was originally sent out with a Thunderbolt in 1943. As stated 7th Fleet deemed it unsatisfactory. As for the Thunderbolt, success with it was in the Med, then they began re-thinking the application for the Pacific. In the Spring of 1945, PT 174 RON 10 had her aft 40mm removed and a Thunderbolt mounted. RON 21 also received 3 of the mounts, but I have yet to see a photo of these RON 21 boats.
The standard installation required a "strengthened deck and an additional 5-kw 24 volt DC Generator" (reference; US Small Combatants, by Norman Friedman, USNI 1987).

This is really an interesting set of photos you "un-earthed"!! I look forward to more.
Take care,
TED



Posted By: TED WALTHER | Posted on: Sep 29, 2016 - 6:43am
Total Posts: 3064 | Joined: Oct 16, 2006 - 7:42am



I wonder if she was sold off in this condition when Sinn bought 486 and 557 as a package deal. It would make sense but if mem serves she may have need put back into service. jimbo melanson(557 correct boat?? I think so but...)

Jimbo

Posted By: Jimbo Melanson | Posted on: Sep 29, 2016 - 6:43am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



Jimbo;
After these tests PT 486 was returned to RON 4 with standard late war armament, and went to Great Lakes/Chicago for a war bond tour in October 1945. Both PT 486 and PT 557 were placed out of service in January 1946 and originally sold in 1948.


from a previous post:
PT-486, an 80-foot Elco boat, was place in service on December 2, 1943 It was used in the training squadron (MTBRON)4 in Melville, Rhode Island during World War II until it was placed out of service January 16, 1946. Along with PT-557, the vessel was purchased from BFM Industries (Brooklyn, NY) by Capt. George C. Sinn of Wildwood Crest, NJ on October 9, 1951 for $1,015.00. The vessel was sold in 1952 to Otto Stocker who operated the "Sightseer" as an excursion vessel from Otten's Harbor in Wildwood, New Jersey. The business was later sold to Capt. Charles Schumann in the 1980s. He named the vessel Schumann's "Big Blue" and ran the business until 2002. Remarkably, the PT486 was sold to the son of the original owner, Capt. Ronald G. Sinn, who is currently restoring the vessel to recreate the World War II appearance of PT-109, for which the PT-486 was renamed. Now of course PT 486 is currently located at "The center of the PT Boat universe".
Take care,
TED



Posted By: TED WALTHER | Posted on: Sep 29, 2016 - 7:16am
Total Posts: 3064 | Joined: Oct 16, 2006 - 7:42am



Thanks Ted,

I'm not so sure about this being bracing for the Thunderbolt since ELCO had boxes full of records and photos on this project, and these particular photos were not in there. The Thunderbolt required just a little additional bracing since it was way lighter than a 40mm mount. Also the caption of the one with the electronic hookup specifically mention destruction mechanism. Whatever it was, it was very heavy, most probably included explosives and required additional ballast.

I'm thinking our best bet now is to look through the actual PT 486 BUSHIPS records at the National Archives during this time frame. I have looked at the early records, but only up through the end of 43 with the comparison test against PT 487.

This will be on my list for my next trek down there.



Posted By: Andy Small | Posted on: Sep 29, 2016 - 11:54am
Total Posts: 265 | Joined: Nov 20, 2013 - 9:04pm



Andy;
O.K. we do need more info here. What would be on a PT that would require a self destruct switch? I doubt they were looking at "explosive" PT Boats, however, UDT 2 did do experiments with remote control explosive LCPL's called Stingrays, at Kwajalein in March 1944, but it was a not successful , both boats had to be stopped and disarmed, because they went out of control.. The LCPL's had a steel cage ( 4'X 6'X6' ) built and placed in front of the engine cover,. The cage was filed with 20 lb tetryl filled haversacks.
Take care,
TED



Posted By: TED WALTHER | Posted on: Sep 29, 2016 - 6:51pm
Total Posts: 3064 | Joined: Oct 16, 2006 - 7:42am



Also project Campbell/Javeman was ongoing at this time in Little Creek. In addition to the Hacker-Craft they had an 85 footer fitted out for remote control, but maybe they toyed around with using an ELCO as a remote control explosive. Just don't know, but the time frame sort of matches with this OSS project. Need to see what's in the BUSHIPS record.



