Sea worthy

PT boat

PT Boats were a variety of motor torpedo boat (hull classification symbol "PT", for "Patrol Torpedo"), a small, fast vessel used by the United States Navy in World War II to attack larger surface ships. The PT boat squadrons were nicknamed "the mosquito fleet".

Torpedo boats, with displacement hulls, were first developed in the early 20th century as an inexpensive way to deliver torpedoes which could destroy ships as heavy as battleships without the massive weight necessary for large caliber guns. By WWII, the initial mission of the American PT boats was to battle destroyers, which themselves were originally created as a defense against torpedo boats. Indeed, the name "destroyer" is actually a shortening of the name "torpedo boat destroyer" from the World War One era. Though many would question the military effectiveness of the boats in this role, their psychological impact in deterring Japanese attacks was significant. The Navy's impetus for building the PT boat fleet was for both economic and material reasons. Ten PT boats could be built for the cost of one modest-sized destroyer escort. Another reason was a shortage of steel at the beginning of the war, which had to be conserved for building larger ships. Towards the end of the war, the US was able to build a massive naval fleet, and the wood construction of the PT boats enabled more steel to be used for that purpose. Later in the war, the boats were much more effective as gunboats against targets their own size, such as armored barges that the Japanese used to shuttle troops and supplies between islands.

Among the famous PT boats was PT-109, commanded by future United States President John F. Kennedy, an Elco PT-103 class torpedo boat. Another was PT-41, a 77 foot Elco boat commanded by Lieutenant John D. Bulkeley, who rescued General Douglas MacArthur from certain capture by the Japanese in a daring escape from Corregidor Island, Philippines. Bulkeley was awarded the Medal of Honor for his operations in the Philippines before rescuing MacArthur. This story inspired both a book, They Were Expendable, and a movie of the same name. This story of the diminutive PT boats beating overwhelming odds went a long way to prop up sagging American morale in the dark days after the attack on Pearl Harbor.


In the late 1930s, the US Navy requested a competitive bid for several different concepts of torpedo boats. This competition led to eight prototype boats built to compete in two different classes. The first class was to be for 55-foot boats, and the second class to be for 70-foot boats. The resulting PT boat designs were the product of a small cadre of respected naval architects and the Navy. Henry R Sutphen of Electric Launch Company ("Elco") and his Elco designers; Irwin Chase, Bill Fleming and Glenville Tremaine, visited the United Kingdom to see British Motor Torpedo Boat designs. While visiting the British Power Boat Company, they purchased a 70-foot design (PV70) (later renamed PT-9 during the competition), designed by Hubert Scott-Paine. Other entries in the competition were two boats (PT-7 and PT-8) built by Andrew Jackson Higgins of Higgins Industries of New Orleans, and designers at the Huckins Yacht Company also came up with competing 70-foot boat class designs. The US Navy at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, came up with other designs (PT-1 to PT-6). The results of the competition found that none of the boats, as built, were up to the necessary performance specifications identified by the US Navy.

Representatives of Elco had substantial small-boat building experience, having built 550 80-foot sub chasers for the British Admiralty during WW I. Additionally, in 1921, they introduced the famous 26-foot "Cruisette", (a gasoline cabin cruiser). This success in small-boat building was followed in the 1930s with 30-ft to 57-ft "Veedettes" and "Flattops", which were gasoline-powered boats that set the highest standard in a golden era of boating. This small-boat experience helped Elco obtain a contract for 10 boats based on the 70-foot Scott-Paine Model PT Boat. These 70-foot boats were tested and determined to be too light for open sea work, but Elco got a contract for 24 larger boats based on a lengthened 77-foot design.

