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Old 11-13-2011, 04:11 PM   #1
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PT Interior

The discussion on rounded doors and my post with a couple of shots of a WWII PT interior got me thinking somebody might like to see a bit more of what* an Elco PT boat actually looked like inside.* So here are a few more of my collection.

This particular boat is a very late Elco 80-footer and was probably completed right at the end of the war or immediatly afer.* The boat represents the interior configuration of all the Elco 80-footers except in the engine room.*

Almost all the Elco's had their engines arranged witth the outboard (wing) engines facing aft and slanting forward and the center engine facing forward and slanting aft.* The wing engines drove their props thorugh V-drives.* The center engine powered its prop directly.* Right at the end of the war Elco figured out how to re-configure the engine room so all three engines faced forward and drove their props directly.* I believe they did this by stealing some space from the lazarette and shifting some other equipment about.* PT 617 is one of these boats.

Other than that, PT 617 is a typical Elco boat.

The "dayroom" is the midships cabin that sits a few feet higher than the deck.* The main fuel tank was under it with smaller tanks on either side, between the cabin sidewalls and the hull.

The "chartroom" is the forward cabin with the slanting front.* Like the dayroom, the chartroom is half-sunk into the deck.* The bridge or helm station was behind the chartroom with a .50 cal turret beside it to starboard.

Photos are: 1-4, dayroom interior.* In photo 2 you can see through the officer's mess to the galley.* In photo 4 you can see aft into the engine room.

5-7, galley interior.* Note two-burner elecric stove on which everything hot was prepared.* The galley was forward of the dayroom and officer's mess on the starboard side of the boat.* The officer's quarters were on the port side of the boat between the dayroom and enlisted quarters.* So opposite the galley and officers' mess.

8- chartroom exterior, 9- some of the instruments in the chartroom.* The chartroom was used for navigation, plotting work, and radio communications and direction finding.* The bridge and helm station was behind the slanting structure with the number 617 painted on it.* On earlier boats the solid face of the bridge had a multi-paned windscreen of armored glass on top of it.* Some crews removed this and perhaps Elco stopped putting it on altogether as the war went on.

10-officer's head,* 11-crew's head in forepeak,* 12-ladder from bridge to lower deck.* The ladder space was painted red to preserve night vision up above. From the red step in the lower right corner you can step to the left to enter the chartroom or continue down the ladder to the galley.

13- officers mess (facing benches w table between),*

14-17 views of one of the three Packard engines, its carburetor and supercharger, and gearbox, 18- engine gauges at the helm. The helmsman operated the throttles, the motor mac in the engine room shifted the transmissions.* Note the gauges are rpm and manifold pressure,*

19- hull construction.* These boats were not plywood but were make of double-diagonal planking with a layer of waterproofing canvas in between the two layers.* The decks were planked.* The only plywood in the boats was in some of the superstructure and gun turrets.* The "window" cut in the side of the boat is so people on a viewing platform outside can look into the boat.* The public is not allowed inside so a number of these viewing ports have been cut into the hull.* The only daylight that came into a PT interior was through the small ports in the chartroom and dayroom.* There were decklights placed all over the deck to let light into the boat's spaces but the crews almost always painted these over as protection against night fighter atacks.

This boat is painted in the overall green shade that was used toward the end of the war when the primary PT mission was barge-busting to prevent supplies from reaching the Japanese troops on bypassed islands.* The boats were painted this way to better blend in with the shorelines.* Ealier in the war the boats were painted gray and various camoflage schemes were tried from time to time.

For the first part of the war a PT crew was typically 11 men, 9 enlisted and 2 officers.* They lived on board the boats.* Later in the war as the PTs became more and more heavily armed as gunboats (pound for pound they were the most heavily armed vessels in the Navy) the crew was sometimes expanded to 12 or 14 people (never 13).








