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  PT-123
USN
80' Elco

56 Tons
80' x 20' 8" x 5'
1 x 40mm gun
2 x Twin .50 cal MG
4 x 21" torpedoes

Ship History
Built by Electric Boat Company (Elco) in Bayonne, NJ. Laid down May 2, 1942. Launched July 31, 1942. Completed August 18, 1942.

Sinking History
On February 1, 1943 during the night, all available PT Boats were deployed to aptrol the area between Savo Island to Cape Esperence to an expected enemy force. PT-123 under the command of Lt. Richards patrolled three miles south of Savo Island.

While motoring to the patroll area with PT-124, both were bombed and strafed ineffectively by enemy aircraft. PT-123 spotted an enemy destroyer between Cape Esperence and Savo Island and closed to 1,000 yards then fired three torpedoes then observed the target bursting into flames and burning. In fact, this was Makigumo that hit a mine while maneuvering to avoid the torpedoes.

PT-123 followed and was about to launch torpedoes at another enemy vessel while lining up to attack a F1M2 Pete dropped a bomb that hit the fantail and caused fires that swept over the boat. Richards ordered the crew to abandon ship as it sank into Iron Bottom Sound southwest of Savo Island north of Cape Esperence on Guadalcanal.

Fates of the Crew
Afterwards, the crew were bombed and strafed while in the sea, killing one of the enlisted men and three others went Missing In Action (MIA) plus three others sustained wounds. Afterwards, they were rescued by the other PT Boats operating that night.

References
At Close Quarters PT Boats in the United States Navy pages 103, 105, 457, 486, 488, 561 (index)
Navy Source PT-123 (photo)

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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