Taking Back The Glory: World War II Patrol Torpedo Boat Undergoing Restoration!

Author: War History Online
Date: April 15, 2016

The PT-305 was bought by the National World War II museum, which plans to fully restore it with a view toward getting it back on the water within the next year to be used for public tours on Lake Pontchartrain, near New Orleans.

The boat spent World War II in the seas of the Mediterranean, where her main role was to attack German supply convoys. She was also used for nighttime reconnaissance missions and for delivering U.S. commando troops to occupied coastlines.

At any one time, the crew would have consisted of approximately 15 crewmen, with a total of 44 crewmen posted to PT-305 from the start to the end of the war. The PT-305 spent its years since the end of the war as a tour boat in New York and also as an oyster boat and fishing charter before being bought by the museum in 2007.

The PT-305 is one of only a handful of PT boats that survived the war. It is currently housed in the museum?s restoration pavilion. The PT-305 was in a bad state of disrepair by the time it arrived at the museum, so much so that volunteers (mainly students and architects) have spent over 100,000 hours working to restore it. So far, two out of three new engines have been installed, the boat has been returned to its original 78-foot length, and electrical and plumbing work is underway.

The museum has just launched a campaign to raise the $100,000 to complete the restoration. Tom Czekanski, the museum?s director of exhibitions and collections, explained how the money will be put to use: ?It helps us cover all of the costs that are needed to transport the boat to the water and cover all the testing and certifications so the boat is ready to operate.?

The museum will also have to find a further $500,000 for a boathouse for PT-305 on Lake Pontchartrain. Details of and artifacts from the PT-305?s history will be on display in the boathouse for the public to view.

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