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  PT-305
USN
78' Higgins

56 Tons
78' x 20' 8" x 5' 3'
4 x torpedo tubes
1 x 40mm cannon
2 x Twin .50 cal MG
2 x Single .50 cal MG
2 x 20mm cannon
1 x 60mm mortar

Ship History
Built by Higgins Industries in New Orleans, LA. Laid down March 30, 1943. Launched May 27, 1943. Commissioned December 8, 1943. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) December 22, 1943 as PT-305.

Wartime History
Assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 22 (MTBS 22) operating in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) at Bastia, Corsica then to St. Tropez, France. Nicknamed "USS Sudden Jerk", "Higgins Mortuary", "Half Hitch" and "Bar Fly".

During the night of June 16-17, 1944 under the command of Lt. Thomas B. Creede, USNR commanding the "escort group" including PT-302, PT-303, PT-304, PT-305, PT-306 and PT-307. In total, 37 PT Boats that participated in an operation off Elba. The "Escort Group" was to escort landing craft from Porto Vecchio to Elba then escort four British rocket barges from Elba to Porto Vecchio. The "Escort Group" completed their mission successfully without enemy opposition.

During the night of April 19-20, 1944 under the command of Lt(jg) Richard A. Hamilton, USNR with PT-302 to fire three remaining Mark VII torpedoes into the harbor off Porto Maurizio and reported hearing a loud explosion and received no enemy fire.

During the night of April 23-24, 1944 under the command of Lt(jg) Richard A. Hamilton, USNR and Lt. Robert E. Nagle, USNR with PT-307 patrolled the Italian coastline and chased an enemy MAS that dropped depth charges in an attempt to discourage pursuit and began to pull away but was hit and stopped dead in the water and both PT Boats approached intending to board the vessel. On fire, they instead finished it off with 40mm gunfire until it exploded and sank. Afterwards, patrolled toward Nice and communicated with French forces off Cannes and completed the patrol without further action.

On May 4, 1945 combat operations ended in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO). PT-305 and remaining PT Boats in theater were ordered to Oran, Algeria for shipment back to the United States. In the United States, PT-305 was being overhauled in anticipation of being sent to the Pacific and was in New York when the Pacific War ended. On November 15, 1945 placed out of service and officially stricken from the Navy Register November 28, 1945.

Postwar
Transfered to the War Shipping Administration June 18, 1948. Sold that same year to Frank Reis of Provincetown, MA who named the vessel "Scalloping I". During 1951, sold to Scalloping Inc. in New York. In 1952 sold to William Luhrssen and Vincent McGuire in Brooklyn, NY. In 1953 purchased by Thomas Bogan of Brielle, NJ. Renamed "Jersey" and used as a fishing vessel.

Next, during 1963 sold to Bill Egerter of Point Pleasant Beach, NJ and renamed "Dauntless". Then in 1964 to Joseph Burns of Point Pleasant, NJ and renamed "Man O' War". In 1973 sold to James Nisbet of Hilton Head Island, SC and renamed "Vagabond". During 1979 sold for $73,875 to S & M, Inc. doing business as Vagabond Cruises, Inc. of Fort Myers, FL.

In 1984 sold to Capt. David Jones' Point Lookout Cruise Corp. of Point Lookout, VA. In 1988 sold to Howard R. Crow and David W. Crow of Tilghman Island, MD and renamed "Crow Brothers".

On March 1, 2011 purchased by Defenders of America Naval Museum, Inc. of Kemah, TX and renamed  PT-305. Sometime afterwards, acquired by the National World War II Museum (D-Day Museum).

Restoration
This PT-Boat was restored by the National World War II Museum (D-Day Museum) with 17,000 volunteer hours. During the Spring of 2017, began providing rides from a boat house at 6701 Stars & Stripes Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70126 on the shore of Lake Pontchatrain. Tours include a deck tour for 45 minutes for $15.00 plus rides provided by PT-305 Excursions LLC for $350,00 for a 45 minute ride.

References
NavSource PT-305

PT305.org The National WWII Museum - PT-305 The Ride of a Lifetime
At Close Quarters PT Boats in the United States Navy pages 315-320, 345-346, 470, 563 (index)

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Last Updated
August 18, 2018

 

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