The design competition and seaworthiness trials for the PT boat was nicknamed "The Plywood Derby" and took place prior to the United States entering the war, in early 1941. The Navy Department held these competition trials around New York Harbor. This was a shakedown to see which company would be contracted to build the Navy PT boats. At the completion of the trials, the Navy was impressed with all three designs, with the Elco 77-footer coming out on top, followed by the Higgins 76-footer and Huckins 72-foot boat. Although Elco came in first, the Navy saw the merits of the other two boats and decided to offer all three companies contracts. Elco received the lion's share of the contract (385 boats by the end of the war), Higgins was second (199 boats by the end of the war) and Huckins with the smallest contract (18 boats by the end of the war, none of which would see combat, being assigned to home defense squadrons in the Panama Canal Zone, Miami, Florida and in Hawaii at Pearl Harbor). Huckins was a tiny yacht-building company in Jacksonville, Florida and was unable to build the number of boats needed by the Navy. Although they built a few 78-foot (24 m) boats of the PT-95 class, the 80-foot (24.4 m) Elco and the 78-foot (24 m) Higgins boats became the standard American motor torpedo boats of World War II. By war's end, more of the 80-foot Elco boats were built than any other type of motor torpedo boat (326 of their 80-foot boats were built). Elco also produced 49 of their 77-foot boats and ten 70-foot boats.


The Elco Naval Division boats were the largest in size of the three types of PT boats built for the US Navy used during World War II. The 80-foot (24.4 m) wooden-hulled craft were classified as boats in comparison with much larger steel-hulled destroyers, but were comparable in size to many wooden sailing ships in history. They had a 20 ft 8 in (6.3 m) beam. Though often said to be made of plywood, they were actually made of two diagonal layered 1-inch thick mahogany planks, with a glue-impregnated layer of canvas in between. Holding all this together were thousands of bronze screws and copper rivets. As an example of the strength of this type of construction, the hull of the PT-109 was strong enough that airtight compartments kept the forward hull afloat for hours even after being cut in half by a destroyer. Additionally, damage to the wooden hulls of these boats could be easily repaired at the front lines by base force personnel.

Hull shape was similar to the planing hull found in pleasure boats of the time (and still in use today): a sharp V at the bow softening to a flat bottom at the stern. PT Boats were intended to plane at higher speeds, just like pleasure boats, but with the huge engines and the fuel they required, this rarely happened, even on smooth water. If high-speed operations were attempted on rough water, some hulls simply broke up. In 1943, an inquiry was held by the Navy to discuss planing, hull design, and fuel consumption issues, but no major modifications were made before the end of the war. (Wooden Boat Forum)

With accommodation for three officers and 14 men, the crew varied from 12 to 17, depending upon the number and type of weapons installed. Full-load displacement late in the war was 56 tons.

Early Elco boats had one 20 mm Oerlikon cannon mounted at the stern, and two twin M2 .50 cal (12.7 mm) machineguns mounted in open rotating turrets. These turrets were designed by the same company that would make the Tucker automobile. On the forward deck, some of the early Elco boats had twin-mounted .30 cal (7.62 mm) Lewis machine guns. The primary anti-ship armament was two or four 21-inch (53 cm) torpedo tubes launching Mark 8 torpedoes, which weighed about one ton each. Some carried two to four U.S. Navy Mark 6 depth charges in roll-off stern racks, or mine racks. Later boats mounted one 40 mm Bofors gun aft and four launching racks, two on each beam, for 22.5-inch (57 cm) Mark 13 torpedos. Some PTs later received two eight-cell 5-inch (127 mm) spin-stabilized flat trajectory rocket launchers, giving them 16 rockets and as much firepower for a short time as a destroyer mounting five-inch guns. By war's end, the PT boat had more "firepower-per-ton" than any other vessel in the U.S. Navy. One other addition US Navy PTs had was Raytheon SO type radar, with about a 25 nm range. Since PTs operated mainly at night, having radar gave them an advantage over the enemy in being able to locate and engage them even in zero visibility. Although radar is not specifically a weapon, its use by the PT boats made the other weapons much more effective.