-- Edited by Marin on Sunday 13th of November 2011 06:09:01 PM
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:11 PM   #2
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RE: PT Interior

if* my thinking is right i think they were built in Bayone New Jersy at the ELco* plant* where ELco yachts were built?????????
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:16 PM   #3
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RE: PT Interior

Thanks for posting those Marin. Please post more if you have them. Is there a website for this particular boat? Can you recommend a book, or books, on these boats and their operations?
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:24 PM   #4
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RE: PT Interior

Awesome pics...could have done without the picture of the ****ter but otherwise great pics. Thanks
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:37 PM   #5
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RE: PT Interior

Quote:
capt jerry wrote:
if* my thinking is right i think they were built in Bayone New Jersy at the ELco* plant* where ELco yachts were built?????????
*Yes, Elco's PT plant was in Bayonne, NJ and consisted of some 21 buildings.* The double-diagonal planked hulls were built upside down and then flipped over for installation of the interior, deck and superstructure.*

I have a video copy of a color film produced by Elco during the war illustrating the entire construction and testing process of a PT.* Fascinating example of mass production of something you wouldn't think could be mass produced.

PT boats were considered expendable combat equipment.* As such they were not comissioned as individual boats but as squadrons of 6 to 12 boats at a time.* If one was destroyed or damaged beyond repair it was simply replaced with another one, much like an infantryman's rifle.
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Old 11-13-2011, 06:17 PM   #6
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PT Interior

Quote:
dwhatty wrote:
Is there a website for this particular boat? Can you recommend a book, or books, on these boats and their operations?
There's a lot of stuff on the web as you can imagine.* Everthing from the website of the "official" PT boat association, PT Boats, Inc. to individual sites of enthusiasts or historians.* A lot of the material on the web is devoted to modeling the boats.

As to books there are a lot of them ranging from fairly new picture books to a few personal histories by crew members or skippers to books that came out during the war.

My own interest in PT boats started when I was just a wee lad in Hawaii and my mother would have me go the Honolulu Public Library after school until she got off work at City Hall across the street.* The library was my babysitter for a number of years and I spent most of my time reading books from three sections--- the Civil War, World War I aviation, and World War II naval and aviation books.* One of the first books I read when I was proably eight or nine was the famous "They Were Expendable," by W.L.White.* It's the story of the PT boats in the Philipines when war broke out, which culminaed in the evacuation of General Douglas McArthur from Corrigedor.* I have my own copy of the book now, along with a copy of the movie starring John Wayne that was based on the book.

The definitive and official history of the PTs in WWII was written in 1962 by Captain Robert Bulkley, the PT skipper who got McArthur off Corrigedor and went on to a major command role in the PT forces.* This thick, detailed book, long out of print but can sometimes be found in used bookstores, is called "At Close Quarters."* It was published by the Navy History Division and the foreword was written by President Kennedy.* I was really lucky and found an absolutely pristine original copy in a used bookstore back in 1987.

A good picture book about the PTs is called "American PT Boats in World War II" by Victor Chun.

I have most of the books that I'm aware of that have been written about PTs including a copy of the wonderful little booklet that was given to all new PT crewmen called "Know Your PT," that tells you all the basics of* crewing on a PT including how many pairs of socks to bring.* It is illustrated with cartoon drawings, some of which depict the Japanese in the manner of the day--- short, bug-eyed with glasses and buck teeth.* Not for the politically correct.

I also managed to find a copy of the 1943 Bluejacket's Manual, the official "textbook" given to everyone in the Navy.* While not about PTs specifically it details everything the Navy thought one ought to know when serving on board one of its vessels.* The 1943 edition is the biggest ever produced at over a thousand pages and covers everything from loading naval guns to first aid to firefiighting.* Fascinating book to thumb through and read bits of, and it's been invaluable to my current project.

My wife was in the Navy in the 1980s. She was trained to work in the Combat Information Center of a carrier but they didn't put women on ships back then so her expensive taxpayer-funded training was all for nought.* She ended up as a member of the crash crew at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station where she was the turret operator on on Oshkosh.* She still has her Bluejacket's Manual and it is a thin little pamplet compared to the 1943 edition.

