Saturday, June 24, 2017

PT 305

The PT 305 is afloat near Lakefront Airport (KNEW). She has been named "USS Sudden Jerk". This was the name given to her by her plank owner crew after she had a jolt during a docking maneuver. She is available for deck tours and for rides if you are a recent lottery winner. This is the only operational combat veteran PT boat. She is credited with sinking 2 German lighter barges in the Mediterranean. The deck tour lasts 45 minutes and gives a detailed description of her operation and weapons systems.

About 20% of her is original. She was rebuilt over a period 10 years to her original design specs and construction techniques. She survived because the Navy brought European Theater PT boats back to the US in preparation for sending them to the Pacific. After the war she was a tour boat and an oyster dragger.

The wheel is an original wheel. Andrew Higgins, who built these boats, gave it to a friend from his surplus stock after the war and he displayed it on his mantle for years. As soon as he died, his wife, who hated it, donated it to the museum

Points for anyone who can identify this instrument.

It was tight quarters for her crew of 11.

Torpedo launch was roll off, not from a launcher. Deck rails are a modern safety requirement and not part of the original kit.


Old NFO said...

It's called a director, it's an EARLY version of a fire control/aiming system for torpedoes. Link is

JayNola said...

I know some guys who worked the restoration for most of the process. There's some fascinating stories of first class scrounging. I saw the boat ruuning from the 9th floor of the UNO engineering building a couple weeks ago. Pretty cool. The trip is spend but avgas and spares for Packard's don't come cheap.

Peripatetic Engineer said...

NFO - I figured you would know. Pretty simple mechanism but only good at 1000 yards

Jay - Yup, but they told me that insurance was a bigger cost.

Clay said...

A wooden hulled ship filled with 100 octane gas filled with passengers that are members of the public.

Insurance agent is probably laughing all the way to the bank.

Unless there's a claim....

Peripatetic Engineer said...

Clay - The guide told me that the insurance companies had nothing to compare the PT boat to and that made it hard for them to write insurance for it.