PT 658, Some Sanity in Portlandia

 

PT 658 is one of two fully operational PT boats in the United States. The second is PT 305, located in New Orleans, and spare parts from PT 658 were used in the restoration of PT 305.

In 1993, she was donated by the late owner’s estate to the veterans of Save the PT Boat, Inc. of Portland, Oregon. PT-658 was transported from Alameda to Portland in May 1994 by the 144th Transportation Unit of the Washington National Guard on the deck of the U.S. Army Logistics Support Vessel General Brehon B. Somervell (LSV-3). – from Wikipedia

The photo shows PT 658 in her original camouflage paint scheme and was taken by Jngilmar running at 35 knots on the Columbia River near St. Helens, OR.

PT-658’s restoration includes (non-functional replicas of) a full armament of four Mark 13 torpedoes, two twin .50 caliber Browning M2 machine guns, a 40 mm Bofors cannon, two 20 mm Oerlikon cannon, two eight-cell Mark 50 Spin Stabilized 5 inch rocket launchers, two Mark 6 300 lb (140 kg) TNT depth charges, and a 60 m M2 mortar. She has three working 1,850 hp (1,380 kW) Packard 5M-2500 V12 gasoline engines.

Restoration work took about 10 years and was done by volunteers who served on PT Boats during WWII, as well as Korean and Vietnam veterans.

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  1. Mad Gerald Coolidge
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    A high speed platform bristling with guns is everything a young man could wish for!

    • #1
  2. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Quinton McHale approves.

    • #2
  3. QuietPI Member
    QuietPI
    @Quietpi

    Thanks, @Doug Watt.

    We were talking a few months ago about the “Higgins Boat” landing craft, designed and built by Andrew Jackson Higgins, by the thousands.  Those that were built by other companies were of Higgins’ design, and Higgins did not charge them.  Eisenhower credited Higgins and his boats for the success of the D-day invasion. 

    Higgins also produced the majority (vast majority, IIRC) of the Navy’s PT boats.  Just as with the landing craft and its variants, he took the Navy’s Bureau of Ships’ defective designs and came up with a superior product, often at his own expense, and against Navy resistance.  Repeatedly, the Bureau of Ships was forced to subject its designs against Higgins’, and Higgins’ boats won every time.  Often the Navy design failed miserably, just as Higgins predicted it would.  

    America’s industrial giants, the ones we think of, performed miracles in re-tooling and supporting the war effort.  In retrospect, it may well be said that Higgins did more.  Because he could be combative, even irascible at times (usually, it turns out, with good reason), and he was this small – town yokel in New Orleans, he has often been overlooked, even ignored.  

    It’s been said before here.  It’s worth a trip to New Orleans for no other reason than to visit the World War II museum.  It’s there because of Higgins.

    • #3
  4. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    QuietPI (View Comment):

    Thanks, @ Doug Watt.

    We were talking a few months ago about the “Higgins Boat” landing craft, designed and built by Andrew Jackson Higgins, by the thousands. Those that were built by other companies were of Higgins’ design, and Higgins did not charge them. Eisenhower credited Higgins and his boats for the success of the D-day invasion.

    Higgins also produced the majority (vast majority, IIRC) of the Navy’s PT boats. Just as with the landing craft and its variants, he took the Navy’s Bureau of Ships’ defective designs and came up with a superior product, often at his own expense, and against Navy resistance. Repeatedly, the Bureau of Ships was forced to subject its designs against Higgins’, and Higgins’ boats won every time. Often the Navy design failed miserably, just as Higgins predicted it would.

    America’s industrial giants, the ones we think of, performed miracles in re-tooling and supporting the war effort. In retrospect, it may well be said that Higgins did more. Because he could be combative, even irascible at times (usually, it turns out, with good reason), and he was this small – town yokel in New Orleans, he has often been overlooked, even ignored.

    It’s been said before here. It’s worth a trip to New Orleans for no other reason than to visit the World War II museum. It’s there because of Higgins.

    Not to be pedantic, Elco produced over 300 boats and Higgins around 200. 

    • #4
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