The PT Boat Forum

» Forum Category: PT Boats of WWII

» Forum Name: PT Boats - General

» Topic: national archives

I spent a fascinating day at the National Archives a few weeks ago. I was able to obtain a limited amount of information on PT 300, which was great as there is not much info on that boat. I plan on going back again soon - is there anything I could look up for anyone? I'm beginning to understand the system so I may be able to find specific information. It was great reading - and seeing - original documents such as orders, reports, etc. So fascinating!

Posted By: colleen | Posted on: Sep 18, 2007 - 5:51pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered


Please provide your e-mail address so that I might discuss possible research at NA.

Thanks- Allan

Posted By: Allan | Posted on: Oct 21, 2007 - 7:28pm
Total Posts: 161 | Joined: Sep 18, 2007 - 7:07pm

This message is reposted from the other thread Colleen had earlier about "strange questions but I am going to ask anyways"

Hi Colleen, I saw your post about the national archives and remembered this post. I have some info about PT 300 and RON16 and what happened to PT300 from the written Squadron History compiled by Chief Cook Alfred Piotter. If you are interested, send me your email address. You can email me offline if you want. This history also describes in detail the loss of LST 605 and another message board reader, I think his name is Don Webb had an uncle Donald Fuelhart who died on the beach when the ship was attacked and I have some details on that also. Please let me know.
By the way paraphrasing from the Ron16 history, it says the plane that hit it was a Val (Jap Dive Bomber) and "around 1600 just after the "All Clear" signal was sent out, suddenly several Vals came in and tried bombing the group. One dropped a couple of bombs that missed, then another came in for a dive but turned away under heavy fire. He appeared to be leaving but suddenly heeled over and came directly at PT300. LCDR Colvin gave the PT300 a last second turn to the right. The pilot had apparently anticipated this maneuver, and he swung right with the boat and crashed into the engine room (the middle of the boat) and split the PT300 in half. The stern sank immediately, the bow burned for 8 hours. All but one of her men were killed or wounded. seriously wounding LCDR Colvin. Everett Nussman TM2/c was the only survivor unhurt. He was at the twin .50 cal Machinegun. He kept firing until the plane was almost ready to strike, and then ducked down into the bottom of the gun tub. The explosion caved the turret in on him but he wriggled free and dove overboard. PT222 and others worked to rescue the survivors, and retrieve some of the dead, including MM1/c Brunner (KIA) and LCDR Colvin (WIA)"
Colleen, I can also get the history of every event where PT300 is mentioned up to this event beginning with its delivery to Ron 16B in New Orleans including what ships were used to transport it to the front lines. Let me know if you want this info.

Jerry Gilmartin
PT658 restoration crew

Jerry Gilmartin

Posted By: Jerry Gilmartin | Posted on: Oct 22, 2007 - 12:21am
Total Posts: 1444 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 11:16pm

Colleen, Do you think you could get any info. such as action reports or deck logs from pt's 84 121 142 & 144? my Dad was skipper of these boats and I am doing research on his career. Thanks in advance Scott Cunningham 2nd Gen. Rons 8&13 call me if you can 318-617-9212

Posted By: Scott Cunningham | Posted on: Oct 22, 2007 - 6:44am
Total Posts: 15 | Joined: Oct 10, 2006 - 8:21am

Hello Colleen,

If you come across any pictures of PT-117 I would appreciate knowing what armament was added by the crew beyond the standard 20mm cannon and two twin .50 machine guns ( read a 37mm cannon was added). Also if the boat was painted in some camoflauge scheme verses monotone Grey.

Brian Fendley

Posted By: Brian Fendley | Posted on: Oct 22, 2007 - 9:50am
Total Posts: 6 | Joined: Oct 21, 2007 - 5:36pm


There is a black & white photo of the starboard side of the bomb-damaged and beached PT 117 in Rendova Harbor on August 1, 1943 on page 121 of "At Close Quarters - PT Boats in the United States Navy," the official U.S. Navy history of the boats.

As mentioned, the boat was damaged beyond repair along with PT 164, a zebra-striped 80' Elco, which was completely demolished (a photo of which is also on page 121 in "At Close Quarters") in the Japanese air raid on Rendova that day.

Of course, it's impossible to tell from the b&w picture if the 117 was gray or green at the time, and the most obvious details you can observe from the photo, beside the 117's high rear cockpit armor and the fact that the aft twin-.50 turret had a canvas splash skirt, are the numerous deck runoff stains down the side of the hull of the boat.

Personally, if I had to guess, I'd say the 117 was probably that faded-to-"haze"- green-color a lot of the Solomons PTs were, but...?

The photo doesn't show any additional armament on the boat other than the standard twin-.50's in the fore and aft turrets and the 20mm gun on the stern. I can't quite tell from the photo if the 20mm gun's armor shield is present or not.

Posted By: Drew Cook | Posted on: Oct 22, 2007 - 4:30pm
Total Posts: 1306 | Joined: Oct 19, 2006 - 10:44am

Hi - I'd be happy to try to locate any info that I can. Do you know what happened to any of those boats? If they were sunk, then there is probably very little info as I was told that the logs would have gone down with the boat. I went to the Archives last week, so I probably will not go for another week or two. It is such an amazing place!

Jerry - I tried to email you , but my messages came back. I'd like the information that you referred to. Thanks!