In addition, many boats received ad hoc outfits at advanced bases, mounting such weapons as 37 mm aircraft cannons. One example was Kennedy's PT-109 which was equipped with an Army M3 37 mm anti-tank gun her crew had commandeered, removed the wheels, and bolted to the fore deck. Another similar type of weapon that gained widespread use as the war progressed was the 37 mm Oldsmobile M4 and M9 aircraft automatic cannon. Originally cannibalized from crashed P-39 Airacobra fighter planes on Guadalcanal, and then later obtained by and installed at the boat's Elco and Higgins factories, the M4/M9 cannon had a relatively high rate of fire (125 rounds per minute) and large magazine (30 rounds), making it highly desirable due to the PT boat's ever-increasing need for a larger "punch" to deal effectively with the Japanese daihatsu barges, which were immune to torpedoes due to their shallow draft. By the war's end, most PTs had these weapons.


Higgins produced 199 78-foot boats. The Higgins boats, built by Higgins Industries in New Orleans, Louisiana, were 78-foot (24 m) boats of the PT-71 class. The Higgins boats had the same beam, full load displacement, engine, generators, shaft power, trial speed, armament, and crew accommodation as the 80-foot (24 m) Elco boats. Numerous Higgins boats were sent to the USSR and Great Britain at the beginning of the war, so many of the lower-numbered squadrons in the USN were made up exclusively of Elcos. The first Higgins boats for the US Navy were used in the Battle for the Aleutian Islands (Attu and Kiska) as part of Squadron 13 and 16, and others (RON15) in the Mediterranean against the Germans. They were also used during the D-Day landings in the English Channel on 6 June 1944. General Eisenhower was quoted as saying that the Higgins boats won the war for the U.S. (He was most likely referring to the Higgins Landing Craft, and not PT boats.) A somewhat odd footnote is that even though only half as many Higgins boats were produced, far more survive (seven hulls, 3 of which have been restored to their WWII configuration), than do the more numerously-built Elco boats; of which only two hulls (one restored) are known to exist at this time.


The Canadian Power Boat Company produced five PT boats for the US Navy.

The British-designed 70-foot (21 m) Vosper Motor Torpedo Boat, 146 of which were built for Lend Lease, carried 18-inch (457 mm) torpedoes. Oddly, very few (approximately 50) were used by the Royal Navy, and most were passed to other countries.

Packard engines

All US PT boats were powered by three 12-cylinder gasoline-fueled engines. These engines were built by the Packard Motor Car Corporation, and were a modified design of the 3A-2500 V-12 liquid-cooled aircraft engine. The 3A-2500 was an improved version of the 2A engine used on the Huff-Daland XB-1 Liberty bomber of World War I vintage. Packard modified them for marine use in PTs, hence the "M" designation instead of "A". (ie 3A-2500 then 3M-2500). The three successive versions of these engines were designated as 3M-2500, 4M-2500, and 5M-2500, each of which had slight improvements over the previous version. Their aircraft roots gave them many features of aircraft engines, such as superchargers, intercoolers, dual magnetos, two spark plugs per cylinder, and so on. Packard built the Rolls Royce Merlin aero engine under license alongside the 4M-2500, but with the exception of the PT-9 prototype boat brought from England for Elco to examine and copy, the Merlin was never used in PTs. The 4M-2500s initially generated 1200 hp (895 kW) each, together roughly the same power as a Boeing B-17 bomber. They were subsequently upgraded in stages to 1500-hp (1,150 kW) each, for a designed speed of 41 knots (76 km/h). The final engine version, the Packard 5M-2500, (late 1945) had a larger supercharger, aftercooler, and power output of 1850 Hp. This much power could push the fully-loaded boats at 45 to 50 knots. However, using the older 4M-2500 engines, increases in the weight of the boats due to more weaponry offset the potential increase in top speed. Fuel consumption of these engines was phenomenal; a PT boat carried 3,000 gallons (11,360 liters) of 100 octane avgas. A normal patrol for these boats would last a maximum of 12 hours. The consumption rate for each engine at a cruising speed of 23 knots was about 66 gallons (250 l) per hour (200 gallons (760 l) per hour for all 3 engines). However, at top speed, the gasoline consumption increased to 166 gallons (628 l) per hour per engine (or 500 gallons [1,890 l] per hour for all 3 engines). At the top speed of 41+ knots, the 3,000 gallons of gas would be used in only about 6 hours. (Bore 6.375", stroke 6.5", capacity 2489.7 cuin / 40.8 L)