Posted By: Andy Small | Posted on: Sep 29, 2016 - 8:10pm
Total Posts: 265 | Joined: Nov 20, 2013 - 9:04pm



For those not familiar with this OSS project, one of the key items of the plan was to take out the newly completed Kanmon railway tunnel connecting Kyushu and Honshu using remotely controlled boats. The boats would be scuttled on top of the tunnel, sunk and then large charges detonated. Other than the photos and timing, my thoughts are that they were looking to come up with a modification they could produce locally. Then they could take piles of the worn out PTs in the Pacific theater and modify them for remote use as weapons for use at the end of the war.



Posted By: Andy Small | Posted on: Sep 30, 2016 - 5:03am
Total Posts: 265 | Joined: Nov 20, 2013 - 9:04pm



thx Ted. Interesting stuff! Always something to learn and think about here. I love the 486. Always hoping to win the lottery!! HA!

Jimbo

Posted By: Jimbo Melanson | Posted on: Sep 30, 2016 - 5:43am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



Andy;
Using old worn out LCPL's is what killed the Stingray Project. What was this OSS project called? The one to blow the Kanmon Railway Tunnel in Kyushu.
TED

[image]http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p249/ptboats/Ted%20Walther/Javaman%20-Type%20A-3%20Target%20-%201%20June%201945.jpg[/image]

P.S. I found a link with some additional info; It looks like the Operation was originally given to the 20th Air Force,(Mother Ship) they were supposed to bomb it in July-_Aug 1945, with USAAF 85' ASR boats disguised as fishing sampans.

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=196841&start=45

Here is a gem: file:///C:/Users/home/Downloads/2984.pdf

Posted By: TED WALTHER | Posted on: Sep 30, 2016 - 9:05am
Total Posts: 3064 | Joined: Oct 16, 2006 - 7:42am



Ted, This was the OSS project that followed Stingray/Apex and was considered part first Project Campbell and then Javaman (according to H.R Everett's book - Unmanned Systems of World War I and II). Project Campbell was the project that sank the SS San Pablo in the Gulf of Mexico in August 1944.

I had read about this all a couple months ago and that's why I was so interested in these photos of an empty boat, steel and wood internal cribbing, pig iron and concrete ballast and detonators since it sounded awfully similar to the Hacker-Craft project that were on-going in Little Creek in 1944. For the anti-boat version of the project (SS San Pablo test), two holding pins fired into the hull on impact and initiated the scuttling of the boat by blowing off the bow and stern. A steel cable swung the 14 depth charges kept together by a steel frame against the hull and then a big BANG!. Vessel obliterated. The Navy supposedly shot this down as too dangerous although they thought it ingenious. Project then became Javaman and shifted to the Kanmon Railway Tunnel project. This was briefed and approved by MacArthur. Boats (non-PT) were in theater at the end of the war.

Again, the timing and setup all seems to fit. But, then again I could be terribly wrong. Been there, done that....



Posted By: Andy Small | Posted on: Sep 30, 2016 - 2:34pm
Total Posts: 265 | Joined: Nov 20, 2013 - 9:04pm



Andy;
Here is a Pearl I just found, check it out:file:///C:/Users/home/Downloads/2984.pdf
TED



Posted By: TED WALTHER | Posted on: Sep 30, 2016 - 3:07pm
Total Posts: 3064 | Joined: Oct 16, 2006 - 7:42am



Outstanding! Just spent a good hour reading and downloading all the great info. Especially like this particular video:

Campbell Missile against SS San Pablo




Posted By: Andy Small | Posted on: Sep 30, 2016 - 7:44pm
Total Posts: 265 | Joined: Nov 20, 2013 - 9:04pm



I can tell you that wood and steel cribbing was not on the boat in 1979. I worked on the Big Blue Sightseer from 1979 through 1983 and lived onboard during the operating season. What a great boat! The 486 is currently undercover in Kingston New York.