Anyway, there's lots of information on PTs out there.* I spent a fair amout of time interviewing PT vets in the 1990s.* Their stories were fascinating and are invaluable to my current project.* Sadly, these guys are disappearing at an accelerating rate now.* Relatively few of them left anymore.

Photo is of PT-117 making 40 knots on sea trials at Elco early in the war.* My wife and I have been on a resored PT (a Higgins, not an Elco) powered by its original-type engines, the only one in existance that is.* (Elco and Higgins PTs used the same type and number of engines.)* We went almost this fast on the river down in Portland, Oregon and the sound of those three, unmuffled V-12 Packards is simply astounding.

*


-- Edited by Marin on Sunday 13th of November 2011 07:29:17 PM
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Old 11-13-2011, 06:35 PM   #7
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RE: PT Interior

Quote:
Marin wrote:dwhatty wrote:
Is there a website for this particular boat? Can you recommend a book, or books, on these boats and their operations?
There's a lot of stuff on the web as you can imagine.* Everthing from the website of the "official" PT boat association, PT Boats, Inc. to individual sites of enthusiasts or historians.* A lot of the material on the web is devoted to modeling the boats.

As to books there are a lot of them ranging from fairly new picture books to a few personal histories by crew members or skippers to books that came out during the war.

My own interest in PT boats started when I was just a wee lad in Hawaii and my mother would have me go the Honolulu Public Library after school until she got off work at City Hall across the street.* The library was my babysitter for a number of years and I spent most of my time reading books from three sections--- the Civil War, World War I aviation, and World War II naval and aviation books.* One of the first books I read when I was proably eight or nine was the famous "They Were Expendable," by W.L.White.* It's the story of the PT boats in the Philipines when war broke out, which culminaed in the evacuation of General Douglas McArthur from Corrigedor.* I have my own copy of the book now, along with a copy of the movie starring John Wayne that was based on the book.

The definitive and official history of the PTs in WWII was written in 1962 by Captain Robert Bulkley, the PT skipper who got McArthur off Corrigedor and went on to a major command role in the PT forces.* This thick, detailed book, long out of print but can sometimes be found in used bookstores, is called "At Close Quarters."* It was published by the Navy History Division and the foreword was written by President Kennedy.* I was really lucky and found an absolutely pristine original copy in a used bookstore back in 1987.

A good picture book about the PTs is called "American PT Boats in World War II" by Victor Chun.

I have most of the books that I'm aware of that have been written about PTs including a copy of the wonderful little booklet that was given to all new PT crewmen called "Know Your PT," that tells you all the basics of* crewing on a PT including how many pairs of socks to bring.* It is illustrated with cartoon drawings, some of which depict the Japanese in the manner of the day--- short, bug-eyed with glasses and buck teeth.* Not for the politically correct.

I also managed to find a copy of the 1943 Bluejacket's Manual, the official "textbook" given to everyone in the Navy.* While not about PTs specifically it details everything the Navy thought one ought to know when serving on board one of its vessels.* The 1943 edition is the biggest ever produced at over a thousand pages and covers everything from loading naval guns to first aid to firefiighting.* Fascinating book to thumb through and read bits of, and it's been invaluable to my current project.

My wife was in the Navy in the 1980s. She was trained to work in the Combat Information Center of a carrier but they didn't put women on ships back then so her expensive taxpayer-funded training was all for nought.* She ended up as a member of the crash crew at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station where she was the turret operator on on Oshkosh.* She still has her Bluejacket's Manual and it is a thin little pamplet compared to the 1943 edition.

Anyway, there's lots of information on PTs out there.* I spent a fair amout of time interviewing PT vets in the 1990s.* Their stories were fascinating and are invaluable to my current project.* Sadly, these guys are disappearing at an accelerating rate now.* Relatively few of them left anymore.