PTs would usually attack under the cover of night. The deck houses of PT boats were protected against small arms fire and splinter. Direct hits from Japanese guns could and did result in catastrophic explosions with near-total crew loss. They feared attack by Japanese seaplanes, which were hard to detect even with radar, but which could easily spot the phosphorescent wake left by PT propellers. Bombing attacks killed and wounded crews even with near misses. There are several recorded instances of PT boats trading fire with friendly aircraft, a situation also familiar to U.S. submariners. Several PT boats were lost due to "friendly fire" from both Allied aircraft and destroyers.

Initially, only a few boats were issued primitive radar sets. In the battle of Blackett Straight (where PT109 was lost), only three PTs (the section leaders) had radar, and they were ordered to return to base after firing their torpedoes on radar bearings. When they left, the remaining boats in the section were virtually blind and without verbal orders, thus leading to more confusion. This may have contributed to the events that resulted in 109's loss. Later in the war, as more PTs were fitted with dependable radar, they developed superior night-fighting tactics and used them to locate and destroy many enemy targets. The boats would lie in wait to ambush a target from torpedo range (generally about 1000 yards {914 m}), but once their position was given away by the torpedo launch, they would have to lay down a smokescreen from stern-mounted generators, to help conceal their escape from ship-mounted searchlights or seaplane-dropped flares, illuminating them for heavy-caliber guns, which PTs lacked. Depth charges were sometimes used as a last-ditch confusion weapon to scare off pursuing destroyers. Gunboat versions mounted extra armor, though tests showed this was not very effective. A small liferaft was normally mounted on the forward deck, though it was occasionally displaced by guns.

PT boats lacked the refrigerators for meat, milk, butter and eggs of larger ships, so crews depended on the ingenuity of their cook, who might also be quartermaster and signalman, and what he could do with Spam, Vienna sausage, and beans. Crews would trade with other ships for supplies, or sometimes even fish by aiming rifles or tossing grenades into schools of fish.

Originally conceived as anti-ship weapons, PT boats were publicly credited with sinking several Japanese warships during the period between December 1941 and the fall of the Philippines in March 1942. Attacking at night, PT crews may have sometimes failed to note a possible torpedo failure. Although the American Mark 8 torpedo was troublesome and did have problems with porpoising and circular runs, it could and did have success against common classes of targets. The Mark 4 exploder was not subject to the same problems as U.S. submariners were having with their Mark 6s.

After the war, American military interviews with captured veterans of the Imperial Japanese Navy, supplemented by the available partial Japanese war records were unable to verify all the PT boat sinking claims were valid. In some cases this was due in part to the incomplete nature of the Japanese records.

The effectiveness of PT boats in the Solomon Islands campaign, where there were numerous engagements between PTs and capital ships as well as against Japanese shipborne resupply efforts dubbed "The Tokyo Express" in "the Slot", was substantially undermined by defective torpedoes. The Japanese were initially cautious when operating their capital ships in areas known to have PT boats, since they knew how dangerous their own Type 93s were, and assumed the Americans had equally lethal weapons. The PT boats at Guadalcanal were given credit for several sinkings and successes against the vaunted Tokyo Express. In several engagements, the mere presence of PTs was sufficient to disrupt heavily-escorted Japanese resupply activities at Guadalcanal, but this tactical advantage did not last long. Nevertheless, the PT mission in the Solomon Islands was deemed a success.

Throughout World War II, PTs operated in the southern, western, and northern Pacific, as well as in the Mediterranean Sea and the English Channel. Some served during the Battle of Normandy. During the D-Day invasion, PTs patrolled the "Mason Line", forming a barrier against the German S-boats attacking the Allied landing forces. They also performed lifesaving and anti-shipping mine destruction missions during the invasion.

