Can army guys really handle a PT boat?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by ithaca_deerslayer, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Just watched again, John Wayne's "They Were Expendable".

    In one scene, the navy guys hand over their PT boat to the army, who were supposedly going to patrol a lake with it.

    I was thinking, that doesn't make any sense. How would the army know how to run and maintain a PT boat. So I look it up on Wiki, and maybe the story is actually true. But seems like the army never got the boat to the lake:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_Torpedo_Boat_PT-41

    What say you? Could the army have actually successfully operated the PT boat, and kept it running? Or was it maybe some hairbrained idea a junior officer had, since the navy didn't want/need it any more?

    I got the impression from the movie (where I get all my historical facts) that the boat wasn't running anyway. It was out of torpedos, and no fuel around, and maybe was severely damaged. So the navy guys were just gonna leave it (or maybe burn it, if that was their protocol). I can't figure the navy guys would have given up the PT boat if it still ran, and if they had fuel, because they were probably loathe to walk on foot.

    So, I'm thinking if the navy guys couldn't run it, how the heck did the army guys think they had a chance with it? I'm guessing the engines and mechanicals needed skilled operators. Not to mention, it probably wasn't easy to skipper. Ok, maybe some army guy could drive it, maybe, but how would they keep it running?

    What say you?
     
  2. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    Were they not just standard diesel engines of the time?
     

  3. Jeff82

    Jeff82 NRA Benefactor CLM

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    By number of hulls in the water the Army navy is bigger than the Navy navy. Jes sayin'...



    ...ok, maybe not. But more than you think!

    Army's got ~300. How many does the Navy have?
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2010
  4. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrol_torpedo_boat

    All U.S. PT boats were powered by three 12-cylinder gasoline-fueled engines. These engines were built by the Packard Motor Car Corporation, and were a modified design of the 3A-2500 V-12 liquid-cooled aircraft engine. The 3A-2500 was an improved version of the 2A engine used on the Huff-Daland XB-1 Liberty bomber of World War I vintage. Packard modified them for marine use in PTs, hence the "M" designation instead of "A". (i.e., 3A-2500 then 3M-2500). The three successive versions of these engines were designated as 3M-2500, 4M-2500, and 5M-2500, each of which had slight improvements over the previous version. Their aircraft roots gave them many features of aircraft engines, such as superchargers, intercoolers, dual magnetos, two spark plugs per cylinder, and so on. Packard built the Rolls Royce Merlin aero engine under license alongside the 4M-2500, but with the exception of the PT-9 prototype boat brought from England for Elco to examine and copy, the Merlin was never used in PTs. The 4M-2500s initially generated 1200 hp (895 kW) each, together roughly the same power as a Boeing B-17 bomber. They were subsequently upgraded in stages to 1500-hp (1,150 kW) each, for a designed speed of 41 knots (76 km/h). The final engine version, the Packard 5M-2500, (late 1945) had a larger supercharger, aftercooler, and power output of 1850 Hp. This much power could push the fully-loaded boats at 45 to 50 knots. However, using the older 4M-2500 engines, increases in the weight of the boats due to more weaponry offset the potential increase in top speed. Fuel consumption of these engines was phenomenal; a PT boat carried 3,000 gallons (11,360 liters) of 100 octane avgas. A normal patrol for these boats would last a maximum of 12 hours. The consumption rate for each engine at a cruising speed of 23 knots was about 66 gallons (250 l) per hour (200 gallons (760 l) per hour for all 3 engines). However, at top speed, consumption increased to 166 gallons (628 l) per hour per engine (or 500 gallons [1,890 l] per hour for all 3 engines). Navy acceptance trials for every boat required it be able to demonstrate ability to achieve design speed of 41+ knots. Going at this speed, the 3,000 gallons of fuel would be used in only about 6 hours. Wartime conditions such as hull fouling and engine wear could sometimes cause the boats top speed to be degraded until maintenance could be performed.
     
  5. Batesmotel

    Batesmotel

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    PT boats were only 70 to 80 feet in length. If she was running and seaworthy, taking her into action would have been easy. From what I understand they were not hard to man and pilot.
     
  6. raven11

    raven11

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    depends how "army proof" we can make a PT boat
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Brian Lee

    Brian Lee Drop those nuts

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    Wasn't it the Army who ran patrol boats up and down the rivers in Vietnam? I think those Vietnam river boats were a bit different & smaller, but it was certainly Army guys who maintained them.
     
  8. raven11

    raven11

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    no, all Navy

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_Riverine_Force

    http://www.mrfa.org/

    the Army did man some floating artillery and mortar barges if that counts
     
  9. Glolt20-91

    Glolt20-91

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    Although there were Army units as part of the Mobile Riverine Force, it was the Navy who operated and maintained (supported) a number of different types of boats; plus attack helocopters known as Seawolves.

    http://www.mrfa.org/

    http://seawolf.org/index.asp

    River Patrol Boats (PBRs) were fiberglassed 36' hulls that had twin Detroit diesel 6v-53s connected to twin Jacuzzi pumps.

    Swift boats were 50ft aluminum hulls powered by a pair of Detroit diesel 12v-71s.

    Dust-offs (air ambulances) were operated by Army pilots.

    Bob :cowboy: Mobile Riverine Force, Mekong Delta, RVN. :patriot:
     
  10. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

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    My father was in the Navy in the First Wold War. He was on a transport ship between the US and Europe. About a year after the war he left the Navy and worked for the US Postal Service. He was recalled to Naval service in 1943. He was born in 1895. He went to some type of training. The photographs from his training looked liked quite a few middle aged guys along with some young guys but I'm not sure it was regular basic training. Basic training was shortened during the war. After his WWII training he was given an appointment to the rank he held when he left the Navy after WWI. He wasn't suppose to be deployed overseas but due to a shortage of experienced men he was assigned to a PT boat in the Pacific. During the war we stayed in base housing in California. I remember the guy that picked up our trash was a prisoner of war from Italy.
     
  11. JuneyBooney

    JuneyBooney

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    Back then the lines and names blurred. The Army had naval vessels in it for use. I had many family members back in that time who served in both services. It was a very interesting time.
     
  12. Cole125

    Cole125 Silver Member

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    :rofl: Is that a joke or real?

    OP- In the old days men didn't have to be told things they just figured them out.
     
  13. oldsoldier

    oldsoldier

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  14. Hrsuhd

    Hrsuhd

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    Army = more boats than the Navy
    Navy = more planes than the Air Force
     
  15. raven11

    raven11

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    yep its real, the MRE has photos printed on the side of how you should cook them and the tents have numbers to match up to build them


    frankly i wouldn't be surprised if the Sandbags had arrows showing "this way up":rofl:
     
  16. Jeff82

    Jeff82 NRA Benefactor CLM

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    Army more aircraft than air force too.
     
  17. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    But in the old days the Army didn't have 1% of the technology a private uses today.:upeyes:
     
  18. tous

    tous GET A ROPE!

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    You never saw The Wackiest Ship in the Army? Movie or TV series? :headscratch:

    Conning a vessel, of any size, is not primarily concerned with keeping the equipment functioning. Having a craft go where you want it to and keeping it above the waves is a skill not found in most armies. :supergrin:
     
  19. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd

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    ... or not. Which is why they put instructions on everything now.
     
  20. tous

    tous GET A ROPE!

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    When I was in the Navy (1970s) we were transitioning from pamphlets and books to comic book format for much of the other rank reference material. I guess they retained confidence that officers could read.

    I didn't think it was a good diea, but them danged fellers in the Pentagon just didn't want to listen to an ensign. :supergrin: