PT Boat Restoration at the National WWII Museum

Posted on April 24th, 2016 by:

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PT Boat Restoration at the National WWII Museum:

In New Orleans, Louisiana, a WWII US Navy PT boat is under restoration at the National WWII Museum.

The museum’s PT boat, designated by the Navy as PT-305, saw action in the Mediterranean and sank two armored barges and an Italian torpedo boat. After the war, it was used as an Oyster seed boat in Maryland until being acquired by the National WWII Museum in 2007 from the Defenders of America Naval Museum.

PT boat

PT-305 arrives in New Orleans in 2007

PT-305 is one of ten remaining PT boats, and only one of four that saw combat during WWII.

The PT (Patrol Torpedo) boat was the product of the US Navy’s research into a fast motorboat that could engage enemy warships. Later, some boats took on the additional task of acting as machine gun ships or even rocket ships. PT boats saw action in the Pacific, Mediterranean and English Channel, protecting and patrolling Allied waterways or attacking enemy shipping. 531 PT boats served during the war of which 99 were lost due to enemy action, accidents or rough seas.

PT boat

PT-305 in Italy, March 1945

Before the National WWII Museum acquired the boat, PT-305 had been cut down from her original 78 foot length to 65 feet and the wood on her hull was warped and rotted. The restoration currently under way is making good progress, having added two engines along with plumbing and other small necessities to the ship.

Once restoration is finished WWII and naval enthusiasts will be able to take rides and tours on PT-305. Until then, a lot of work still needs to be completed on the boat which will also require a new boathouse to store it on Lake Ponchartrain.

PT boat

PT-305 under restoration as of 2015

During WWII, 15 men served on a PT at any given time. Over the course of her wartime career, 44 men served on PT-305. The National WWII Museum is also planning a display about PT boats and the crews of PT-305 in the near future.

Pictures via The National WWII Museum

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