PT Weapons


An early version of the Elco Thunderbolt mount, but with six .50 caliber machine-guns and two 20mm cannon. (National Archives)

A 40mm installation on the stern of an Elco 80-footer. Note the .50 caliber machine gun mounted at top.  (National Archives)

Two views of an experiment in torpedo launching; one idea for eliminating the heavy tubes on PT boats was to have the torpedoes carried on davits, similar to lifeboats on bigger ships. This arrangement was judged not sturdy enough to use on wave-hopping forty-knot speedboats. (PT Boats, Inc. )

A field-modified twin .50 caliber machine gun mounted on the foredeck of PT 143. (PT Boats, Inc.)

A twin .50 caliber turret mount in action on an unidentified Elco 77-footer. Manufactured by Colt, this particular mount was a simple manually operated Scarff-ring; it was built on an interim basis to replace the unreliable Dewandre power turrets of the earlier 70' and 77-foot Elcos. (PT Boats, Inc.)

I think many PT enthusiasts have seen in books the photo of the sailor testing the six-barreled bazooka mounted on the dayroom canopy of an Elco 80-footer--here's more from that same set. This was an attempt to add more firepower to the PT boat to deal with the heavily armed and armored barges the Pacific boats were dealing with. However, I do believe the protective gear the sailor's wearing wouldn't be too popular in the tropics. To borrow a line from the miniseries Band of Brothers--"that dog just ain't gonna hunt..." (National Archives)

Copyright © 2002-2013 by Gene Kirkland