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


Forum Name: PT Boats - General
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Topic: Need Input from the Forum on PT Boats and modern USN policy
http://www.ptboatforum.com/cgi-bin/MB2/netboardr.cgi?cid=101&fid=102&tid=4336



Hello Shipmates! I was recently asked to advise a good answer to the following question from a local politician who wants us to do a presentation at the State Capitol next month for possible funding for our PT Boat restoration project on the PT658.

He asked Why are there no current counterpart in the U.S. Navy to these agile, fast strike vessels?

At the time he asked he didn't really get a good answer. (BTW I was not there at the time!) I was hoping you guys could maybe give me some good answers/arguments to answer the question. In light of the somewhat recent news about USN Small Combatants and issues with them I was hoping you guys may be able to help me out?
Thanks in Advance for anything you can come up with!

Jerry
PT658 Restoration Crewman
Portland, OR



Jerry Gilmartin
PT658 Crewman
Portland OR

Posted By: Jerry Gilmartin | Posted on: Jan 2, 2018 - 11:48am
Total Posts: 1216 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 11:16pm



[red]Why are there no current counterpart in the U.S. Navy to these agile, fast strike vessels?[/red]

My thoughts are the PT boats were great for the time, WWI through Vietnam. They have gone the way of the sailing warship, ironclads, and the battleship.

Best reasons I can think of is the area of technology. PT boat were an offensive weapon against a navy with virtually no radar and resorted to using spotlights. Now we have accurate radar, thermal imaging, accurate guns and fire control, stealth aircraft and of course drones. (And much more, the list goes on.)

Smaller boats today (SEALS) take in operatives much like the PT boats did with spotters.

On top of this the U.S.N. is a deep water navy. [blue]A question I have to others on this forum is how good would the PT boats be if the Japanese had developed good radar earlier in the war?[/blue]

The PT boats and their crews were there when we need them, thank God!

So my short answer is the PT boats have been replaced by a multitude of more specialized boats or methods of delivery and surveillance.

Lew

Lew Zee

Posted By: Lew Zee | Posted on: Jan 2, 2018 - 8:34pm
Total Posts: 116 | Joined: Dec 12, 2013 - 12:04pm



Concur. The US Navy is s deep water navy, It uses the smaller vessels to meet certain scenarios in certain areas, but as far as combatant ships, there's not much need for our defense. We have seen many small craft through the years, the hydrofoils, the gunboats (PGs), the Patrol River boats, and Nasty-class PTFs. But when the conflict is done, we don't have much need for them.

Plus, as Lew said, modern radar and other surveillance methods, and weapon systems that can fire from a long ways off, made the PTs as we all know and love, obsolete.

Charlie

Posted By: 29navy | Posted on: Jan 3, 2018 - 12:46pm
Total Posts: 499 | Joined: Dec 28, 2006 - 3:02pm



Our PT's of WW2 were the best we had and were the best in the world at that time.When the PT 810 series boat came around, it was metal hull. Then was the Nasty class of Vietnam. The British and Russian navies had moved on to missile boats. The Russians had the Komar wood hull missile boat then the OSA 1 and the Osa2. Many navies in the world use their boats. It seems the higher up in Washington need to ask themselves why we don't have some type of small combatants. I just hope and pray another Pearl Harbor doesn't hit us again.



Bill P Reese

Posted By: billpr | Posted on: Jan 3, 2018 - 7:00pm
Total Posts: 58 | Joined: Mar 19, 2017 - 4:34pm



Hello Jerry. I am jJohn Sullivan,,and was a 3rd class gunners Mate on ehe 107one month she burned at a dock with anothr boat as I was in the Stated when that happened.I have read about the fire and the people in charge should never allowed the other boat to come along the side of the 107..I have a nephewwho lives in Potland and is an entertainer and singe with a name of Jesse MarkusHe is all tattooet and I still love him. RUSSED hamcheck was our C.O and i wondewr what Ron you was inThats all for now.OUTA HERE.



Posted By: John Sullivan | Posted on: Jan 3, 2018 - 7:19pm
Total Posts: 46 | Joined: Oct 11, 2006 - 6:57pm



On June 18, 1944, after returning from a patrol off New Ireland, PT-107 was refueling along with PT-63 when a fuel valve malfunctioned and spilled high test aviation fuel into the water. When the 107 started her engines, the fuel ignited and both the 107 and 63 were lost in the fire. Fortunately, both crews were fine!



Posted By: Stearman | Posted on: Jan 3, 2018 - 7:51pm
Total Posts: 32 | Joined: Nov 1, 2017 - 9:38pm



I've read about the fire incident previously, but since I have become better educated on the general layout of an 80' Elco boat it has caused me to wonder, was a blast of flame all the way to the stern of the boat a normal occurrence when starting a Packard? Seems a long distance for a flame to travel.