Photo is of PT-117 making 40 knots on sea trials at Elco early in the war.* My wife and I have been on a resored PT (a Higgins, not an Elco) powered by its original-type engines, the only one in existance that is.* (Elco and Higgins PTs used the same type and number of engines.)* We went almost this fast on the river down in Portland, Oregon and the sound of those three, unmuffled V-12 Packards is simply astounding.

*



-- Edited by Marin on Sunday 13th of November 2011 07:29:17 PM

*Thank you.
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Old 11-13-2011, 06:40 PM   #8
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RE: PT Interior

I always assumed that PTs were painted gray...
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Old 11-13-2011, 06:56 PM   #9
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RE: PT Interior

Drive on down to Battleship Cove in Mass. They have a display there with a PT boat you can look at. I was there last July and had a ball.Larryw
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Old 11-13-2011, 06:58 PM   #10
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RE: PT Interior

Thank-You for sharing.
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Old 11-13-2011, 07:06 PM   #11
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PT Interior

Quote:
dwhatty wrote:
Please post more if you have them.
Here are a few more.* I should point out that I did not take these photos. I was given permission to go on board and inside this particular boat (located in Fall River, Mass. south of Boston) and I've spent a number of hours on it.* But all I had on these occasions was a little happy-snap film camera.* These photos were taken by a PT veteran (PT vets are allowed onto and into the boat at any time).

Photos

1-The black triangular object on the right is the magazine for the 37mm Oldsmobile cannon most PT crews mounted on the bows until Elco began installing them as standard armament.* This gun was designed for the P-39 Airacobra (or rather the P-39 was designed around the gun). The magazine conformed to the shape of plane's nose cowling.

2. The percussion launcher for the original type of torpedo tube.* It was a bad system firing a bad torpedo dating from WWI.* Later in the war the PTs began using the* torpedo that had been developed for the Navy's torpedo bombers.* Instead of tube launches they were carried in simple racks and simply rolled off the side of the boat.* Their stability and guidance systems were far advanced over the old torpedos and they could right themselves and be on their way with great reliability and accuracy.

3. Standard armament from the beginning was a pair of twin fifties in turrets and a 20mm Oerlikon on the stern.* Some crews figured out how to reinforce the aft deck to take a 40mm Bofors, a truly deadly gun for barge busting.* Eventually Elco began building the boats with this gun as standard.

4. When the skipper wanted to sneak quietly inshore in search of barges a lever was pulled in the engine room that closed the baffles at the end of the exhaust pipes and directed the exhaust down through the mufflers to exit underwater (the boats had wet exhausts, by the way).* But if any power above idle was added, the baffles had to be opened first because the exhaust pressure would blow the mufflers right off the boat.

5.* Another view aft.* This boat, like a lot of them later in the war, had a 20mm Oerlikon mounted on the bow.* Some boats had two, plus the 37mm plus a pair of multi-tube rocket launchers.

6.* The 40mm Bofors gun.* This became standard equipment as the war progressed and replaced the 20mm Oerlikon the boats had been fitted with earlier.



-- Edited by Marin on Sunday 13th of November 2011 08:08:20 PM


-- Edited by Marin on Sunday 13th of November 2011 08:13:47 PM
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Old 11-13-2011, 07:44 PM   #12
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RE: PT Interior

Quote:
LarryW wrote:
Drive on down to Battleship Cove in Mass. They have a display there with a PT boat you can look at. I was there last July and had a ball.Larryw
They actually have two PTs, the Elco 80-footer that's in the photos I posted and a restored Higgins 78-footer.* My project is about an Elco boat which I think was a considerably superior boat to the Higgins in many ways. So I have not been on or in the Higgins at Fall River other than to take a quick look at it in its shelter.

The boat we rode on on Portand is a Higgins but at the time we rode on it it still needed a lot of restoration work to the interior and deck hardware.* From photos I've seen, they have done much of this since then.
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