Question: PT 109, where is it today and what was its life span? Answer below.
At my last count, Kingston, NY was home to four World War II PT boats. In milder weather than today, PT 728 travels the river with passengers; the occasion for this foto, taken in November 2009, was the arrival in the sixth boro of USS NewYork. PT 728 was built in Annapolis, but others were built in New Orleans and in the sixth boro’s own Bayonne, NJ.
A few days ago I stumbled onto video 1 of 3 of ELCO manufacturing in Bayonne. Enjoy it here. More manufacturing here. This clip shows a group of PT boats heading up the Hudson and traversing locks in the Erie and Welland Canals; great short brief glimpses of locking and of at least one 1945 tug, passenger vessel, and commercial shipping in the Welland Canal. Finally, here’s a brief report on a New Orleans-built PT boat restoration project.
Thanks to Ken’s comment, I went in search of info on the most famous of PT boats, the 109, associated with the president who was sworn in exactly half century ago yesterday. PT 109 was an ELCO, launched into Newark Bay on June 20, 1942 and fitted out at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Anyone have any fotos?
Answer: 1200′ below the surface in the Solomon Islands. Its service life was barely one year, sinking on August 2, 1943.
Foto above by Will Van Dorp, who needs to get more PT boat fotos.