Posted By: colleen | Posted on: Oct 22, 2007 - 6:23pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered

Colleen please email me at Please remove the ZZZ (this is an attempt to foil spammers). I need to email you a lot of stuff but dont have your email address. Jerry

Jerry Gilmartin

Posted By: Jerry Gilmartin | Posted on: Oct 23, 2007 - 3:53am
Total Posts: 1444 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 11:16pm

Hi Colleen:
You seem to be the source for info from the Archives. I was aboard P.T. 242, Squadron 19- 23 from about November 10, 1943 until December 1, 1944 all in the Solomons. I would certainly enjoy reading any logs of P.T. 242 during that time period. At your convience, there is absolutely no hurry for this info. I have waited 64 years. My E-mail is
C.J. Willis

C. J. Willis

Posted By: CJ Willis | Posted on: Oct 23, 2007 - 9:16am
Total Posts: 464 | Joined: Nov 5, 2006 - 5:02pm

Hello Drew,

Thanks for the extra information. I think I will order that book. The group build I entered finishes this coming weekend but the book will be useful beyond that. I guess I will go with a Haze green type color and hope for the best.


Posted By: Brian Fendley | Posted on: Oct 23, 2007 - 2:20pm
Total Posts: 6 | Joined: Oct 21, 2007 - 5:36pm

Ok - I'm off to the NA tomorrow - I'll let you know what I am able to find on PT242, 84, 121, 142, 144, 117, and of course the 300.

I'll be in touch as soon as I can after I get back. Hope I find some interesting stuff!

Posted By: colleen | Posted on: Nov 7, 2007 - 4:24pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered


If you come across anything on PT 374 Squadron 27, I would be most grateful. It seems as though you might become one of our Archive connections. It means so much to some of us to gather this information and I for one appreciate your efforts.............

Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Nov 7, 2007 - 9:30pm
Total Posts: 3497 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am

Hello to all - I am back from DC. My trip to the archives was really amazing! The more I am there the more aware I am of how much information is stored there! I've been there several times now and I still have only been to one research room - and only in one section of that room! It is really confusing though! There are so many rules. You have to go through many security practices - you cannot even take in a pen or pencil with you - they will give you a pencil once you are in the research room. You can take your laptop and a digital camera - no flash. Many people have a unique set up - they take a tripod and invert it and they photograph documents with their digital camera and then download everything to their computer. Photocopying is pretty steep - .75 a page. You are not allowed to wear oversized clothes and this time I had to get rid of my sweatshirt because of the hood - I guess some people would go to any length to smuggle documents! I read thru many "deck log" books - the originals! Some are very detailed and some are sparse. They were completed by the captain each day - or at least signed by the capt. after someone else completed the entry. A lot of mundane stuff such as how much fuel or water was taken on, picking up people and taking them somewhere, etc. It was amazing to read the list of crew members for each boat. It was sad - the deck log for the 242 described how it was taken apart at the end, and then the last sentence is ".......and the ship is decommissioned". and then the rest of the book is blank. Towards the end of the war the books become hand made - instead of the formal blue book some captains were using yellow tablet paper or plain white paper that they drew lines on to fill in the navigation data. The books for some ships are missing or they are missing several months in a row. It seems about 3 months fit into a book. There is a lot of detailed navigational entries - headings and such. Also many descriptions on course changes. Most of the descriptions of encounters with the Japanese are factual - it depends on the capt. I guess - how descriptive he was (or wasn't). Well as I said, the more I go the more I realize how much info is there - you just have to have the time to search for it all. I tried to find info on the boats requested in previous posts. If a boat was sunk, there is very little info on it. For anyone who asked me to look for a specific name or a specific boat, please email me at I can tell you what I found or if I was able to copy anything. I know someone asked me to look for a picture, but I have never yet made it to the photographic archives - maybe on my next trip!


Posted By: colleen | Posted on: Nov 11, 2007 - 5:34pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered

Hello Colleen:

I am very interested in any information that might ne able to find regarding PT 113 and PT 114, including any pictures. Please e-mail me at Thanks- Allan

Posted By: Allan | Posted on: Nov 24, 2007 - 7:27pm
Total Posts: 161 | Joined: Sep 18, 2007 - 7:07pm

Colleen: Not sure if you are still on this forum after all these years. My father was one of the severely wounded on PT-300 on 12/18/44. He passed away in 2007, rarely saying anything about his years in the Navy or his long long recovering from that day. I would be very interested in the information you have obtained about PT-300. I have done a little research but nothing compared to yours. Please share.

Posted By: Eileen | Posted on: May 14, 2015 - 1:59pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered

wrong posting...

Posted By: Darius | Posted on: May 31, 2015 - 1:07pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered

As an author of the book AMERICAN PT BOATS IN WW II, I have been looking for a
photo of Lt. Commander J. Paul Austin in uniform. He was a Naval Intelligence Officer
served with a PT squadron in the Pacific. He was on PT 346 in April 1944 and saw action.
He was the CEO of CocaCola 1962 - 1981. That’s all I have.
If you could locate it please email me at If you can purchase it, any size
(5 x 7 if possible) I will pay all expenses.
Thank you for your attention in this matter.
Victor Chun

Victor K Chun

Posted By: victorkchun | Posted on: May 31, 2015 - 2:31pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered

Austin was with Ron 25 if that help.

Victor K Chun

Posted By: victorkchun | Posted on: May 31, 2015 - 2:51pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered