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  PT-133 "New Guinea Ferry"
USN
PT-Boat
80' Elco

56 Tons
80' x 20' 8" x 5'
1 x 40mm gun
2 x Twin 50 cal MG
4 x Torpedo tubes
Click For Enlargement
USN c1943

Ship History
Built by Electric Boat Company (Elco) in Bayonne, NJ. Laid down June 10, 1942. Launched August 31, 1942. Completed September 16, 1942 and placed into service. Assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 7 (MTBS-7) under the command of Rollin E. Westholm, USN.

Wartime History
On April 16, 1943 PT-133-138 were towed from Cairns to Thursday Island, with orders to prepare a base at Merauke. By the end of May, PT-133-138 departing on June 6, 1943 for Milne Bay.

Next, operated from Tufi PT Boat Base and Morobe PT Boat Base. At some point during the ship's New Guinea service, it was nicknamed "New Guinea Ferry".

During the night of September 21-22, 1943 in support of the 7th Amphibious Force landing off Finschafen, three sections of PT Boats setting up a defensive screen northward Vitiaz Strait. PT-133 under the command of Lt(jg) Robert R. Read, along with PT-191 encountered an enemy 120' cargo ship 10 miles off Vincke Point, both PT Boats closed at high speed and made a firing run from starboard, and recieved light machine gun fire from the vessel and most of the boat's fire glanced off the side. Two more runs were made at closer range, and after the thrid run caught fire. Making a final run was made, dropping depth charges set to explode at 30', but their explosion was ineffective. Enemy taking to a life raft were sunk and another depth charge run was made near the bow, causing it to raise out of the water and causing the keel to break. Last observed burning low in the water, and presumed to have sunk.

During the night of October 15, 1943 PT-133 with PT-191 attacked and destroyed four enemy landing craft with troops. Aboard PT-133, when all the guns were out of ammunition or jammed, S2C Daniel V. Walker left his gun station to the forecastle gun which was jammed, and was hit by a bullet before reaching the gun, crawing on hi hands and knees, removed ammunition, then crawled back to his gun, loaded the ammunition and returned fire until hit in the arm by another bullet. Walker earned the Navy Cross for his action.

Next, operated from Fergusson Island and later Kiriwina Island. During the night of December 15-16, 1943 off Gasmata, PT-133 under the command of Lt(jg) Robert R. Read with PT-131 claimed an enemy four engine bomber shot down off Gasmata.

During the night of April 13-14, 1944 a pair of PT-Boats: PT-133 under the command of Ensign Fendall M. Clagett with PT-132 patrolled inside Henry Reid Bay, spotting eight barges. The pair attacked, sinking four with two destroyed on the beach and damaging two others, making repeated runs on the barges until they expended all their ammunition. During their attacks, the PT-Boats were attacked by an enemy plane that dropped four bombs and made two strafing runs.

Next, operated from Aitape PT Boat Base. During the night of May 13, 1944 PT-133 and PT-138 engaged four barges off Dagua close to the beach. Prepairing to make an attack run, shore batteries opened fire hitting the PT-Boats, but they suceeded in sinking three of the barges. One of the PT Boats sufferened an engine room fire and was exposed to enemy fire. The other boat engaged the shore batteries until able to escape. Lt(jg) Julius O. Aschenbach, USNR earned the Navy Cross for this mission.

Sinking History
During the night of July 15, 1944 a pair of PT-Boats including PT-133 under the command of Lt(jg) Fendall M. Clagett with PT-128 attacked three barges off Cape Pus in the Muschu Strait, sinking one and damaging the other two in their first attack run. Cicling for a second run, a 40mm gun opened fire from shore, the first round hit PT-133 amidship, setting the gasoline tanks on fire. The crew attempted to estingish the fire for five minutes before Clagett ordered them ti abandon ship and deployed two life rafts. Ten minutes later, PT-133 exploded.

Rescue
The crew of were rescued by PT-143 that came to their aid from an ajoining patrol area.

References
At Close Quarters PT Boats in the United States Navy pages 186-187, 198, 212, 236, 241-242, 458, 487-488, 492, 498
Navy Source PT-133

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Last Updated
August 18, 2018

 

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