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  PT-43 (PTC-23)
USN
PT-Boat
77' Elco

40 Tons
77' x 19' 11" x 4' 6"
2 x Twin 50 cal MG
4 x Torpedo Tubes

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
circa 1943

Ship History
Built by Electric Boat Company (Elco) in Bayonne, NJ. Laid down May 14, 1941 as Motor Boat Submarine Chaser, PTC-23. Reclassified PT-43 prior to completion. Launched July 16, 1941
Completed July 26, 1941. Assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 1 (MTBS 1) under the command of LT William C. Specht, USN.

Transferred to Squadron 2 on August 1, 1941. Next, transferred from Squadron 1 on August 13, 1941 operating from Tulagi PT Boat Base.

Wartime History
On December 7, 1942 with Captain Charlie E. Tilden patrolled between Kokumbona and Cape Esperence off Guadalcanal along with PT-109, PT-40, PT-59, PT-44, PT-36, PT-37.

During the night of January 2, 1943 commanded by Captain Charlie E. Tilden was part of a patrol against the "Tokyo Express" in a line from Savo Island to Cape Esperence, along with PT-39, PT-48, PT-115, PT-112, PT-59, PT-46, PT-36 and PT-40.

During the patrol, this PT-Boat closed to 400 yards and fired its torpedoes at the first column, but a blast of flame from the aft tube revealed its position to the Japanese forces and opened fire. As this PT boat turned away as their second salvo impacted, damaging the ship. Aboard, one enlisted man was killed, two wounded and the ship abandoned. Japanese destroyer Tokitsukaze is credited for the sinking.

Sinking History
The next morning, this PT Boat was observed beached at Chapuru near Cape Esperence. Afterwards, a HMNZS corvette shelled it to destroy it with gunfire.

References
At Close Quarters PT Boats in the United States Navy pages 59, 95. 99-101, 450-451, 488
Navy Source PT-43 (photo)
Thanks to Ewan Stevenson for additional information

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Last Updated
August 27, 2014

 

 

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