I always wondered why the boat was sold without engines to George Sinn. Otto Stocker put in the 1st set of engines and eventually she ended up with two Detroit Diesel 12V71's with 2.5:1 Capitol gears. The engines were not installed aft like most 80' Elco's. Stocker installed them midship. The original Sentron seals were still there (and functioning) for all three shafts even though the boat only has two engines now.

Gerry

Former crew member of the Big Blue Sightseer ex-PT 486

Posted By: mcgovern61 | Posted on: Oct 7, 2016 - 1:49pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



An update. The boat is Elco hull #3683 and was Small Boat Designation C-36204. This hull was a contract modification and the hull never had an assigned PT Boat number. This past week while at NARA I verified C-36204 was not part of the OSS Project Campbell/Javaman but did learn of a Navy "Project Stinger", which was a project from the beginning to end of 1944, so the dates match up. I believe C-36204 was part of this Navy project. Also learned that 2 PT Boats were converted to radio and television control and operated out of Brooklyn Navy Yard in the June-July 44 timeframe. I have no numbers associated, but would imagine that they might have been Ron 4 boats, since I know others were sent South to NY for temporary assignments and projects.



Posted By: Andy Small | Posted on: Jul 28, 2019 - 4:40pm
Total Posts: 265 | Joined: Nov 20, 2013 - 9:04pm



Since PT 557 is also mentioned in this thread I would like to pose a question about this vessel. What was the function of the braces at the top of the hull ? Perhaps they were an addition to the standard rubbing strakes to protect the hull from impacts ?




Arjan



Posted By: Arjan Wiskerke | Posted on: Jul 29, 2019 - 2:08am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



I've asked that before, I thought it might be from an experiment they did with armor plating the outside of the hull in the gas tank area but it goes too far forward. A WAG is for attaching fenders, or reinforcing the guard rail for some reason. I can't remember ever seeing them on another boat.

They look to be flush with the outer guard:

jfbaw.jpg


Posted By: Jeff D | Posted on: Jul 29, 2019 - 3:17am
Total Posts: 2200 | Joined: Dec 21, 2006 - 1:30am



Thanks Jeff. After having seen this pic (boats in a lock with decks well above the quay sides), I thought these braces would be quite effective in protecting the hull .




Regards,


Arjan



Posted By: Arjan Wiskerke | Posted on: Jul 29, 2019 - 3:50am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



Between May 44 and early Jan 45, PT-140 was on temporary duty at Navy Yard Brooklyn, NY. Anyone have any info on PT-140 during this time? Deck logs? Thanks!



Posted By: Andy Small | Posted on: Jul 29, 2019 - 9:38am
Total Posts: 265 | Joined: Nov 20, 2013 - 9:04pm



Thanks for looking up the information Andy! We can now officially rule out the current PT-486 (sitting in Kingston, NY) is the same boat that was shown in the pictures (we need the pictures put back from photo bucket if possible.)

Even though the picture is labeled, "PT-486", it only refers to the class (486 class) and not the PT-486.

GzxDZ.jpg

j7wuH.jpg

j7p3T.jpg

j7O0g.jpg

Former crew member of the Big Blue Sightseer ex-PT 486

Posted By: Gerry McGovern | Posted on: Jul 29, 2019 - 12:18pm
Total Posts: 79 | Joined: Oct 7, 2016 - 1:47pm




I've asked that before, I thought it might be from an experiment they did with armor plating the outside of the hull in the gas tank area but it goes too far forward. A WAG is for attaching fenders, or reinforcing the guard rail for some reason. I can't remember ever seeing them on another boat.

