A PT break

Bristling with 20mm and 37mm cannon, .50 cal machine guns and torpedoes, the 80~ foot long plywood wonders that were WWII mosquito boats were pound for pound one of the stoutest warships ever to serve the Navy.

NHHC Photograph Collection, L-File, Unnamed U.S. Navy vessels

Note the huge 30-round 37mm drums and boxes of ammo at the ready. NHHC Photograph Collection, L-File, Unnamed U.S. Navy vessels

Secured to their tender, five PTs float in the calm waters of the Pacific as they are refueled and given rudimentary repairs. The brief recess from the wars is a boon to the officers and men of the PT unit as well. A group of them is gathered under the canvas “canopy” on the center boat, circa early Summer 1945. In the foreground, a crewman gives a gun the check-over.

They are equipped with a 37 mm M4 Automatic Gun– a huge 213-pound autocannon designed by John Browing and taken from P-39 Airacobra and P-63 Kingcobra fighters, as well as at least two 20mm Oerlikon forward, likely a 40mm Bofors single aft, and two twin M2 .50 cal tubs.

The Elco boats look to be those of Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron THIRTY THREE (PTRon 33) under the command of Lt. A. Murray Preston, USNR. They served at Aitape, New Guinea; Morotai in the Halmaheras; and San Pedro Bay and Panay in the Philippines.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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