Posted by: SJS | May 3, 2012

PT officers learning about deck guns

PT officers learning the Twin 50s

PT officers learning their deck guns

Every member of every PT boat crew had to know how to operate the boat’s deck machine guns, better known as the “Twin 50s.” And officers were no exception to the rule.  In their encounters with larger, heavier fortified enemy vessels or attacks by enemy fighter planes, the PTs needed every sailor on board to be ready to get behind the guns and return fire.     In this photo from the National Archives, new PT officers get familiar with the deck-mounted weapons that they might one day be operating on very short notice.  Whether it meant firing a machine gun or launching a torpedo, every member of the crew was prepared to take the necessary action.  Few teams in the US Navy in WWII had the versatility and level of cross-training as the PT crews; and that included their officers as well.

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