They look to be flush with the outer guard:

jfbaw.jpg


Whatever they were, they were removed post war. This picture of the 557 as the Flamingo does show the extra strake under the gunwhale at the deck same as the picture above.

j7Nuk.jpg

Former crew member of the Big Blue Sightseer ex-PT 486

Posted By: Gerry McGovern | Posted on: Jul 29, 2019 - 8:44pm
Total Posts: 79 | Joined: Oct 7, 2016 - 1:47pm



Until we find out Arjan, that guess is as good as any! Have you noticed them in any other image?

I wonder why they didn't play up the ex-PT aspect of the Flamingo Gerry? I know that would have sucked me right in!

That part of the boat was standard on the Elco 80's, from frame 17 to the stern:

jfCjs.jpg




Posted By: Jeff D | Posted on: Jul 30, 2019 - 4:08am
Total Posts: 2200 | Joined: Dec 21, 2006 - 1:30am



I wonder why they didn't play up the ex-PT aspect of the Flamingo Gerry? I know that would have sucked me right in!

I am not sure if George Sinn did or not. He bought teh 557 and 486 at the same time. I am not sure why he chose to cut her down to 65' for USCG inspection reasons because his partner Otto Stocker kept the 486 full length and also converted for passenger use.

The funny thing is, George Sinn bought the ex-PT-728 in the early '60's and ran her as PT-109. I think it is funny(sad) because he already had purchased two 80' Elco's, cut one down and sold the other (which became the Sighseer) and then buys a Vosper PT to make look like an Elco!


Former crew member of the Big Blue Sightseer ex-PT 486

Posted By: Gerry McGovern | Posted on: Jul 30, 2019 - 5:45am
Total Posts: 79 | Joined: Oct 7, 2016 - 1:47pm



Anybody have the deck logs of PT-140 between May 44 and Jan 45? I have the RON 4 monthly reports, but they only say PT-140 was on temporary assignment in Brooklyn. The whole "Project Stinger" seems to be one of those projects that is buried somewhere, I hope. H.R. Everett, who wrote the recent "Unmanned Systems of WW 1 and 2" was unable to find anything on this project, and he's done extensive research on UAVs.



Posted By: Andy Small | Posted on: Aug 1, 2019 - 4:21pm
Total Posts: 265 | Joined: Nov 20, 2013 - 9:04pm



So, Elco Hull #3683 was requested specifically as a test vehicle for BuOrd as part of Project Stinger Bravo (PT Boats). Project Stinger was under BuShips S67 headed by CAPT Hyman G. Rickover. This PT Boat hull was specifically requested to not have a PT number assigned and all association with Project Stinger was minimized for security. PT-140 was used as a drone boat and PT-564 (Hellcat) was used as a control boat. In addition, a PV-1 Ventura was converted for use as a control aircraft. These two control assets were used to control everything from small drone landing craft to large ammo ships (AK-22) in the NY area.

Project Stinger involved the use of drone vessels to clear paths through obstacles and mine fields and was intended to take out key installations. Only the small landing craft were used against the Germans in the Med. The PTs were never used in action. The PT Boats were to be loaded with 17 tons of TNT inside steel cribbing and rigged with scuttle charges. The plan was to take 12 of these PT drones and drive them into a Harbor defense minefield as they deployed marker buoys. They would then be scuttled and then detonated to clear a small channel. Next three drone DEs would follow with 1200 tons of TNT and be scuttled and detonated to increase the channel. Then a single drone AK would proceed through the channel into the harbor with 8000 tons of TNT which would be detonated (no scuttle) in order to destroy the port (AKA Halifax, Bombay, and Bergen). Last, a drone DE with napalm and other pyrotechnics would proceed into the harbor and be detonated to set the remaining defenses on fire.

In Nov/Dec 44 the project ended and ten sets of the PT cribbing and drone wiring were purchased. The hull #3683 which was supposed to be tested (scuttled and detonated) by BuOrd was instead used to generate a series of photos for the kits, which takes us back to the original photos. The information from this project was then handed over to the OSS Project Campbell, which later became Project Javaman. Many of the same key players participated in both.



