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  PT-796 "Tail Ender"
USN
78' Higgins Boat

56 Tons
78' x 20' 8" x 4'
1 x 40mm gun
4 x 21" torpedoes
2 x Twin 50 cal MG
1 x 37mm gun
8 x depth carges
2 x 20mm

Ship History
Built by Higgins Industries, New Orleans, LA. Laid down May 3, 1945. Launched June 23, 1945. Completed October 26, 1945.

Postwar
On November 16, 1945 reclassified as a small boat. Assigned to Squadron 1 and used in the Key West, Miami and Caribbean area. Nicknamed "Tail Ender".

Later assigned to the US Navy Operational Development Force and Naval Ship Research Development Laboratory in Panama City, Florida, where she performed high-speed towing work to develop specialized equipment for river warfare operations.

Prior to Kennedy’s inauguration, PT-796 was painted with the hull number “109” to represent PT-109 and was towed as a float in President Kennedy's inauguration parade on January 20, 1961 in Washington, DC. Also participating was USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. DD-850.

PT-796 remained in use until decommissioned on July 7, 1970. Acquired by PT Boats, Inc. / J.M. “Boats” Newberry. Stored in a cradle in Memphis, Tennessee, for several years then restored by PT Boats, Inc.

Display
On August 14, 1975 transported to Battleship Cove in Fall River, Massachusetts. Placed on static display at the PT Boat Museum with PT-617. Both vessels were designated as National Historic Landmarks.

References
Navy Source PT-796
At Close Quarters PT Boats in the United States Navy pages 484

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Last Updated
January 10, 2018

 

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