Larry
62 Bel-Air
260 Eagle EXP
79 Cole TR-2
2016 Corvette Z51

Posted By: bubbletop409 | Posted on: Jan 3, 2018 - 11:27pm
Total Posts: 154 | Joined: Apr 22, 2013 - 11:48pm



Hello John Sullivan!
I have read many of your previous posts here on the Forum over the years. Yes, Russ Hamachek was a great friend and donor to the PT658 here in Portland OR. I was riding in the car with him one day about 10 years ago, and asked him permission to use his RON39 Logo for my icon in his honor. He told me a great story about how it came to pass that this well designed "Bat Wing" logo was made by an artist in NYC in his book "Hot, Straight and True" Russ was the Squadron Commander of RON39 after he left your boat, John. I myself was never on a WW2 PT Boat crew, since I am too young,but I have been working on restoring the PT658 since 1995, so I feel a certain connection to you guys who were there on the boats. I am also a retired Chief Machinists Mate from the US Navy, serving from 1981 to 2003. Please continue to stay in touch with this forum, we greatly value your point of view and memories about WW2 PTs!
Jerry

Jerry Gilmartin
PT658 Crewman
Portland OR

Posted By: Jerry Gilmartin | Posted on: Jan 4, 2018 - 8:11pm
Total Posts: 1216 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 11:16pm



With all due respect, I couldn't disagree with Lew Zee more .
It seems to me that the MARK VI patrol boat has inherited the role of the WWII PT boat. (And the new MARK VI's inherited the job from the MARK V's)
82 feet long, 45 knots, designed to be quickly outfitted with variable weapons loads for the swiftly changing 21st century battlefield...all they lack is the PT painted on the deck house sides.
Sure, they probably won't be firing torpedoes any time soon, but they have taken on the Commando-style raiding party role often assigned to the PT's of the 1940's. Modular weapons packages make them a perfect fit for littoral warfare. They even come with twin-.50's and shoulder-fired SAM's if needed
All they need is a John Bulkeley or Bob Kelly at the helm.

There's a lot more to be said for them, but I just got home from surgery 'bout an hour ago and I need to be drydocked for a bit.

ROSS FISHER[:-cheers-:]

ross@dupagels.lib.il.us

Posted By: ROSS FISHER | Posted on: Jan 9, 2018 - 12:16pm
Total Posts: 80 | Joined: Jul 23, 2008 - 10:03am



With all due respect, I couldn't disagree with Lew Zee more .
It seems to me that the MARK VI patrol boat has inherited the role of the WWII PT boat. (And the new MARK VI's inherited the job from the MARK V's)
82 feet long, 45 knots, designed to be quickly outfitted with variable weapons loads for the swiftly changing 21st century battlefield...all they lack is the PT painted on the deck house sides.
Sure, they probably won't be firing torpedoes any time soon, but they have taken on the Commando-style raiding party role often assigned to the PT's of the 1940's. Modular weapons packages make them a perfect fit for littoral warfare. They even come with twin-.50's and shoulder-fired SAM's if needed
All they need is a John Bulkeley or Bob Kelly at the helm.

There's a lot more to be said for them, but I just got home from surgery 'bout an hour ago and I need to be drydocked for a bit.

ROSS FISHER[:-cheers-:]

ross@dupagels.lib.il.us

Posted By: ROSS FISHER | Posted on: Jan 9, 2018 - 12:16pm
Total Posts: 80 | Joined: Jul 23, 2008 - 10:03am



Ross;
Speaking as a former MKVSOC combatant craft crewman (MKVSOC 951 SBU 20 DET 1 and MKVSOC 963 SBU 20 DET 4) and DET 4 Navagator, No, The MK Vl has not inherited the role of the PT Boat, or the MKVSOC. One major reason, its not air deployable. While it is a multi mission platform, it has followed the PC's in its role within the Navy, While the MK Vl is a Special Mission Capable platform, that is not the primary mission.
The modern day role of the PT Boats is the job of the multiple platforms currently used by Naval Special Warfare:
NSW current combatant craft types:
Combatant Craft Medium (CCM) 60ft
Combatant Craft Assault (CCA) 42ft
Combatant Craft Heavy- SEALION 80ft
Special Operations Craft-Riverine (SOC-R) 33ft
NSW 11 Meter RHIB- 11 meter(36 ft)

The SWCC community is the direct descendant of the WW ll Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons. Just as Underwater Demolition Teams were the direct descendants of today's SEALS. The Special Boat Team Twelve Building in Coronado California, is named for VADM John D. Bulkeley.

The MK VI is an Navy Expeditionary Combat Command-NECC asset, not NSW. NSW for a multitude of reasons decided not to take the MKVl into its inventory.

Take care,
TED

P.S. This is excluding the torpedo aspect of PT Boats, which today is the job of the Submarine Force and ASW Helo's.



Posted By: TED WALTHER | Posted on: Jan 9, 2018 - 4:29pm
Total Posts: 2873 | Joined: Oct 16, 2006 - 7:42am



Ted,
Thanks for the detailed response. I stand corrected, you're right. The Combat Craft/Medium and Combat Craft /Heavy seem to be the closest match to the WWII PT boats. Being transportable by air is essential for 21st century small combatants.

Rossa

ross@dupagels.lib.il.us

Posted By: ROSS FISHER | Posted on: Jan 10, 2018 - 9:54am
Total Posts: 80 | Joined: Jul 23, 2008 - 10:03am



As I said in my previous post on this message thread: [red]So my short answer is the PT boats have been replaced by a multitude of more specialized boats or methods of delivery and surveillance.[/red]

Lew Zee

Lew Zee

Posted By: Lew Zee | Posted on: Jan 10, 2018 - 4:33pm
Total Posts: 116 | Joined: Dec 12, 2013 - 12:04pm



Thank you guys for all of the thoughtful responses that you have provided. I will forward these to my Board of Directors so they will have some good answers for the presentation at the Statehouse..
Jerry

Jerry Gilmartin
PT658 Crewman
Portland OR

Posted By: Jerry Gilmartin | Posted on: Jan 12, 2018 - 3:14am
Total Posts: 1216 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 11:16pm