Posted by: SJS | October 12, 2011

PT hull repair

It is almost impossible to exaggerate the fragility of the PT boats.  They were small, wooden boats that took on enemy ships that were larger,  heavily armed, and made of steel.  In addition to enemy surface craft, the PTs were hunted by submarines and fighter plans.  Because of their small size and shallow draft, the PTs could get much closer to the land which, of course, made them prime targets for shore batteries as well as enemy soldiers with machine guns and mortars.

Repairing the bow

Repair work on a PT bow

When I came across this photo of a PT boat undergoing hull repair, it really drove home the point.  A student sailor in the Repair Training Unit is learning his job under the careful eye of his instructor as work begins on the repair of the bow section of a PT boat.  The photo is from the vast storehouse of photos maintained at PT Boats, Inc., in Germantown, Tennessee.  

While the wooden hulls and superstructures of the PTs made them light in the water and exceptionally fast, they were highly vulnerable as they faced off against their adversaries on sea, land, and in the air.  Surprise, speed, and the bravery of their crews were the most formidable weapons on board the PTs every time they set out on a mission.


  1. Great post.

    • Darren,
      Thanks for your encouragement. The more I learn about the history of the PT boats, the more fascinated I become about all they accomplished.

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