Perhaps the most effective use of PTs was as "barge busters". Since both the Japanese in the New Guinea area and the Germans in the Mediterranean had lost numerous resupply vessels to Allied airpower during daylight hours, each attempted to resupply their troop concentrations by using shallow draft barges at night in very shallow waters. The shallow depth meant Allied destroyers were unable to follow them due to the risk of running aground and the barges could be protected by an umbrella of shore batteries. PTs had sufficiently shallow draft to follow them inshore and sink them. Using torpedoes was ineffective against these sometimes heavily-armed barges, since the minimum depth setting of the torpedo was about ten feet (3 m) and the barges only drew five (1.5 m). To accomplish the task, PTs in the Mediterranean and the Pacific (and RN and RCN MTBs in the Med) installed more and heavier guns which were able to sink the barges. One captured Japanese soldier's diary described their fear of PT boats by describing them as, "the monster that roars, flaps it wings, and shoots torpedoes in all directions".

Though their primary mission continued to be attack on surface ships and craft, PT boats were also used effectively to lay mines and smoke screens, rescue downed aviators, rescue shipwreck survivors, destroy Japanese suicide boats, destroy floating mines, and to carry out intelligence or raider operations.

In 1943 in the Solomon Islands, three 77-foot (23 m) PT boats, PT-59, PT-60, and PT-61, were converted into "PT gunboats" by stripping the boat of all original armament except for the two twin .50 cal (12.7 mm) gun mounts, and then adding two 40 mms and four twin .50 cal (12.7 mm) mounts. Lieutenant John F. Kennedy was the first commanding officer of PT-59. After conversion, PT59 participated in evacuating 40 to 50 Marines from Choiseul Island from a foundering landing craft (LCVP) which was under fire from Japanese soldiers on the beach. Later on, in 1944, several 78-foot Higgins PT boats (PT-283, PT-284, PT-285, and PT-282) were converted into this type of gunboat, so PT-59, PT-60, and PT-61 could be transferred back to the training school in Melville, Rhode Island.


See main article PT-109.

The most famous incident in this campaign was when Lieutenant Kennedy's PT-109 was sent into Blackett Strait to intercept the Tokyo Express. In what National Geographic called a "poorly planned and badly coordinated" attack, 15 boats with 60 torpedoes attacked, but not a single hit was scored. Patrolling after the action, PT-109 was run down on a dark moonless night by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri, returning from the supply mission; she never even noticed PT-109. The PT boat had her engines at idle to hide her wake from seaplanes, and so could not complete a torpedo shot. Remarkably, the survivors were found by two Solomon Islanders who had been dispatched in a traditional dugout canoe by an Australian coastwatcher. Only a few days later, a US force composed mostly of destroyers would be successful in putting an end to the Japanese supply convoys. Though his boat was sunk, Kennedy would be awarded a medal, and the incident would become a folk legend in the form of magazine articles, models, toys, hardback and comic books, a hit record, and a major motion picture; it also inspired several television shows, starting with McHale's Navy. The wreck was found in 2002 by Robert Ballard.

PT boats today

At the end of the war, almost all surviving US PT boats were disposed of shortly after V-J Day. Hundreds of boats were deliberately stripped of all useful equipment and then dragged up on the beach and burned. This was done to minimize the amount of upkeep the US Navy would have to do, since wooden boats require much continuous maintenance, and were not considered worth the effort. The level of gasoline consumption relative to the boat's small size also made their operational expense impracticable for a peacetime navy. Much of this destruction activity occurred at PT Base 17, located on the island of Samar, Philippines, near Bobon Point. A total of nine PT boat hulls still survive to this day in the USA, two are still in World War II configuration and are on static display in the PT Boat Museum at Battleship Cove in Fall River, Massachusetts: an 80-foot Elco boat PT-617 and a 78-foot Higgins, PT-796. Both of these boats are located inside, protected from the weather and up on blocks. Both are also available for public viewing. Both boats have portions of their hulls cut away to display the cramped interior of the crew's quarters. An interesting side note is this Higgins boat, PT-796, was used as a float during President John F. Kennedy's inaugural parade to represent PT-109, with the PT-109 hull number painted on the bow. These boats, owned by PT Boats, Inc., a WWII PT veterans organization headquartered in Germantown, Tennessee (a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee) are both non-operational and configured as museum displays.

