Posted by: SJS | October 18, 2018

Japanese coastal patrol boat

From the vast archives of PT Boats, Inc. I came across this photo of a Japanese coastal patrol boat.  I have not been able to determine where these boats were deployed by the Imperial Japanese Navy but perhaps someone in the extended PT network can furnish more information about these craft.  Upon seeing this photo, I was amazed at their resemblance to the PTs.  Whether or not these boats carried torpedoes is an open question.  I would love to know if there were ever any encounters between the Japanese coastal patrol boats and the PTs.

From my father’s accounts of his time in the South Pacific, the PTs in Squadron (Ron) 27 were used primarily for jungle river patrols and missions to disrupt Japanese barge traffic.  This photo was a revelation to me.


  1. In 1943 the Japanese belatedly began a crash program to develop their own version of the American PT boats, they were simultaneously impressed and furiously hated the small nimble boats that came out of the night darkness wreaked havoc then disappeared. The Japanese versions were approx 50′ long carried 2 torpedoes and a 37mm cannon on the bow, but they were developed too late when Japan’s industrial capacity was seriously compromised and they were forced to use old worn aircraft engines, as a result they could only achieve 20-25 knots maximum, compared to the US PTs 40-45 knot speeds. Not surprisingly they were ineffectual in actual combat, but would have become frontline suicide forces in the event of any invasion. There is very little historical info on this part of Japanese naval history.

    Source, book: “Japanese Destroyer Captain” by Tamiechi Hara, who organized and commanded the PT boat training program for the IJN. recently republished

    • GP, This is excellent information–thanks for passing it on. I was so surprised to find the photo and I was hoping that someone could furnish more information about this class of boat. Thanks again for making this background information available. Keep up the great work on your blog–I’ve learned a vast amount from your postings. Steve

      • My pleasure, Steve! If I have information for someone, I enjoy passing it on. And as you know, I’ve been following your site for quite some time now! Keep powering on!!__ GP

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