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80' x 20' 8" x 5'
1 x 40mm
1 x 20mm
1 x 37mm
2 x Twin .50 cal MG
4 x 21" Torpedoes
Justin Taylan 2012
Built by Electric Boat Company (Elco) in Bayonne, NJ. Laid down May 21, 1942. Launched August 17, 1942. Completed September 1, 1942. Placed in service September 4, 1942. Assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 7 (MTBS 7) under the command of Lt. Rollin E. Westholm, USN.
This PT Boat was transported to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and operated from Kana Kopa PT Boat Base. Between June 1943 until August 1943 detached service with Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 19 (MTBS 19) at Thursday Island with PT-127, PT-128, PT-129, PT-130, PT-131 and PT-132.
During the During the Battle of the Bismark Sea, during the night of March 3, 1943 PT-67 and PT-128 under the command of Ensign James W. Herring saw Oikawa Maru on fire. PT-128 fired two torpedoes from 1,500 yards that missed, but saw an explosion thought they hit the target. The explosions was in fact caused by the torpedoes fired by PT-143 and PT-150. Afterwards, both searched further to the west but encountered a rain storm and heavy seas
Next, operated from Morobe PT Boat Base on the north coast of New Guinea.
During the night of October 8-9, 1942 PT-128 under the command of Lt(jg) Lawrence M. Stutsman with PT-194 patrolled off West New Britain through a narrow passage off Siassi Island. Off Grass Point, the pair observed black smoke off Lagoon Point and proceeded slowly towards the target, which proved to be enemy destroyers. Proceeding towards the smoke, six large targets were spotted on radar and the pair approached until one opened fire from 3 1/2 miles. Both PT Boats were laying smoke and split up with PT-128 heading to the northwest and PT-194 to the southwest and accidentally suffered a glancing collision in their own smoke. PT-128 was damaged with a hole in the port side. Behind their smoke screen, the destroyers continued to fire but were ineffective and both boats, despite being damaged managed to get behind Sakar Island and later proceeded back to base. This incident was the only time during the New Guinea campaign that PT boats and Japanese destroyers engaged in direct combat.
Next, operated from Aitape PT Boat Base on the north coast of New Guinea.
On May 28, 1944 during the afternoon PT-128 and PT-131 departed Aitape PT Boat Base on a patrol mission and received word Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) air crew FLGOFF Raymond A. Graetz wireless/air gunner was behind enemy lines at the mouth of the Danmap River, 35 miles east of Aitape and was located on the beach, injured and unable to swim. Graetz was a crew member from Beaufort A9-571 ditched May 20, 1944 who swam ashore after the rest of his crew was killed then behind enemy lines walked westward to Danmap River. Reaching his location, Lt. William W. Stewart and Ens Gregory J. Azarigian padded to the beach in a rubber raft to rescue him, despite sniper fire from the shore.
On July 15 - 16, 1944 PT-133 and PT-128 under the command of Ensign T.E. Moran (USNR). attacked three barges off Cape Pus, sinking one and damaging the other two on the first run. As they were circling, a 40mm gun opened up from shore, its first round hitting PT-133 amidship setting gas tanks on fire and one crew man went overboard, for five minutes they fought the flames, then abandoned ship. The crew took to rubber rafts and ten minutes later the boat exploded, split into two sections and sank. PT-128 was holed in four places and had two wounded aboard. PT-143 was called in to pick up the men in the rafts.
On February 15, 1945 transfered to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 21 (MTBS 21) in the Philippines, under the command of Lt. Carl T. Gleason, USN.
On November 10, 1945 placed out of service, stripped of usable parts then destroyed and scuttled off Samar Island in the Philippines.
PT-128's builder's plaque is displayed in the PT Boat Museum aboard USS Massachuetts (BB-59) moored at Battleship Cove.
At Close Quarters PT Boats in the United States Navy pages 181, 187, 202-203, 241-242, 244, 469
Navy Source PT-128 (photo)
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