There is also another surviving 78-foot Higgins PT Boat, the USS PT-658, which has been completely restored to its original 1945 configuration during the years 1995 to 2005. PT-658 is now fully functional and afloat. It is the only 100% authentically restored US Navy PT boat that is operational today in the world. The USS PT-658 is located in Portland, Oregon at Navy Operational Support Center Portland's Swan Island Pier.

There is also another non-operational restored 78-foot Higgins PT boat, the USS PT-309, located at the Nimitz Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas, which was restored by The Defenders of America. The USS PT-309 is currently inside a static diorama display without engines installed. Its external restoration was completed by the Texas group in 2002, and is to a high standard.

Ten Higgins PT Boats were delivered in 1948 for use in Argentina's navy during the late 1940s up until the late 1970s. All of these boats are now retired from their Navy, with two still used today as a sightseeing boat on the River Plate. The "Leonardo da Vinci" #8 and the "Mar de la Plata" #9 The other six boats are in various states of disrepair or sunk or scrapped. Other former USN PT boat hulls have recently been located in the United States. One is the PT-48, a 77-foot Elco, located in Leesburg, Florida near Orlando and in need of major restoration, after having been cut down to 59 feet and used as a dinner cruise boat. Rob Ianucci of upstate New York, has obtained this boat (June 2008) and will be transporting the boat soon up to Kingston NY for eventual repair. Another surviving PT Boat Hull is the ex-PT-305, a 78-foot Higgins (which was previously cut down to 65 feet during its use as an oyster seed boat in Dagsboro Bay, Delaware) originally obtained by the Defenders of America group in Texas, and then sold in May 2007 to the New Orleans WWII museum. Restoration has begun on PT-305 to become a permanent display in the Higgins Wing of the National WWII Museum located in New Orleans, Louisiana. The PT-659, a 78-foot Higgins, formerly located in Vancouver, Washington, has been scrapped as of May 30, 2008. Parts of it, including the aft 20 feet from the stern were taken by members of the WW2 Museum in New Orleans for use in helping restore the ex-PT-305. The boat and her cradle were cut up into smaller chunks and transported by truck to a warehouse in New orleans. The ex-PT-657 is another 78-foot Higgins, and has been converted into a charter fishing boat. The ex-PT-657 is located in San Diego, California and renamed as the "Malahini". Sadly, an Elco 80-foot boat, PT-761, was originally scheduled for restoration by the Defenders of America group, but was destroyed at the storage facility Feb 2006. Recently, in Feb 2002, another 80-foot Elco boat ex-PT-486, now called "Schumann Sails Big Blue" was discovered operating as a sightseeing boat out of Ottens Harbor, in Wildwood, NJ. There is also ex-PT459 located in Rondout Creek, near Kingston New York, that Rob Ianucci has obtained for possible restoration. It has been cut down to 65 feet and is highly modified into a fishing trawler. He plans to try and restore it after further study. All of these boats could possibly one day again be restored to their original PT boat configurations, although much work remains to be done. Another boat, often misidentified as a WW2 PT Boat, is located in the repair yard of the Wharton Creek Marina, Wharton Creek, Maryland, on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay is not a PT boat but a Vietnam "PTF Nasty" type boat.

