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  PT-300
USN
PT-Boat
Elco 80'

56 Tons
78' x 20' 8" x 5' 3'
2 x torpedo tubes
1 x 40mm cannon
2 x Twin .50 cal MG
2 x 37mm gun
1 x 20mm cannon

Ship History
Built by Higgins Industries in New Orleans, LA. Laid down March 17, 1943. Launched May 17, 1943. Commissioned October 29, 1943. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) December 22, 1943 as PT-300.

Wartime History
Assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Sixteen B (PTRon 16B) under the command of Lt. James H. Van Sicklen as a separate command including PT-295 to PT-301 including this vessel. This PT Boat operated from Alaska and participated in the Aleutian campaign during August 1943 until May 1944.

Next, transferred to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and based at Mios Woendi PT Boat Base (Camp Taylor). off New Guinea and later operated from Leyte and Mindoro in the Philippines.

Wartime History
On December 15, 1944 during the morning PT-300 and PT-230 was operating in Mangarin Bay off San Jose on Mindoro. After entering Mangarin Bay, a single Japanese plane strafed PT-320 without causing damage and then made a circle and began a dive on LST-605 unloading on the beach. Both PT boats and LST-605 opened fire hitting the aircraft and shot off part of the tail that caused it to crash ashore 50 yards from the LST and killed 5 men and wounded 11 ashore.

On December 18, 1944 PT-300 under the command of Lt. Commander Almer Paul Colvin (C. O. Squadron 16) with PT Boats from Task Unit 70.1.4 entered Mangarin Bay off San Jose on Mindoro. The PT Boats were spotted and attacked by three Ki-51 Sonias (misidentified as D3A Vals).

During the engagement, a Ki-51 Sonia made a low diving kamikaze attack on PT-300 hitting starboard quarter amidships of the engine room and causing the vessel to break into two pieces with the bow on fire but still afloat for eight hours and the stern sinking immediately.

Aboard, the crew of fifteen suffered four dead and four Missing In Action (MIA). Six were Wounded In Action (WIA) including Captain Lt. Commander A. P. Colvin, Raymond C. Hill, Everett Vance Nussman, William J. Norick and MoMM2c Francis F. Viger, Jr.

The only crew member uninjured was S1c Frank W. Wheelbarger.

One of the attacking aircraft took a photograph of the Ki-51 Sonia prior to the attack and a second photo from a distance showing a column of smoke rising from the burning bow wreckage when departing the target area.

PT-300 was the second PT Boats sunk by kamikaze attack during World War II.

Memorials
The missing and dead crew members were officially declared dead the day of the mission and earned the Purple Heart, posthumously.

The four of the crew remain listed as Missing In Action (MIA) and are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing: Ball, Beauregard, Boone and Bowers.

The four Killed In Action (KIA) crew members are buried in their hometowns in the United States and Manila American Cemetery.

Amos is buried at Arlington National Cemetery at section 12, site 300.

Basso is buried at Saint Joseph's Cemetery in Middletown, NY.

Brunner is buried at Christ Our Redeemer Catholic Cemetery in Pittsburgh, PA.

Dudas is buried at Manila American Cemetery at plot G row 3 grave 3.

Wheelbarger passed away on June 23, 1985. He is buried at Wheelbarger in Rockingham County, VA in the mausoleum.

Nussman passed away February 27, 2012. He is buried at Florida National Cemetery at plot 605 grave 37.

References
NARA "Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Sixteen: Action Report, PT 300, 18 December 1944" pages 1-5
(Page 1) "1. At about 1600 on 18 December 1944, the USS 300, with Lieutenant Commander Almer Paul Colvin, USN in command, in company with all boats of Task Unit 70.1.4, was maneuvering against attack by three (3) enemy aircraft, type Val [sic Ki-51 Sonia]. A Val [sic Sonia] attacked the USS PT 300 coming in low from the starboard quarter, and crashed amidships of the engine room breaking the boat into two (2) parts, The stern immediately sank and the bow remained afloat for eight (8) hours engulfed in flames from the burning gasoline around it. Results of the action [aboard PT-300] were: four (4) dead, four (4) missing six (6) wounded, and one (1) PT boat lost, against one (1) enemy plane [Ki-51 Sonia kamikaze] destroyed together with its pilot."
At Close Quarters pages 403 (December 15, 1944), 406 (December 18, 1944), 487-488, 563 (index)
(Page 487) "[PT] 300 destroyed by enemy aircraft (suicide attack), Mindoro. P.I., December 18, 1944"
*Page 488) "Sunk by enemy aircraft (by suicide attack): PT's 300, 323."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John W. Ball
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Valmore W. Beauregard
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Albert E. Boone
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John R. Bowers
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William L. Dudas
FindAGrave - QM2 John W Ball (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - F1 Valmore William Beauregard (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Valmore W. Beauregard (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - GM3 Albert Earl Boone (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - MoMM2 John Robert Bowers (photo, obituary, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Joseph Gerard Amos (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Albert John Basso (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Joseph Miles “Sonny” Brunner (grave)
FindAGrave - MoMM2 William L Dudas (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Frank William Wheelbarger (grave)
FindAGrave - Everett V Nussman (obituary, grave)
NavSource PT-300

Pacific Wrecks Forum - PT 300
Tada Hitosujini Ni Iku by Meadeasion page 21 (photos)
Thanks to Minoru Kamada and Edward Rogers for additional information

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Last Updated
August 10, 2019

 

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