WWII U.S. torpedo boat wreckage tossed up by Solomon Islands

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1st Lieutenant
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WWII U.S. torpedo boat wreckage tossed up by Solomon Islands

Post by Leondus »


2:21 p.m. April 27, 2007

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – The explosive-laden wreck of a World War II torpedo boat has risen from the Pacific Ocean off the Solomon Islands, pushed above the water by a powerful earthquake, an official said Friday.
The boat was exposed when reefs rose 10 feet above sea level during a 8.1-magnitude quake that caused a devastating tsunami, killing 52 people in the western Solomons in early April, said Jay Waura of the National Disaster Management Office.

The Solomons' main island, Guadalcanal, was the scene of fierce fighting during World War II. The coastline is littered with wrecks including the torpedo patrol boat commanded by President John F. Kennedy, PT-109, which was found in 2002 by shipwreck hunter Robert Ballard.
“My team members believe that this boat could have been one of those U.S. torpedo boats,” Waura told the New Zealand Press Association. “We were amazed by this finding, as previously this wreckage had long been sitting under the sea and rusting in peace without anyone knowing about it.”

Only the boat's hull with its deadly cargo of explosives remained intact, he said.

Waura said a Solomon Islands Police Force bomb disposal unit would be sent to the island to safely detonate the explosives.

Kennedy was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy when his boat was cut in two by the Japanese destroyer. Two crew were killed, but Kennedy and the vessel's other survivors clung to the wreckage before swimming to a nearby island. The experience earned Kennedy the Navy and Marine Corps Medal.

The Solomons is a chain of islands 2,385 miles northeast of New Zealand's capital, Wellington, with a mainly Melanesian population of about a half million.

Lt Col
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Post by PF »

At least 15 PT boats were lost in the Solomon Islands:
PT-37; PT-43; PT-109; PT-111; PT-112; PT-117; PT-118; PT-123; PT-158; PT-164; PT-166; PT-172; PT-251; PT-279;PT-283;

Also-is it possible wreck could be IJN?

1st Lieutenant
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Post by Leondus »

PT-37 Feb 43; IJN Kawakaze gunfire at Guadalcanal
PT-43 10 Jan 43 (IJN destroyers; Guadalcanal)
PT-109 2 Aug 43 (IJN destroyer at Blackett Strait)
PT-111 1 Feb 43; IJN Kawakaze gunfire at Guadalcanal
PT-112 10 Jan 43 (IJN destroyer; Guadalcanal)
PT-117 1 Aug 43 (air attack; Rendova)
PT-118 7 Sep 43 (grounded, scuttled; Vella Lavella)
PT-123 1 Feb 43 IJN air attack
PT-158 5 Jul 43 (grounded and scuttled; off Munda, New Georgia)
PT-164 1 Aug 43 (IJN air attack; Rendova)
PT-166 20 Jul 43 (B-25, 69th BS; off Blanche Channel)
PT-172 7 Sep 43 (grounded and scuttled; off Vella Lavella)
PT-251 26 Feb 44 (shore batteries; Sio, New Guinea)
PT-279 11 Feb 44 (collision; off Cape Torokina)
PT-283 17 Mar 44 (Gunfire ; Point Moki, Bougainville)

Do you have any info on IJN loses in the area????

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torpedo boat wreck

Post by jose50 »

Is there any more information about this torpedo boat risen from the depths? Are there any photos or videos of salvage? Was it raised high and dry on a reef or only just glimped? Any idea of identification? Too many questions? regards, jose50

Daniel Leahy
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Post by Daniel Leahy »

I believe that after investigation of the site, this wreck was shown not to be a PT boat, but the remains of a Japanese Lugger. Further details can be found here:
Daniel Leahy
Canberra, Australia


Justin Taylan
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2002 11:29 pm

not a PT-Boat

Post by Justin Taylan »

Dear all,

When I read this news release, I was excited too! But, skeptical. Within a few weeks, Danny Kennedy (Dive Gizo) in the Solomons had visited the site, and photographed the wreck. You can see those photos on the webpage below. Also, historian Ewan Stevenson provides an excellent historical report on the wreck.


So, I am afraid the moral of the story with that wreck was.. 'Dont believe everything you read'. The good news is with the help of researchers, collaborators and people out there.. any 'new' news story we can independently followup on.

In related news, the wreck at Cape York reported as a B-17, we also explored that wreck, from photos of the wreckage and historical standpoint. Readers can read that report and make their own conclusions:
http://www.pacificwrecks.com/bboard/vie ... php?t=1528

- Justin Taylan
Founder & Director

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