Three of the 70-foot Vospers boats exist today; one is in fairly good condition at the Royal Navy Base in Portsmouth, England, but was a UK-built boat. The second is in private hands floating on a canal north of London and being used as a private residence, though it is remarkably intact in its WWII configuration, but is also a UK-built boat. The third, bearing the number PT-728, was restored by Bill Bohmfalk in Key West, Florida. Bohmfalk reconfigured the deck house to partially resemble an 80-foot Elco boat instead of its original Vosper 70-foot configuration, and then he sold the boat to business entrepreneur Rob Iannucci, who has moved the boat temporarily from Key West up to Rondout Creek, Kingston, New York. There in Kingston, PT-728 serves as a tourist attraction, giving up to 49 tourists the chance to ride on a "PT boat". This boat is the only US Coast Guard regulation-approved boat that is licenced to take passengers for hire, and is the only surviving US-built Vosper design. Some may remember the boat used as a movie prop in the "McHales' Navy" TV show, "PT73". Up until the mid 1990s, the Vosper boat hull that was used in the TV show existed in private hands in Santa Barbera, CA. The owner kept it sea-worthy and ran it around from time to time. Unfortunately, the boat got caught out at sea in a sudden storm and sank.

The 1963 movie PT-109 used what appears to be a small fleet of three or four Elco boats. The engine telegraph even shows the Elco name, and while at first, or even second glance (for the uninitiated) the boats look like real 80-foot Elco boats, the generally accepted belief is that the boats were converted from Air Force Crash Rescue Boats. Another possibility from observing the rounded transom suggests that these were converted Coast Guard boats, but this is highly improbable as the USCG vessels were round-bilge and not hard-chine.

It is worthy of note that two of the experimental PT-Boats also still survive, ex PT-3 in Pennsylvania and ex PT-8 in Louisiana. The PT-8 was built entirely from aluminum but did not pass the speed acceptance criteria for use as a PT Boat for the US Navy due to its weight. It was reclassified as a harbor patrol boat for the duration of the war.

Notable PT boats

Some examples of famous PT boats:

See also

Other WWII torpedo boats:

General printed references

  • Angus Konstam, PT-Boat Squadrons - US Navy Torpedo Boats (Ian Allan Publishing, June 2005)
  • Breuer, William (1987). Devil Boats: The PT War Against Japan. Novato, California, U.S.A.: Presidio Press. ISBN 0-89141-586-6.
  • Robert J. Bulkley, At Close Quarters: PT Boats in the United States Navy (Naval Institute Press; 1st Naval edition, 2003)
  • Victor Chun, American PT Boats in World War II: A Pictorial History (Schiffer Publishing, 1997)
  • T. Garth Connelly, Don Greer, Tom Tullis, Joe Sewell, Pt Boats in Action (Warships, No 7) (Squadron/Signal Publications, Inc., 1994)
  • Michael Green, PT Boats (Land and Sea) (Capstone Press, 1999)
  • Angus Konstam, PT-Boat Squadrons - US Navy Torpedo Boats (Ian Allan Publishing, June 2005)
  • Keresey, Dick (2003). PT 105. Annapolis, Maryland, U.S.A.: United States Naval Institute. ISBN 978-1557504692.
  • An excellent compendium of information about the Elco PT Boats can be found in "Allied Coastal Forces of World War II" Volume II by John Lambert and Al Ross. ISBN 1-55750-035-5. This book has a detailed history of the development of the various Elco boats, with numerous drawings and photos. It also has sections on PT Boat construction, as well as chapters on the Packard engines and typical weaponry used aboard PT Boats.

PT-109 story printed references

  • Robert J. Donovan, PT 109: John F. Kennedy in WWII (1961) ISBN 0-07-137643-7
  • Richard Tregaskis, John F. Kennedy and PT-109 (Random House, 1962)
  • Robert D. Ballard, Collision With History: The Search for John F. Kennedy's PT 109 (National Geographic, 2002)
  • Haruyoshi Kimmatsu, The night We sank John Kennedy's PT 109 appeared in Argosy Magazine December 1970 Vol 371 # 6
  • Tameichi Hara, Japanese Destroyer Captain (Ballantine Books, 1978) ISBN 0-345-27894-1
  • Duane T. Hove, American Warriors: Five Presidents in the Pacific Theater of World War II, Burd Street Press, (2003) ISBN 1-57249-307-0
  • James Michener, Tales of the South Pacific, Fawcett Crest Books, (1947) ISBN 0-449-23852-0


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