The PT Boat Forum

Forum Category: PT Boats of WWII

Forum Name: PT Boats - General

Topic: Battleship Cove

Hey folks;

I just visited Battleship Cove today and got a guided tour through PT 617, an 80 foot ELCO by Don Shannon.

As a person who has done a lot of research on PT's, viewed a lot of pictures of PT's it still doesn't compare to the feeling you get standing on deck and seeing it for yourself. I have taken about 70 pictures of the boat inside and out which I will be posting very soon.

Frank, I'm in a hotel room in Springfield tonite and I will visit your exhibit at the Springfield Museum tomorrow AM.

Battleship Cove is a wonderful place to see historic Naval Vessels. Besides the Elco and Higgens you can also tour the USS Massachusetts.(Battleship),The USS Joseph Kennedy( Destroyer), The USS Lionfish (submarine) and a Russian Missle Ship.

All of the boats are open for self tours. I got down into the powder magazines in the Massachusetts a good 6 stories down from the main deck. The engine room is something to see.

Posted By: Gary Szot | Posted on: Jul 30, 2007 - 3:37pm
Total Posts: 193 | Joined: Feb 12, 2007 - 1:00pm


Nothing beats seeing the boats up close for the first time. One can talk about PT Boats all the time, but until you see and stand on the deck, nothing can top that. Gary, very excited that you will be going to the Exhibit tommorow. Wish I had advance warning of your visit. I would have liked to have met you. Please tell me what you think. Battleship Cove is a great place to visit. Seeing the USS MASSACHUSETTS for the first time was breathtaking for me. Can you just imagine how she was filled with ships company and out to Sea?

I can still remember the first tme I saw the Elco PT Boat. It was long before Newberry Hall was built to protect her. She was outside and to me she looked like the most beautiful gal I ever layed eyes on. I could only imagine how it was trying to live on such a small boat. She looked so very large outside of the water, but I soon realized how small she must have looked with a good portion of that blazing red hull just beneath the waves. Still, to me she looked every bit the wooden warrior and I shall never forget that first feeling of joy seeing her. I hope you too Gary shared those same feelings while you were there.....

Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Jul 30, 2007 - 7:49pm
Total Posts: 3175 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am

I have just uploaded almost 60 JPGs onto the photobucket site.
To view these pics go to;

login= PTBoats
Password= ELCOPT

All of my photos are in the Battleship Cove folder.

Visiting Battleship Cove and in particular the tour of PT 617 is a very humbling experience. You can't help but feel the intense loyalty that these men felt for their boats. My father told me stories about his PT days but it really didn't click for me entirely until I stepped foot aboard the 617.

To Will and CJ, Don Shannon told me that you guys rarely used the crapper on board. Did you really sit on planks astern when nature called?

Posted By: Gary Szot | Posted on: Jul 31, 2007 - 5:41am
Total Posts: 193 | Joined: Feb 12, 2007 - 1:00pm

Gary, did you go on the Battleship and check out the PT museum?


Posted By: Ray Wilbur | Posted on: Jul 31, 2007 - 8:31am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered

In answer to your question about the crapper, I lived aboard P.T. 242 for 13 months and I can't recall using the inside john once. We had a crapper made from a wooden 50 cal. ammunition box with a hole cut in the top and the bottom open. It was cantilevered over the stern with 2 - 2x4's that slipped under the smoke generator. When not in use we tied it on the stern deck. When Bob Hope, Francis Langford and crew came for their show, we were cautioned by the skipper not to use it while they were there.

C. J. Willis

Posted By: CJ Willis | Posted on: Jul 31, 2007 - 1:11pm
Total Posts: 464 | Joined: Nov 5, 2006 - 5:02pm


I spent about 8 hours at Battleship Cove. I did extensive tours of all the boats. I could have spent a couple more days there. I found the PT Museum on board of the USS Mass. and found a picture of Mac Arthur on the 525 boat. Good stuff.


Congradulations on a great exhibit. I thoroughly enjoyed the displays and in particular the video tape of the Elco factory.

I found the exhibit to be historical as well as informative.

Great job!

CJ; as always your stories are priceless.

Posted By: Gary Szot | Posted on: Jul 31, 2007 - 2:06pm
Total Posts: 193 | Joined: Feb 12, 2007 - 1:00pm


Thanks Very Much. I am glad that your trip was one that was worth the time and effort. Nothing like spending a day or so looking at PT BOAT STUFF. You are correct, you could spend much more time at Battleship Cove. I think I went back a few times before I could say with any honestly that I saw everything..........

Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Jul 31, 2007 - 2:58pm
Total Posts: 3175 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am


When I was visiting your exhibit I got to talking to the curator. He told me that the previous week Leighton Wood came to visit your display.

He has to use a walker to get around and was a bit dismayed that the museum did not have an elevator.

True to form he showed the same grit and determination that he showed as a PT Skipper to climb the flight of stairs to see the display you had of him.

It never ceases to amaze me the true love these men had for their boats.

Posted By: Gary Szot | Posted on: Jul 31, 2007 - 7:04pm
Total Posts: 193 | Joined: Feb 12, 2007 - 1:00pm


Yes, I too was surprised at no elevator, but to date no PT BOAT VETERAN was sidetracked by that fact. Each one made the climb up the stairs and proved once again just what PT means. PLENTY TOUGH!!!!

Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Jul 31, 2007 - 11:27pm
Total Posts: 3175 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am

I visited Battleship Cove and The PTs last spring with my dad who served on PT-342, Ron 24 in New Guinea. Dad was 82 and he was all over that Elco. Like previous posts have said, you can read all about them and build models over and over but until you see one and get aboard and walk all around one, you'll never really understand a PT. I was struck by how big they were/are. I'd seen all the movies and talked with Dad at great length but now, I get it.
I also want to put out there again for everyone, Don Shannon is a top notch guy and the whole staff treated us like royalty. If you get the chance, GO!
Jeff Sherry

Posted By: Jeff Sherry | Posted on: Aug 6, 2007 - 5:38pm
Total Posts: 84 | Joined: Oct 30, 2006 - 8:04pm


I am happy that you were able to bring your dad to Battleship Cove. It must have been quite an experience for him.

Unfortunately my dad (Chester T. Szot EM 2) passed away in 1992 and never had the chance to step aboard a PT again. I would have loved to have seen the expression on my dads' face as he walked towards the PT.

He spoke often about standing on the bow and getting the ride of his life with the salt spray in his face.

As a kid the closest I got to a PT boat was some fisherman in Brielle, NJ who had bought a couple of surplus PTs' and converted them into deep sea fishing boats. I understood that they chopped about 20 feet off of the stern. Its not the same as seeing one as it was meant to be.

Gary Szot
2nd Gen RON 36 PT 525

Posted By: Gary Szot | Posted on: Aug 7, 2007 - 7:36am
Total Posts: 193 | Joined: Feb 12, 2007 - 1:00pm