Posted By: Andy Small | Posted on: Oct 19, 2019 - 6:52pm
Total Posts: 265 | Joined: Nov 20, 2013 - 9:04pm



An interesting slice of history, thank you Andy. Very ambitious and way ahead of its time. One of the first drones... it sounds like it could have saved many Allied lives and time.




Posted By: Jeff D | Posted on: Oct 20, 2019 - 5:38am
Total Posts: 2200 | Joined: Dec 21, 2006 - 1:30am



Very Interesting. As a related aside, Project Aphrodite was also a Navy project involving drones, in that case PB4Y' and B-17's filled with explosives, taken off by two pilots who were to bail out after arming the aircraft. The aircraft was then flown by a "control ship", anther aircraft, and dived into the target,, Nazi sub pens. Joseph Kennedy and his co-pilot, whose name escapes me, died on one of the missions when the aircraft blew up, due to a faulty arming circuit, before they could bail out. I believe the AAF was working on a similar project. neither successfully destroyed their targets.
The is a book, named after the project, available.




Posted By: JEno | Posted on: Oct 22, 2019 - 2:14pm
Total Posts: 75 | Joined: Oct 13, 2019 - 9:52am



Some more info on the Project Stinger. First photo shows PT-564 Hellcat drone control passing by the AK-22 drone vessel during tests off New York, 20 October 1944. The second photo show the two bow mounted TV cameras (one being worked on) aboard AK-22. One of these types of camera was tested aboard PT140 drone vessel. Still trying to track down a photo.

pc3KY.jpg
pcCwS.jpg




Posted By: Andy Small | Posted on: Nov 10, 2023 - 7:11am
Total Posts: 265 | Joined: Nov 20, 2013 - 9:04pm



Hi Andy,

I'm afraid I don't have the ability to visit the archives, but it looks like there's some info on Stinger that hasn't been digitized yet. Possibly someone else has it, or has access to it?

https://catalog.archives.gov/id/6080385



Posted By: Joe Reese | Posted on: Nov 10, 2023 - 6:10pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



Also, there is a very short snippet about JAVAMAN (formerly CAMPBELL) in vol. 1 of the OSS War Report, between pages 229 and 230 of the report (249 and 250 of the pdf).

https://catalog.archives.gov/id/24459683

There is a very short mention on p 116 of the report, but it only says the war ended before it could be used in the Pacific. Likewise, a mention in vol 2, nearly identical, though I forget the page.



Posted By: Joe Reese | Posted on: Nov 10, 2023 - 6:24pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered



Joe,

I'm digitizing all the info I have and am about 1/2 way through (180 pages so far). Title is Stinger Project - Stinger Baker: PT Boat Surface Assault Drone Program of 1944 and starts with Admiral King's authorization on 14 January 1944.



Posted By: Andy Small | Posted on: Nov 11, 2023 - 12:34pm
Total Posts: 265 | Joined: Nov 20, 2013 - 9:04pm



Here's a photo of the Stinger George project (DE-247) USS Stanton test drone vessel from October 1944. You can make out the TV Cameras just about the bridge. The LVT and LCVP programs were Stinger Able and Dog respectively and along with the X Craft, they were drones/missiles for a sep beach clearance project.

The explosives carried by the Stinger Baker PTs were 17 tons, Stinger George DEs 1200 tons and the Stinger Charlie AKs 8000 tons. The PTs and DEs had pressure fuzes for the main charge that would be activated by the scuttle. AK was just a simple remote detonation in the port.

pcEam.jpg



Posted By: Andy Small | Posted on: Nov 13, 2023 - 11:49am
Total Posts: 265 | Joined: Nov 20, 2013 - 9:04pm



A great deal of Stinger Project info is located in RG 38, Entry A1 329, New Development Subj File 1942-46, Boxes 1 to 15 at NARA.



Posted By: Andy Small | Posted on: Nov 13, 2023 - 11:52am
Total Posts: 265 | Joined: Nov 20, 2013 - 9:04pm